Espresso Martini Recipe (2024)

Espresso Martinis have made a comeback in a BIG way, and I’m totally here for it. I developed this specific Espresso Martini recipe for a cooking class that I co-hosted for Valentine’s Day, and it’s without a doubt my go-to recipe for this co*cktail.

My recipe makes one co*cktail, and comes together in about five minutes. I use simple ingredients, but one ingredient in particular that sets this Espresso Martini apart from the rest: brown sugar syrup. If you haven’t already boarded the Espresso Martini Fan Club train, hop on because this is a fun one (especially as an after dinner drink)!

Espresso Martini Recipe (1)

Ingredients for an Espresso Martini

  • 1 oz. Fresh Brewed Espresso* (briefly chilled)
  • 1.5 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Coffee Liqueur**
  • 1 Egg White (or 1 tbsp. aquafaba***)
  • .5 oz. Brown Sugar Syrup
  • 3 Espresso Beans (as garnish)

*Fresh brewed espresso is going to taste the best in an Espresso Martini. I have an espresso addiction, so I’m lucky enough to have an espresso machine at home (or ridiculous enough, however you want to look at it.). If you don’t have one, I recommend buying a couple of shots of espresso from your favorite coffee shop! You can keep espresso in the refrigerator for about ten hours, so try to purchase it and use it within the same day. If you don’t have access to espresso, an excellent substitution is cold brew concentrate. Cold brew concentrate is created from roasted coffee beans steeping in water for hours, and creates a delightfully rich and delicious base for iced coffee drinks (or co*cktails)!

**There’s a vast array of coffee liqueurs. Kahlua is probably the most popular, and will certainly work in this recipe. However, some of my favorite coffee liqueurs are:

***If you’d prefer a vegan version of this Espresso Martini, use aquafaba in place of the egg white. Aquafaba is the liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas, and is a great substitute that still creates a frothy top layer on co*cktails.

Espresso Martini Recipe (2)

How to Make an Espresso Martini

Because we want to create a frothy layer on top*, there’s a couple of steps to this recipe.

  • Pop a coupe glass** (or martini glass) in the freezer.
  • Combine the chilled fresh espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, brown sugar syrup, and egg white (or aquafaba) in a dry co*cktail shaker (no ice). Secure the lid on the shaker, and shake for about 20 seconds.
  • Remove the lid, and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Secure the lid again, and shake for another 20 seconds.
  • Strain the drink into the chilled glass, and garnish with three espresso beans. Serve immediately.

*The foamy top isn’t necessary, but it adds a silky mouthfeel that steps up the quality of this co*cktail.

**The coupe glass is my preferred co*cktail glass, but martini glasses (or your preferred stemmed glassware) will work. Just be sure to give the glass a quick chill before straining the co*cktail into it.

Espresso Martini Recipe (3)

Origin of the Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini was first created at a London bar by celebrity bartender Dick Bradsell, who helped revolutionize the co*cktail scene in London in the 1980s. The story goes that Kate Moss asked for a co*cktail that would “wake me up and f*ck me up” … but seeing as Kate Moss would have been nine years old in 1983 (when this drink was supposedly created), I can’t quite get on board with that.

Regardless, this is considered a modern co*cktail that was created in the 1980s. It was pretty popular during that decade, but has really made a comeback as of 2021. It’s perfect for an after dinner co*cktail, and gives you a jolt of caffeine with a dose of booze. It’s the perfect co*cktail for any coffee lover, or really for any dessert co*cktail lover.

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Espresso Martini Variations

There are plenty of variations out there, but I really find that this recipe creates my perfect espresso martini. If you like a chocolate tone to your co*cktail, add .5 ounces of crème de cacao (which is a chocolate liqueur). If you’d like a creamier espresso martini, add .5 ounces of Irish cream. The most popular brand would be Bailey’s Irish Cream, but I would implore you to seek out Five Farms Irish Cream because it’s so much better.

You could also experiment with a blonde espresso roast, espresso vodka, or even instant espresso. These are all just suggestions if you want to get experimental; if you’re here for just a straightforward, great espresso martini – stick with the recipe that’s provided!

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If you make this co*cktail and love it, a comment and rating below would be amazing! Tag me on Instagram if you post a photo to social media, too. As always, feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions!

xx Sara

Espresso Martini Recipe (6)

Recipe Card

4.89 from 17 votes

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Espresso Martini Recipe

Author Sara

Course Drinks

Cuisine American

Servings 1 co*cktail

A rich and frothy Espresso Martini recipe with espresso, coffee liqueur, vodka, brown sugar syrup, and egg white. (Makes 1)

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 10 minutes mins

Ingredients

For Espresso Martini:

  • 1 oz. freshly brewed Espresso* briefly chilled
  • 1.5 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Coffee Liqueur**
  • 1 Egg White or 1 tbsp. aquafaba***
  • .5 oz. Brown Sugar Syrup
  • 3 Espresso Beans as garnish

For Brown Sugar Syrup

  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Water

Instructions

For the Brown Sugar Syrup:

  • Heat water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to briefly cool.

For Espresso Martini:

  • While the brown sugar syrup cools, carefully place a coupe glass into the freezer. It will be chilled after about 5 minutes.

  • Combine espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, brown sugar syrup, and egg white in a co*cktail shaker. Secure the lid and dry shake (NO ice) for about 20 seconds until frothy.

  • Add ice, secure the lid, and shake for another 20 seconds until very chilled.

  • Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with three espresso beans. Serve immediately.

Notes

*I recommend brewing espresso at home OR buying freshly brewed espresso from your favorite coffee shop. You can keep espresso in the refrigerator for about ten hours, so try to purchase it and use it within the same day. If you don’t have access to espresso, an excellent substitution is cold brew concentrate.

**My favorite coffee liqueur is Forthave Spirits “Brown”. Other popular options are Kahlua or Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur. Any should work!

***If you’d prefer a vegan version of this Espresso Martini, use aquafaba in place of the egg white. Aquafaba is the liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas, and is a great substitute that still creates a frothy top layer on co*cktails.

Nutrition

Serving: 1co*cktail | Calories: 217kcal

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Espresso Martini Recipe (2024)
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