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How to make the perfect Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini was created in 1983 by Dick Bradsell, a British bartender who was famous for his innovative cocktail creations. There are a couple of variations, but we are going to show you a method with one of the best balances of flavour combinations. Read on to learn how to make the perfect Espresso Martini, and our tips for the best variations.

You will need (measurements will make one serving):

  • a cocktail shaker, or use one of our suggestions for a budget shaker)
  • a strainer
  • a Martini glass
  • ice cubes
  • 30ml (1 fl oz) coffee liqueur (Mr Black, Kahlua, Tia Maria, or make your own)
  • 50ml (2 fl oz) vodka
  • 10ml (1/2 fl oz) sugar/sugar syrup or sweetener (see notes below)
  • 1 shot of espresso coffee (or use good quality instant if you prefer, see notes below)
  • 3 coffee beans to garnish (optional)

Espresso coffee


  1. Make the espresso and allow to cool a little (10-15 mins should be fine)
  2. Place your cocktail glass in the fridge to chill
  3. Pour all of the ingredients in to a cocktail shaker How to make a perfect Espresso Martini
  4. Add ice to the shaker
  5. Close the shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds or so – you want the mixture to become nice and frothy
  6. Strain into your chilled Martini glass and carefully place the coffee beans on the top of your drink in the centre to garnish (if using)


  • If you don’t have sugar syrup, make a slightly longer coffee and dissolve your sugar or sweetener in the coffee while it is still warm.
  • If you are using instant coffee, it may prove harder to get a nice creamy top on your Espresso Martini – try shaking it for slightly longer before pouring.


  • Experiment with a flavoured vodka (such as vanilla or caramel) for a taste variation
  • Use a good quality dark rum or Bourbon instead of the vodka for a more complex flavour profile
  • Try a coffee Tequila instead of the vodka (Patron XO Cafe, Cazcabel Coffee Liqueur)

Have you tried our tips on how to make the perfect Espresso Martini? Do you have any other interesting flavour combinations to share? Let us know in the comments below!


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