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by Bart

Do you want to master your homemade Espresso Martini? Than take a look at this recipe and start making it yourself!

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Glass Coupe glass, Martini glass
Flavor Coffee
Method Easy
Strength Average
Drink Vodka
Time 4 minutes
Amount 1 cocktail


bar tools

  • shaker
  • cocktail tweezer
  • jigger

how to

  • shake with ice


  • Prepare a fresh espresso. You can use this hot.
  • Use one part (30 ml) of the espresso and pour in a shake
  • Add coffee liqueur and vodka. Both 30 ml
  • Add ice cubes before shaking
  • Shake vigorously until a frostlayer appears on your shaker. Do this fast and short so your cocktail doesn't get deluted
  • Pour without the ice in a pre cooled martini glass of coupe
  • Garnish with 3 coffee beans in the glass
  • Optional: serve with chocolate beans
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Perfect serve tip: if you shake this Espresso Martini vigorously, you’ll get a nice frothy layer when pouring. On top of this, place the three coffee beans as garnish.

The birth of the Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini is one of the most well-known and popular cocktails at the moment. Interestingly, it’s a relatively young cocktail that originated in the early ’80s. Contrary to what many people assume, it’s not an Italian cocktail; the cocktail actually hails from London. When a woman approached a London bar and asked for “something that wakes me up and then fucks me up,” the bartender grabbed some coffee beans, made a fresh espresso, and then added some vodka and sweetness to it. A relatively simple cocktail in terms of ingredients, but a real winner when it comes to taste. And quite the pick-me-up! And thus, the Espresso Martini was born.

Something that wakes me up and then fucks me up.” The story goes that the woman who made this remark at the bar was none other than supermodel Kate Moss.

The fresher the espresso, the tastier

It almost sounds to obvious: the fresher the espresso you use, the tastier your Espresso Martini becomes. With a fresh, warm espresso, you need to make sure you shake the cocktail hard and fast so it’s ice-cold but not watered down. So if you want to master this cocktail (and yes you do), make it with the best espresso and shake it like a bartender.

To keep the full, powerful taste of the espresso from being watered down, you need to shake this cocktail hard and fast!

Tips to give your Espresso Martini a delicate layer

A frequently asked question about the Espresso Martini is how to get such an enviable frothy layer. Here are 4 important tips that will definitely help you!

  1. The most important thing is to shake vigorously. Not long, mainly hard and fast.
  2. Use hot espresso.
  3. Use about 4 ice cubes when shaking and pour into a pre-chilled glass (you can do this with ice or you can pre-chill your glass in the freezer).
  4. Pro tip: use the frothy cream of the espresso to add extra body to your frothy layer

Why garnish with 3 coffee beans?

Another success factor of the Espresso Martini are the subtle coffee beans in the glass. And these are not without reason three. There is a beautiful story behind this as well. The garnish with 3 coffee beans has a symbolic meaning. The 3 coffee beans symbolize health, wealth, and happiness. So if you toast with this cocktail, you know what to toast to!

Coffee liqueur: Crème de Café from De Kuyper

Just as important as the choice of espresso is the choice of coffee liqueur. For this Espresso Martini, we have used Crème de Café from De Kuyper. A dark brown liqueur with a fine coffee flavor, creamy notes of vanilla, and a slightly bitter hint of chocolate. A delicate taste maker.

Is an Espresso Martini actually a martini?

No! The classic Martini is made with gin and vermouth (and an olive). The ingredients are completely different. The reason the name includes ‘martini’ is likely because it’s a short drink cocktail that you drink from a martini cocktail glass.

Creative variations: 3x Espresso Martini

The famous Espresso cocktail allows for easy variation with different liqueurs such as Licor 43, Amaretto, Baileys, and Frangelico. Instead of adding the liqueur to the coffee, shake the liqueur together with your espresso and coffee liqueur. Make a Spanish variant with Licor 43 or an Italian variant with Amaretto. Or make a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini with Baileys Salted Caramel and Salted Caramel popcorn as garnish. This is my favorite variant!

Amaretto Esma I Licor 43 Emsa I Salted Caramel Esma

Common Mistakes

Making an Espresso Martini, like making coffees, is an art. There are many mistakes that can be made. Here are some tips to ensure your Espresso Martini is perfect:

  • Espresso from a Senseo or filter is not the same as fresh espresso. Always use freshly brewed espresso.
  • Incorrect proportions. Always use a 1:1:1 ratio (vodka:coffee liqueur:espresso)
  • Add ice to your shaker before adding ingredients. This helps cool the drink and mix all the ingredients.
  • Watery, causing the cocktail to lose its strong espresso taste. Shake the drink firmly, but not for too long (max 20 seconds) to mix all the ingredients well. If you shake for too long and not vigorously enough, your drink can become watery.
  • Too little attention to presentation. Decorate your glass with coffee beans for added flavor and presentation.

Can an Espresso Martini also be made alcoholfree? Absolutely!

Are you looking for an alcoholfree cocktail recipe? Check out our Virgin Espresso Martini that we made with Lyre’s Coffee, an alcoholfree cocktail liqueur with a tasty coffee flavour. Really doable if you prefer your cocktail without alcohol.

Virgin Espresso Martini
Making cocktails is fun. Always drink responsibly.