The ultimate after dinner cocktail! Craft a creamy, and frothy espresso martini full of rich coffee flavor with just three ingredients: freshly brewed espresso, your favorite vodka, and kahlua coffee liqueur. Don't forget the coffee bean garnish and a chilled martini glass!
Lately, I've been on a serious espresso martini kick. My sister's birthday was a few weeks back and I tried my hand at making these puppies at home and WOW was I surprised. So easy, so quick, and so decadently delicious 💁🏼♀️!
What You'll Need
You'll need just three main ingredients (yup! just three), a couple of optional add ins, and a cocktail shaker with ice.
- High quality espresso - Opt for a rich and full-bodied blend to achieve that perfect coffee flavor that will be the star of your cocktail. If you have an espresso machine at home, this is the ideal time to put it to use. Alternatively, you can also brew a strong batch of coffee, you just won't get that frothy foam top.
- Vodka - the backbone of any good martini...but TBH I very frequently swap it out for gin 🤣.
- Kahlua - To add that touch of sweetness and balance out the bitterness of the espresso, you'll need coffee liqueur. Kahlua is traditionally used but if you'd like to try something else, look for a rich and decadent coffee liqueur. This will enhance the espresso's flavors and bring a delightful sweetness to the cocktail.
- Coffee beans for that classic, tradition 3-bean garnish.
- Simple syrup for added sweetness. I don't usually use any, I just add a little more Kahlua 😎.
How To Make This Recipe
I always thought the espresso martini was a complicated cocktail but it turns out it really couldn't be more simple!
- Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake shake shake...and shake some more (this is how you get that frothy foam!)
- Strain into a martini glass (use a chilled martini glass for extra points).
- Optional: garnish with 3 coffee beans.
Et voila! An espresso martini worthy of a craft cocktail bar.
Tips for a Flawless Espresso Martini
First and foremost, use machine brewed espresso. I know it's tempting but instant espresso lacks the depth of flavor AND the frothy foam. Basically, if you just want a quick and dirty espresso martini, you can use instant espresso 😅.
Secondly, keep it CHILL! A quick stint in the freezer is very helpful to cool off that freshly brewed espresso. Also make sure to use a handful of ice in the cocktail shaker!
Third, shake shake shake and shake some more. REALLY shake up the ingredients in the cocktail shaker, for at least 20 to seconds. The more you shake the more foam you'll get!
Frequently Asked Questions
While it's not ideal, you can use instant coffee as a substitute for freshly brewed espresso in an espresso martini. However, keep in mind that the flavor won't be as rich and robust compared to using real espresso. Also, you won't get that frothy foam top.
It's generally best to make an espresso martini fresh to make sure you get that frothy texture. However, you can prepare the espresso ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to mix the drink. Just make sure to chill all the ingredients, including the glass, before combining them for the best results.
Absolutely! While the classic recipe doesn't call for any additional sweeteners or flavored syrups, you can certainly customize it. Experiment with adding a touch of simple syrup, flavored liqueurs, or even a drizzle of chocolate or caramel syrup.
Have an unanswered question? Drop a line in the comments section below!