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Espresso Martini 

Original And Upgraded 

mc nickrock picture

MC NickRock

Singer, Entertainer, Writer and Cocktail Maker.

    The first time I saw an espresso martini on a bar menu I thought it would be similar to a Brazilian or Irish coffee. I got an unexpected surprise when the bartender served me a cold drink in a coupe. I had 5 or 6 that night and had a hard time going to bed – but the new discovery made my night. The day after, I found out that it’s one of the most popular cocktails , available pretty much in all good bars and restaurants.

    Since then I’ve tried many awesome variations in my quest to find the best espresso martini recipe. This coffee martini is a great digestif to offer your guests at dinner parties. It’s also a distinguished pick at the nightclub , without making you look like a beverage snob.

    Can you make this at home? Absolutely. The espresso martini cocktail isn’t as complicated to concoct as it sounds. There are though , a few tools you’ll need to achieve it. We’ll talk about this shortly along with the following topics:

1. Required Equipment

All The Required Equipment For Making Espresso Martini.

2. Right Ingredients

Choosing The Right Ingredients For The Best Espresso Martini Recipe.


3. Original recipe

The Original Espresso Martini Recipe : Step-By-Step.

4. Upgrades & Variations

Let’s Bring Your Espresso To A New Level.

1. Required Equipment For Espresso Martini

All The Required Equipment For Making Espresso Martini Cocktails.

espresso martini - cocktail shaker spread
espresso martini - espresso coffee machine

“He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.”

-Homer Simpson

espresso martini - martini conic glass
espresso martini - stovetop coffee maker

1. Espresso coffee Maker :  

     There’s two ways you can make a decent espresso coffee at home. Firstly , you can use an espresso machine. They’re quick, easy to use , and generally an invaluable addition to your kitchen. Some can be quite expensive , but there’s high quality affordable models like the De’longhi EC115 that will set you back less than 100$ USD.

  For a cheaper solution, you can purchase a stovetop espresso maker for less than 30$ USD. It’ll be a few more minutes brewing , but the results are very similar to what you’d get with an espresso machine.

2. Mixology tool kit :   

     You’ll need a cocktail shaker to crush ice and mix the ingredients ; also a strainer for pouring. I bought the Modern Mixology bartender kit for less than 30$ USD , which contains all the tools needed for most cocktail recipes. It’s definitely more than adequate for producing this cocktail.

3. Martini glass : 

     You can use a classic conic martini glass but I prefer to present it in a coupe cocktail glass. You’ll be able to see the three layers evenly. 

2. Best Ingredients For Espresso Martini

Choosing The Right Ingredients For The Best Espresso Martini Recipe.

1. Coffee :       

    Don’t make the mistake of using regular coffee for coffee cocktails. You need the concentrated strength of espresso. If you wish to raise your drink to the next level, you can use luwak coffee beans. They’re difficult to find , but let me know in the comments if you’re interested , and I’ll put you in contact with  providers I personally know , and that treat the luwaks decently.

2. Vodka :   

     From my point of view, you don’t have to shell out for top shelf vodka. Good to average quality is fine for mixed vodka drinks. Grey Goose or Tito’s Vodka are usually what I use , for example. Do avoid the obviously nasty stuff though – let common sense prevail.

3. Coffee Liqueur : 

     Kahlua espresso martini is usually what they’ll serve you at the local bar . It’s fine , but personally I prefer Tia Maria. It contains the same 20% alcohol by volume but as a fan of dark rum cocktails I find the balance between the coffee, rum and vanilla to be just right. The difference isn’t drastic but it is enough to consider. 

espresso martini - coffee beans in a shot glass
espresso martini - titos vodka bottles
espresso martini - coffee liqueur bottle

3. Espresso Martini : Original Recipe

The Original Espresso Martini Recipe : Step-By-Step.

Alcoholic ingredients :

  • 1.5 Oz Of Vodka
  • 0.75 Oz Of Coffee Liqueur

Non-Alcoholic ingredients :

  • 1 Oz Of Espresso Coffee
  • 1 Dash Of Simple Syrup

Equipment :

  • 1 Cocktail Shaker
  • 1 Cocktail Strainer
  • 1 Martini Glass

Original Recipe : Step-By-Step

espresso martini - original recipe

Espresso Martini Recipe :

  1. Fill your martini glass with ice, as you need it to be very cold.
  2. In another glass that’ll fit your cocktail shaker, pour the vodka first, then the coffee liqueur.
  3. Pour in the espresso coffee shot and the simple syrup.
  4. Fill the rest of the Glass with a handful of Ice quickly to cool the coffee as quickly as possible.
  5. Lock your glass with the cocktail shaker by giving a firm tap on top of it.
  6. Give a very hard shake until you hear the tone change.
  7. Unlock by giving a tap with the palm of the hand on the base of the cocktail shaker. ( glass up , shaker down)
  8. Discard the chilled ice from the martini glass
  9. Gently pour the mix into the martini glass using the strainer.
  10. Let the mix settle in the glass until you see  3 separate layers starting to form.
  11. Garnish with coffee beans.

Tips :

  • Instead of using ice to chill the martini glasses, you can put them in the freezer for a few hours. They’ll be colder but will take more time.
  • You’ll need to give a real hard shake – it’s how you get that creamy top layer.

4. Upgrades & Variations Espresso Martini

Let’s Bring Your Espresso Martini To a New Level.

espresso martini - espresso martini upgraded
espresso martini - think outside the box sign

  You are now able to make a classic espresso martini. It’s in the easy cocktail recipes category , which means there’s scope for upgrades. Here’s a few ideas I’ve tried before.

Upgrades AND variations :

     There’s countless variations of the espresso martini. Use your imagination and get creative. Just remember to combine ingredients that will blend well together. Here’s a few examples:

1. Vanilla Sugar :

I added a few drops of vanilla extract in the sugar syrup. It’ll enhance the vanilla flavour from the coffee liqueur. It is subtle but you’ll taste the difference.

espresso martini - vanilla sugar
espresso martini - patron bottle

2. Cafe Patron :

  I’ve substituted the coffee liqueur for a full oz of cafe patron. It’ll change the flavour but it’s simply sensational – even better with vanilla extract. Patron is  smooth tasting so the balance won’t alter. I freely admit , the cafe patron espresso martini is by far my personal favorite.

3. Amaretto Cocktails :

  • Add 0.5 oz of amaretto and replace the sweetener with almond syrup.

espresso martini - amaretto bottle
espresso martini - coconut halves

4. Coconut Rum Drinks :

  • Replace the vodka and simple syrup with coconut rum and coconut syrup.

5. After Eight Espresso Martini :

  • Replace the coffee liqueur with chocolate liqueur and creme de menthe.
espresso martini - mint sprig
espresso martini - don q 151 bottle

6. Dark Rum Cocktails :

  • Replace the vodka with dark rum ; also add cinnamon and nutmeg powder.

7. Bailey’s Cocktails :

  • Simply add 0.5 oz of Baileys. You may loose the 3 layer look but an espresso martini with Baileys is much creamier.

espresso martini - baileys glass

In Conclusion

    Now it’s time to hear from you. Let me know in the comments which are your favourite combinations in the espresso martini. Again, thanks guys and girls for your time , and don’t forget to like and share, to help me spread the word.

About The Author

MC NickRock

MC NickRock is a professional singer. Performing in bars and events for over 20 years, he finally decided to share his knowledge acquired about cocktails and drinks.


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