original espresso martini recipe

Sip the Stars: The Original Espresso Martini Recipe

If you’re a coffee lover with a penchant for cocktails, the espresso martini is the perfect beverage that brings the best of both worlds together. This delightful concoction combines the rich flavors of coffee with the smoothness of vodka, resulting in a truly luxurious and energizing drink. Whether you want to impress your guests or enjoy a delightful evening alone, mastering the art of making the perfect espresso martini is a must-have skill. In this article, we will explore the original espresso martini recipe

The Origin of Espresso Martini

The espresso martini, also known as the “Vodka Espresso,” was invented by the late and legendary bartender, Dick Bradsell, in the late 1980s. As the story goes, a famous model walked into the Soho Brasserie in London and asked Dick to create a cocktail that would “wake her up and mess her up.” Taking inspiration from her request, Dick combined fresh espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, and a touch of sugar to create this now-iconic cocktail.
Must Read: A Guide to House Blend Coffee: Rich Flavors Unveiled

Ingredients Needed For Original Espresso Martini Recipe

To make the original espresso martini, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Freshly brewed espresso (2 shots)
  • Vodka (1.5 oz)
  • Coffee liqueur (1 oz)
  • Simple syrup (0.5 oz)
  • Ice cubes
  • Coffee beans (for garnish)

Step-by-Step Recipe Guide For Original Espresso Martini

original espresso martini recipe

Step 1: Brewing the Espresso

Start by brewing two shots of espresso using your favorite coffee beans. Allow the espresso to cool down to room temperature before using it in the cocktail.

Step 2: Preparing the Cocktail Shaker

Take a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice cubes. Chilling the shaker ensures that your cocktail remains cool and refreshing.

Step 3: Adding the Ingredients

Pour the freshly brewed espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup into the cocktail shaker with the ice. The simple syrup can be adjusted based on your desired level of sweetness.

Step 4: Shake It Up

Put the lid on the cocktail shaker and shake it vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. This process helps in combining all the ingredients and creates a rich, frothy texture.

Step 5: Strain and Serve

Using a strainer, pour the contents of the shaker into a chilled martini glass. Garnish your masterpiece with a few coffee beans on top for an elegant touch.

Variations and Customizations

While the classic espresso martini is a delightful drink on its own, you can unleash your creativity by trying out various customizations. Some popular variations include:

  • Chocolate Espresso Martini: Add a splash of chocolate liqueur for a sweeter and creamier version.
  • Salted Caramel Espresso Martini: Rim the glass with caramel and a pinch of sea salt for a sweet and salty twist.
  • Nutty Espresso Martini: Infuse hazelnut or almond liqueur for a nutty flavor profile.

Tips for the Perfect Espresso Martini

  • Always use freshly brewed espresso for the best flavor.
  • Use high-quality vodka and coffee liqueur to enhance the taste.
  • Adjust the sweetness with simple syrup to suit your preference.
  • Shake the cocktail with enthusiasm to create a frothy texture.

The Best Time to Enjoy an Espresso Martini

original espresso martini recipe

The espresso martini is a versatile cocktail that fits perfectly into various occasions. It serves as an excellent pick-me-up for brunch gatherings, a classy after-dinner drink, or a delightful companion during a night out with friends.

A Brief History of Coffee Cocktails

The idea of combining coffee and alcohol dates back centuries. The Ottoman Empire was known for its creation of the “Kavehane,” where people would enjoy coffee infused with spices and alcohol. The concept of coffee cocktails has evolved over time, with modern-day variations like the espresso martini becoming popular in the late 20th century.

Popular Espresso Martini Twist

One of the most popular twists to the classic espresso martini is the addition of Irish cream liqueur. This variation adds a creamy and slightly sweet element to the cocktail, making it even more indulgent.

The Perfect Espresso Martini Glassware

To truly appreciate the beauty of the espresso martini, serve it in a classic martini glass. The elegant and sleek design of the glass enhances the overall drinking experience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Using old or stale espresso can negatively impact the taste.
  • Over-shaking the cocktail can lead to excessive dilution.
  • Using flavored vodkas may overpower the coffee flavors.


The espresso martini is a true testament to the art of mixology, blending the robust flavors of coffee with the allure of vodka. Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or a cocktail aficionado, this luxurious drink is a must-try. So, the next time you crave a coffee-based cocktail with a kick, remember to sip the stars and indulge in the perfect espresso martini.


FAQ 1: Can I use instant coffee for the espresso?

While it’s best to use freshly brewed espresso for the authentic taste, in a pinch, you can use high-quality instant coffee as a substitute.

FAQ 2: What kind of vodka is best for the espresso martini?

Opt for a premium vodka that is smooth and not overly harsh. A good-quality vodka will elevate the overall taste of the cocktail.

FAQ 3: Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the espresso martini?

Yes, you can! Simply replace the vodka and coffee liqueur with non-alcoholic alternatives, and you’ll still have a delicious coffee-based mocktail.

FAQ 4: How long does it take to shake the cocktail?

Shake the cocktail for approximately 10-15 seconds. Over-shaking may dilute the drink, affecting its taste.

FAQ 5: Can I use flavored syrups for a unique twist?

Absolutely! Experiment with flavored syrups like vanilla, hazelnut, or caramel to add an exciting twist to your espresso mart.

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