A Better Buzz: The Espresso Martini aka Espressotini

Justin Goldstein • August 11, 2021 • 2 min read

Espresso martini with a city in the background

What Do You Know About The Espresso Martini?

With the heat of summer officially here to stay, it’s the perfect time to explore an (adult) fan favorite, the espresso martini. This timeless marriage between caffeine and alcohol can be a great way to unwind and have some fun with friends during these hot summer nights.


The History of the Espresso Martini

Story has it that the espresso martini was invented in 1983 by a bartender in London. The drink was created to satisfy an odd customer request for a drink that will “wake me up and then f**k me up.” That simple request and one bartender’s ingenuity gave birth to the espressotini. This drink caught on like wildfire in the 1990’s but then lost some steam for a few years before having a bit of a resurgence these days.

What Makes The Espresso Martini So Special?

The espresso martini is a beautiful yet simple marriage of coffee, vodka and liqueur. As the specialty coffee world has grown rapidly, so has access to excellent espresso. While inherently simple by nature, the different combinations of various coffees with a growing array of craft vodka options can produce an exciting array of different flavors. True to its roots, the espresso martini really is the perfect night time drink if you need a little extra pick me up with your alcohol.

Espresso Martini Recipe

Liqueur being poured in a cup of ice
  • 1 oz Espresso (single shot) (I like Mulholland Causu)
  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua or similar)
  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • Simple Syrup (optional, based on sweetness preference)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini or cocktail glass!

Pro Tips for the Perfect Espresso Martini

  1. Double the fun – pull a double shot espresso and double this recipe for a bigger buzz when you need it.
  2. Consider brewing the espresso beforehand so it has a little time to chill and does not further dilute the drink. You can brew it quick and simply with Bruvi®.
  3. Pick the right espresso for your palate. With so many amazing coffees to choose from, pick an espresso that suits your palate. If you want something with more traditional bold and rich espresso notes, try a darker roast South American blend. If you want something a little brighter and juicy consider a natural process single-origin African coffee. Experiment and have some fun with this!
  4. Shake it like you mean it – this is where all the foam and froth are created. Shake that thing until it feels like your arms will fall off and continue a few seconds past that, then you’ll be good.
  5. Strain quickly – this ensures you capture all that mouthwatering foam on top of the drink.
  6. Garnish to impress – you can add 3 coffee beans on top if you really want to make an Instagram worthy experience for your guests. Voilà!


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