Espresso Martini

Perk up any after-dinner party with an Espresso Martini. This dangerously drinkable cold coffee cocktail mixes vodka with espresso and vanilla syrup or Kahlua for the perfect pick-me-up cocktail.

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espresso martini with chocolate garnish

Espresso Martini

As someone who’s just recently started diving into stronger coffee, an espresso martini never sounded appealing. Just a bunch of really strong coffee and vodka, I’ll pass. Well, that all changed the moment I stepped into the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago and made the decision to try their Espresso Martini. 

From the moment that first sip hit my tongue, I was hooked, and immediately knew I needed the recipe! Lucky for all of you I got that recipe, to share with you!

This scrumptious mix of bold espresso, sweet vanilla, and ice-cold vodka is just what anyone needs after a long day. The rich rich flavors flow together seamlessly that coffee drinkers of all sorts will love. This cocktail is perfect for spicing up an at-home date night, dinner party, and or any time you need your coffee to pack more of a punch.

espresso martini on wood board

What’s In An Espresso Martini?

This boozy coffee drink has all the appearance of an expensive craft cocktail without any of the complicated ingredients. All you need to make an espresso martini is:

  • Cold espresso
  • Vodka
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Cocoa powder (optional garnish)
  • Pocky stick (optional garnish)
  • Coffee beans (optional garnish)

How To Make an Espresso Martini

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

Once you’ve gathered up all your ingredients, it’s smooth sailing. Grab your cocktail shaker and glasses, and follow a few simple steps. 

First, you’ll fill a martini glass with ice to chill while preparing the cocktail. While the glass is chilling, fill the cocktail shaker half full of ice, then add espresso, vodka, and syrup. Shake vigorously.

When you’re ready to pour the mixture, remove ice from the glass and swiftly pour the liquid into the chilled martini glass. Garnish by dusting with a little cocoa powder, coffee beans and pocky stick and ENJOY!

chilling a martini glass by filling it with ice

Tips For Making The Best Espresso Martini

  • Use ice to chill the glass 
  • Be sure to use full ice cubes, not crushed in the shaker – crushed ice will melt faster in the shaker and dilute the cocktail
  • If you don’t have an espresso maker (or Nespresso) use the cans of Starbucks espresso double-shots. Bottled iced coffee works as well too which you can buy near the milk section in stores.
  • If you don’t have a proper coffee machine, just add an egg white. It won’t alter the taste or texture of the cocktail but once you shake it up, you’ll end up with an awesome froth on the surface. You need the foam for the coffee beans to float on the surface.
  • Replace the vanilla syrup for 1 shot of Kahlúa, which is a coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico.

pouring an espresso martini

How Strong is An Espresso Martini?

Typically with martinis, you’ll find a high alcohol content as vodka or gin is the main attraction in the recipe but that’s not the case here. In this espresso martini recipe vodka still plays a major role, it’s not the star of the show. You’ll experience a balanced flavor profile with subtle notes of vanilla that round out the vodka and coffee flavors. 

How Much Coffee is in an Espresso Martini?

There’s one shot of espresso in this martini recipe. The coffee flavor for this espresso cocktail definitely shines through quite a bit, but it is not overwhelming in the slightest.

As someone who prefers coffee with a long pour of creamer, the coffee ratio was just right. It’s bold without making you feel like you’re drinking a straight shot of espresso. 

Can I Make A Decaffeinated Espresso Martini?

Yes, you can! Just like regular coffee, there are decaffeinated espresso options. Just choose your favorite decaffeinated espresso brand 

espresso martini with a silver cocktail shaker

When and what to serve with Espresso Martini

There’s really not a wrong time to make an espresso martini (okay maybe 11 pm on a weeknight might be the wrong time, but you get the point) and there are so many occasions that call for a homemade espresso martini. 

Serve it as a nightcap paired with a few chocolatey snacks for you and any guests to snack on throughout the night. 

If you want to really wow guests, pair it with a  batch of Spiced Mocha Cupcakes, or this famous Dark Chocolate Frosted Yellow Cake with Raspberry Preserves. You can never go wrong pairing coffee with a little (or a lot) of chocolate. 

espresso martini on a drink up napkin

Don’t Miss Even More Amazing Cocktails

Lemon Drop Martini – a sophisticated twist on a classic cocktail. The signature light and zesty favorite combines vodka, triple sec, fresh lemon juice and elderflower cordial. 

Raspberry Kir Royale – Champagne and Chambord cocktail that is sure to make any occasion feel extra special. Whether you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, or need a bubbly bridal brunch cocktail, mix up this bubbly recipe for a subtle twist on a classic Kir Royale. 

Smoked Rosemary Bourbon Sour Cocktail – The perfect mix of smoked rosemary, sweet lemonade and the warmth of bourbon makes this cocktail perfect for entertaining or just kicking back.

Cran-Cherry Rye Whiskey Sour Cocktail – The fruity cherry and cranberry notes complement the spicy rye for a perfectly sweet and refreshing cocktail. Add in some lime juice and egg whites and you’ve got yourself a drink you’ll love and enjoy all year long.

Green Bloody Mary – Tomatillos give the traditional Bloody Mary a green twist. This spicy colorful take on the classic cure-all cocktail will have you serving them every weekend.

Like This Espresso Martini Recipe? Pin It!pinterest-image

espresso martini photo collage

Tools Used To Make This Espresso Martini

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

Cocktail Shaker 

This cocktail shaker will not only look great on your bar cart, but it also helps you make amazing bar quality cocktails!

Martini Glass

I always serve my cocktails in fun glasses to really round out the whole at home “bartender” experience. For this cocktail, you can’t go wrong with a classic rocks glass, double old-fashioned or martini glasses.

Starbucks Espresso Pods

I’m a huge fan of Starbucks espresso, and once I found out I could buy it for my Nespresso machine I had to try it. These are by far my favorite espresso pods to use for both recipes and my morning coffee. 

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Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Perk up any after-dinner party with an Espresso Martini. This dangerously drinkable cold coffee cocktail mixes vodka with espresso and vanilla syrup or Kahlua for the perfect pick-me-up cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 shot (1.5 ounces) cold espresso
  • 1 shot (1.5 ounces) vodka
  • 1/2 shot (.75 ounces) *vanilla syrup
  • cocoa powder (optional garnish)
  • pocky stick (optional garnish)
  • 3 coffee beans (optional garnish)

Instructions

  1. Fill a martini glass with ice to chill while preparing cocktail.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice, then add espresso, vodka, and syrup. Shake vigorously for 30-40 seconds.
  3. Remove ice from the glass and swiftly pour espresso mixture into the chilled martini glass.
  4. Garnish by dusting with a little cocoa powder, coffee beans and pocky stick and ENJOY!

Notes

*you can also replace the vanilla syrup for 1 shot of Kahlúa, which is a coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 909mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 12gSugar: 43gProtein: 14g
Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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espresso martini with a pocky stick garnish