Espresso Martini - the cult cocktail for coffee fans

Written by: Smilla H.



Time to read 4 min

Where does the espresso martini actually come from?

The espresso martini was the brainchild of a legendary London bartender. The story goes like this: In the mid-1980s, a supermodel went to the bartender. At the time he was behind the bar in an exclusive London brasserie. She asked for something to "wake her up."

The bartender quickly drew a fresh espresso from the coffee maker. Then he mixed it with vodka, kahlua and a pinch of sugar, shook it well and poured it into a martini glass. The espresso martini was born. Today it's definitely on a par with classics like mojitos and margaritas. What do the three beans mean? They are said to represent health, prosperity and happiness. Bottom up!

But now to the important topic. How do you actually make a really good espresso martini? Of course, the recipe is below.

What ingredients should you use for espresso martini?

Which alcohol should you use for the espresso martini?
Of course, as always, quality matters here. It is worth reaching for high-quality alcohol. Especially with a cocktail that only contains a few ingredients. As a real coffee fan, I naturally advocate a good coffee liqueur. There is even a selection of specialty coffee liqueurs. Recommendation: the liqueur from Mr. Black.

However, your vodka should not be from the bottom shelf of the supermarket either. If you want to go wild, use Flavored Vodka. Vanilla is particularly good here. I would advise against Baileys with an espresso martini. This is a cream liqueur that changes the taste and consistency of your drink.

Do you have to use fresh espresso?

As a specialty coffee fan, I have to say: yes. Similar to alcohol, coffee also depends on the quality. You want to drink a delicious cocktail, don't you? There is even another benefit here. You can use exactly the coffee you like! Just try a washed coffee from Ethiopia. Can it be a little stronger? Then use a dark roasted coffee from Brazil. There are actually no limits to your creativity here. How do you prepare a really good espresso? Click here for the video with the roasting facility and the blog entry.

What is the white foam on an espresso martini?

The foam head itself is a simple emulsion. The oils in the coffee and the C02 form the characteristic cream when they are shaken. But always remember: there are other factors that are important here. Shake quickly and vigorously. Use big and good ice cubes. All this contributes to the formation of a nice lather. Why? Because this makes the drink less "watered down".

If you shake too long or use crushed ice, your espresso martini will be flat and watery. We don't want that.

How do you make an espresso martini even better?

The biggest mistake is not shaking it hard enough, and that goes for any shaken cocktail. Especially for the espresso martini, because we know that you like to have a thick head of foam on your drink.

Of course you can also find your own personal recipe. An easy way: just start with equal parts vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur. Then you slowly feel your way to your favorite ratio. You can also find a basic recipe to start with below.

Another recommendation that applies to many cocktails: cool the glasses! Simply put your glass in the freezer for a short time. The cold glass ensures that your drink stays cold for a long time, even without ice.

Espresso martini being prepared with a cocktail shaker

What you need for the espresso martini recipe

First and foremost a shaker. There are many different types, but the most common are Cobbler, Boston, or Parisian cocktail shakers. For the last two you will also need a sieve. Don't have a real shaker at hand? Pssssst ... then one for protein shakes will do too.

Originally, and as the name suggests, an espresso martini is served in a martini glass or a stemmed cocktail glass. But of course you can also use any other glass that you have on hand.

For the actual drink you need vodka, coffee liqueur and some sugar syrup. That means 50/50 caster sugar and water. You heat this until the sugar has dissolved and let it cool. Last but not least: a shot of your favorite espresso. You can also experiment with cold brew or filter coffee!

Just like with all cocktails, your taste counts! Are you still missing really good coffee for your espresso martini? Then just drop by our shop. you have everything ready? Then here is our basic recipe for a really delicious espresso martini.

The recipe for espresso martini

Ingredients for two people :

80ml vodka

40ml coffee liqueur

40ml espresso

20ml sugar syrup

Step-by-step instructions

- Get out your shaker.

- Prepare your espresso and pour it into the shaker.

- Pour the vodka afterwards. A trick: use cold vodka. This cools down the hot espresso. Then the ice melts more slowly.

- Add the coffee liqueur to the shaker as well.

- Now the ice comes into play. Professionals can let the whole thing “sweat” a bit. That means leaving the ice outside for a very short time. This reduces the chance that your ice cubes will break when you shake them.

- Now it's time to shake well and vigorously. We want a thick layer of foam!

- Swirl the shaker briefly and strain the drink into the glass.

- Now add the three characteristic coffee beans. Complete!

Espresso martini with foam crown

Now all you have to do is enjoy your finished espresso martini. Bottom up!
Want more coffee cocktails? This way.

Happy shaking!