I love a classic Espresso Martini! They’re smooth, sweet, and strong. Serve them as an after dinner treat or to kick off a cocktail party, because there’s never a bad time to sip on a freshly shaken martini made with the perfect amount of coffee, vodka, and Kahlua. You’re going to love this famous cocktail!
This cocktail means business. It’s got a strong coffee AND a strong vodka taste, so it’s not for the faint of heart! With that being said, espresso martinis (when made correctly) are also wonderfully smooth, thanks to the addition of Kahlua. This is a drink I like to order when I’m out to dinner with friends and I want to feel a little fancy! Of all my favorite dessert cocktails to enjoy after a big meal, this is probably my favorite one.
If you’re a coffee addict like me, this easy to make martini’s going to be high up on your list of favorite dessert cocktails as well! The presence of coffee in each sip is no joke, and it balances perfectly with the other powerful ingredients it’s shaken together with. Think of this as a very grown up Starbucks order! It’s just as drinkable, but it packs a little extra adult punch from the vodka and Kahlua, of course.
And yes – Kahlua and Bailey’s are two entirely different things. If you’re a novice home mixologist, I can see why you may think one can substitute for the other, as they do seem similar. With that being said, Kahlua is actually a coffee flavored liqueur, while Bailey’s is a cream liqueur made from Irish whiskey. I sure do love me some Bailey’s, but not in this martini. No, for this martini, only Kahlua will get the job done!
How to Make An Espresso Martini
Once you start shaking up your favorite cocktails at home, you’ll wonder why you ever used to overpay at a bar or restaurant! Making classic cocktails like this one at home is inexpensive, easy, quick, AND you can do so in your pajamas.
- SHAKE! Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into a glass. Top with foam from cocktail shaker.
- Top it off. Garnish with coffee beans.
- Enjoy! Serve your espresso martini right away, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Espresso Martini
- I like to use Cold Brew Coffee because it’s quick and easy! However, if you really want that signature espresso taste, you can absolutely use freshly brewed espresso. Just make sure it’s chilled before using, or it’ll be a hot cocktail that could spoil the other ingredients, which isn’t quite the martini we’re going for here.
- Shake the cocktail with ice to make sure it’s nice and cold, but don’t serve the cocktail with ice. No one likes ice in their martini, so be sure to strain the cocktail from the shaker accordingly.
- Make sure to pour the froth from the cocktail shaker onto the top of the cocktail, especially if you want to garnish the drink. The cute little coffee beans will sink to the bottom if there’s no froth to hold them there. While the coffee beans aren’t necessarily there to consume, they do make for a darling photo opportunity, and they add a nice aromatic element to each sip.
- If this drink seems a bit too strong for your tastes, I get it! It can be intimidating to sip on such a strongly flavored cocktail. To sweeten things up a bit, you can stir in about half a shot (more or less depending on your tastes) of Simple Syrup.
Treat yourself to the best after dinner dessert cocktails – you deserve it!
Get the Recipe: Espresso Martini Recipe
- 2 ounces Cold Brew Coffee, OR freshly brewed espresso chilled
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 1/2 ounces Kahlua or other coffee liquor
- cocktail shaker
- Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into a glass.
- Top with foam from cocktail shaker. (Forgot to do that in the photos.)
- Garnish with coffee beans.