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How to Make an Espresso Martini: A Step-by-Step Recipe

Shake up your weekend with an espresso martini! This versatile classic can be enjoyed after a meal or at your next brunch. Crafting this caffeinated concoction from home is simple, thanks to Curiada liquors and our easy-to-follow espresso martini recipe. Experimenting with flavor variations is part of the fun—all you need are some basic ingredients for a great “night out” in true cocktail fashion!

What is an Espresso Martini Cocktail?

Legend tells that once upon a time in London, a bartender named Dick Bradsell got a special request. A supermodel had asked him to make her something to “wake me up and <mess> me up.” (Insert a less delicate word back there and you get the picture.) He thought for a moment, then whipped together a new concoction: espresso shaken with vodka and ice. And he sprinkled a few coffee beans atop the foam for good measure. Simple but effective. 

Flash forward a few decades, and it’s now a worldwide staple. Beloved for its elegant aesthetic and simplicity, it’s become all the rage to order at bars and enjoy at home. With its smooth and slightly sweet taste, it’s no wonder why this cocktail has become such a favorite. Whether you’re having an intimate gathering or a large celebration, the espresso martini is sure to be a hit. Its mix of strong coffee and vodka can help set the tone for any occasion.

So, what is in an espresso martini? There are four main ingredients for espresso martini cocktails: espresso (or coffee or cold brew concentrate), vodka, coffee liqueur, and ice. You may also add simple syrup for sweetness and coffee beans as a garnish on top.

Ingredients for an Espresso Martini

The following ingredients make one drink: 

  • 1 ounce espresso, coffee, or cold brew concentrate: Bartender’s Coffee Original Blend is created specifically for coffee-based cocktails and espresso martinis. The coffee blend combines Guatemala's and Ethiopia’s finest.
  • 2 ounces vodka: Appropriately-named Good Vodka is the perfect choice for an espresso martini because it’s made from surplus coffee that would otherwise be discarded. Plus, it’s carbon-neutral!
  • ½ ounce coffee liqueur: For a Mr. Black espresso martini recipe, you’ll need Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, of course. The best coffee liqueur for espresso martini cocktails harnesses the power of caffeine without a bunch of added sugar. Mr. Black’s has ten times the amount of caffeine and half the sugar as the industry standard. There’s no need for any artificial ingredients with these all-natural, rich, bold flavors. It is made from three types of Arabica coffee beans and Australian wheat vodka. 
  • Ice cubes: Use regular-sized cubes (not crushed ice) and the appropriate amount for one martini glass.
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (optional or to taste): Try Liber & Co. Classic Gum Syrup, a simple syrup with Gum Arabic (a resin from the Acacia tree). It blends beautifully with any cocktail and provides a welcome depth to basic simple syrup.
  • For a traditional garnish, add three coffee beans

How to Make an Espresso Martini

Gather your supplies and ingredients. In addition to the espresso martini ingredients listed above, you will need a shaker and a martini glass.

  1. Chill the martini glass.
  2. Make the espresso or coffee and let it cool.
  3. Put ice into the shaker. Add the espresso (or coffee or cold brew concentrate), vodka, simple syrup, and coffee liqueur. Shake vigorously. (Sub-par shaking and/or a too-slow pour may lead to foam that is less than frothy!)
  4. Strain the mixture into the glass.
  5. Place the three coffee beans on top of the foam.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for the Perfect Espresso Martini

We hope you’re inspired to craft homemade espresso martinis for yourself or others; they are sure to be a hit! Here are a few more tips to ensure success:

  • To cool down the freshly prepared coffee, briefly pop it in the freezer before mixing it with other ingredients. Don’t water it down with ice to cool it.
  • Instant coffee won’t yield the best results for this drink. 
  • You can make your own simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water. Make sure it is fully cooled before adding homemade simple syrup to your espresso martini. If you want a less sweet cocktail, skip the syrup.
  • Remember to shake well to ensure the foam rises to the top.
  • The coffee beans, as mentioned, are just for fun. Tradition states that the three beans represent happiness, wealth, and health!
  • If your espresso martini is to be enjoyed after dinner, consider pairing it with a lovely dessert!

Get Espresso Martini Recipe Ingredients from Curiada

To get the best liquors, liqueurs, and other cocktail essentials, Curiada is your one-stop online shop for artisanal distillery products. We’ve compiled quality syrups and spirits that are hard to find anywhere else. No big brands here! Get everything you need to create the best espresso martini recipe or ingredients like craft whiskey, rare rum, and artisanal tequila delivered right to your door. Our Coffee Lovers’ Collection features all the espresso martini ingredients in one place, including our Coconut Espresso Martini Kit and the Ultimate Espresso Martini Gift Set. Enjoy!

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