Best Espresso Martini Recipe – This classic yet versatile cocktail includes Kahlua and vodka for a sweet, strong, and sophisticated drink with a delightful caffeine kick.

Two espresso martinis in individual glasses, one creamy and one dark. Each glass is garnished with 3 coffee beans. Both are on a white background.

Why We Love This Kahlua Recipe

What happens when you combine the pep and deliciousness of coffee with quality stout alcohol? You get a fabulous Espresso Martini. THE drink that screams “We are grownups!” …Even if you still feel like a kid on the inside.

Similar to our Peppermint Martini, this classic bold and boozy cocktail is great for the holidays. But here we also have just the right balance of caffeine and crisp vodka, so it’s the kind of drink that keeps a party going well into the night. It’s the perfect after-dinner drink!

You can make a robust dairy-free version, a creamy version (my favorite) with half & half, or even a chocolate espresso martini recipe variation. With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can impress your holiday guests all season long.

Coffee Lovers Unite!

Two espresso martinis in individual glasses, one creamy and one dark. Each glass is garnished with 3 coffee beans. Both are on a white background.

Ingredients You Need

  • Vodka – quality is key here for truly the best-tasting espresso martini recipe
  • Kahlua – a classic coffee liquor made with dark rum
  • Espresso – of good quality, freshly brewed and cooled
  • Half & half – for a rich and creamy cocktail
  • Ice – to chill the martini, but not added to the drinking glass
  • Espresso beans – to garnish, if you like (or coffee beans)

Bar Notes: Using Kahlua intensifies the coffee flavor and adds sweetness to this coffee cocktail. If you are using another less-sweet coffee liqueur, you may need to add simple syrup to the shaker.

Keep reading to see more tasty ideas for other optional espresso martini ingredients!

Recipe ingredients: Bottle of Kahlua and bottle of Belvedere vodka, and shot glass with espresso.

How to Make an Espresso Martini

Using an espresso machine, brew a single shot of espresso and allow it to cool to room temperature. (The espresso must be cooled so that the cocktail isn’t watered down when shaken.)

Once cooled, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Set out one martini glass.

Measure and pour in the vodka and Kahlúa.

Coffee Tips: If you do not own an espresso/coffee machine, you can purchase brewed espresso at a coffee shop or even at some grocery stores. Very strong coffee like french press or cold brew concentrate can be used in a pinch! Do not use instant coffee granules.

Pouring vodka from a metal cup into a metal martini shaker.

Then add cooled espresso and half-and-half.

Get the Complete (Printable) Best Espresso Martini Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

Pouring a shot of espress0 from a small glass into a metal martini shaker.

Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds

Using the strainer on the shaker, strain the beverage into the martini glass.

Pouring dark Kahlua from metal shaker into a martini glass.

Garnish with 1-5 espresso beans. Serve immediately.

Two espresso martinis in individual glasses, one creamy and one dark. Each glass is garnished with 3 coffee beans. Both are on a white background.

Espresso Martini Variations

  • Chocolate espresso martini – Drizzle chocolate sauce in each martini glass before pouring in the cocktail. You can also add a touch of chocolate shavings instead of – or in addition to – the espresso beans as a garnish.
  • Mexican Mocha Martini – Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne pepper to the top of the prepared cocktail.
  • Espresso martini with Bailey’s liquor – Swap Kahlua with Bailey’s Irish Cream for an ultra-creamy drink that isn’t quite so heavy on the coffee taste.
  • Dairy-free martini – Omit half & half from the ingredients for a lower-calorie, non-creamy espresso martini. However, if you want the creaminess, but not the dairy, use cashew cream instead!
Two espresso martinis in individual glasses, one creamy and one dark. Each glass is garnished with 3 coffee beans. Both are on a white background.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is espresso martini strong?

Each drink includes approximately 3 ounces of alcohol, and 2/3 are vodka. So yes, martinis are rather stout drinks.

Why are espresso martinis so good?

If you love coffee (hands up over here!) then you already know why this drink is so popular. The robust taste of espresso is the star, but the slight bite of alcohol rolls in to remind you that this is a true cocktail. Add a touch of chocolate and you have a chocolate espresso martini recipe that is basically a boozy version of your fave Starbucks drink!

What makes an espresso martini frothy?

Adding half & half to the shaker with stout espresso creates a light foam texture, once you shake it vigorously.

Will an espresso martini keep me up all night?

If you are sensitive to caffeine and it is later in the day, then yes, this drink might affect your sleep. There is 1 shot of espresso per drink. Therefore it has as much caffeine as a whole cup of coffee.

Two hands cheers-ing with espresso martinis in individual glasses, one creamy and one dark. Each glass is garnished with 3 coffee beans.

Looking for More Classic Cocktail Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

Two espresso martinis in individual glasses, one creamy and one dark. Each glass is garnished with 3 coffee beans. Both are on a white background.
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Best Espresso Martini Recipe + VIDEO

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
This classic yet versatile cocktail recipe includes Kahlua and vodka for a deliciously sweet, strong, and sophisticated Espresso Martini with a delightful caffeine kick.
Servings: 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1 ounce espresso brewed and cooled
  • ½ ounce half & half
  • Ice
  • Garnish: espresso beans

Instructions

  • Make a single shot of espresso and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Set out one martini glass.
  • Measure and pour in the vodka, Kahlúa, cooled espresso, and half-and-half.
  • Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  • Using the strainer on the shaker, pour the beverage into the martini glass. Garnish with 1-5 espresso beans. Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

Recipe Variations
    • Chocolate espresso martini – Drizzle chocolate sauce into a martini glass before pouring in the cocktail. You can also add a touch of chocolate shavings instead of – or in addition to – the espresso beans as a garnish.
    • Mexican Mocha Martini – Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne pepper to the top of the prepared cocktail.
    • Bailey’s liquor – Swap Kahlua with Bailey’s Irish Cream for an ultra-creamy drink that isn’t quite so heavy on the coffee taste.
    • Dairy-free martini – Omit the half & half for a non-creamy version.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink, Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 15mg, Potassium: 52mg, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 0.1mg
Course: Beverage, cocktail, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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