The Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe | Inspire • Travel • Eat (2024)

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How do you make an easy espresso martini? It can be overwhelming figuring out how to make an espresso martini as you might wonder if you need to have an espresso machine.

That’s the big question that puts people off, do I need an espresso machine to make an espresso martini and the answer is, no, you don’t need an espresso machine! It is great if you do but not necessary!

The Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe | Inspire • Travel • Eat (1)

This easy espresso martini recipe and a bloody caesar are tied for the drinks I make this most as both have their necessary functions and both taste incredible. See here for the 6 best shot recipes for hosting as well!

This is a great recipe version because it is dummy proof and really is just a few simple ingredients and you are done. No espresso machines, no icing down hot espresso or coffee… it’s much more simple than that.

This has become a go to when hosting or as a pre-drink before heading out to get that extra boost of energy. Everyone absolutely loves this drink, it is extremely simple and provides the best start to your night. See our article for the 7 Best Easy Craft co*cktails.

I am officially too old for Red Bull vodkas because they give me the worst anxiety the next day and ummm… other things. This will be a game changing energy drink for you, looks nice for hosting people or even use it as a good start before you take off on a date night.

The Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe | Inspire • Travel • Eat (2)

The goal is for your creations to make people happy and with a little espresso you can scientifically stimulate people there right from the jump. Make this your own as well, if you don’t like it too sweet than maybe skip the vanilla vodka and just go with straight vodka.

You can make this with just 3 ingredients if you want… really you just need two if you don’t have it all and it still comes out great! This recipe is very versatile so have some fun with it.

Maybe add a little chocolate syrup, use Baileys instead of Kahlua or use coffee instead of espresso. Really you can make this as fancy and complex as you want or just stick to the few recipe basics.

The most important rules to making co*cktails

When making a drink for people and you want them to love the experience you need to appeal to 4 senses. You must make it taste good of course so follow this recipe and the ideas along with it.

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The drink needs to have a pleasant aroma and appeal to the sense of smell. Thus, to do that you need to add a garnish. What makes a craft co*cktail is that addition of the herb or spice to make it pop. This is why co*cktails from mixologists always have mint or sprigs in them.

A drink should also look beautiful and appeal to site. You eat and drink with your eyes first and no one wants to eat or drink something that looks gross or doesn’t look appetizing.

Finally, when people are enjoying their drink you need to give them a nice ambiance and setting. I can help you with the first 3 but the ambiance is on you… music, clean up, give them a shot so they are already getting drunk and everything is fun… up to you :).

One AMAZING way to add to your drink ambiance and appeal to all senses is infuse your liquor. Infusing liquor is the greatest lie in drink creation as what sounds extremely impressive is really just you pouring liquor into a jar and adding 1-2 ingredients then letting it sit for 1-7 days… or even 1 hour! From there just lie to your guests ;)… it’s a small fib.

Listen to our travel podcast if you want some travel tips & a laugh

Infused liquor makes you look like some planned, smart super-hero that would do anything when hosting people. It will impress them and has you already 5 steps ahead on appealing to all of the senses.

The Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe | Inspire • Travel • Eat (4)

If you are a tequila person this recipe is amazing with Patron XO Cafe. From here you can make a Mexpresso Martini, which is amazing a well! Straight tequila doesn’t translate as well but if you get that Patron XO Cafe then you are cooking with dynamite.

I legitimately like the tequila version more and it has a unique flair! That version of Patron is a little harder to find but most alcohol only stores like Total Wine and everywhere will have it. It is tough to find at grocery stores and gas stations etc though. However, it isn’t very expensive and is a great option for this recipe.

Is there a shot version of an espresso martini?

I am glad you asked. You can also make this a shot! Essentially the Shaft shot is an espresso martini, except you just put it in a rocks glass, use a straw and suck it down as fast as you can. For the full recipe of the shaft here is the link to the 6 best shots ever.

The Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe | Inspire • Travel • Eat (5)

Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe

Quick and easy espresso martini! How to make the best espresso martini, easily!

5 from 1 vote

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Course: APERTIF, Brunch, Drinks

Cuisine: American

Keyword: adult drinks, hosting, martini

Prep Time: 1 minute min

Cook Time: 1 minute min

Total Time: 3 minutes mins

Servings: 1


  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka or espresso tequila Espresso Tequila (Patron XO Cafe or Avion Espresso Liqueur). Espresso or Vanilla Vodka (Van Gogh and Smirnoff are options). You could also use regular vodka or tequila
  • 1 shot Kahlua Leave out if want a stronger martini. Sub Irish cream liquor if no Kahlua.
  • 2 shots Chilled espresso Espresso cold brew or Starbucks small espresso shots work great as well.
  • 3-4 cubes Ice


  • 1 shot Irish cream liqueur
  • Ground cinnamon sprinkled on top to garnish
  • Cinnamon stick or coffee beans for garnish
  • 2 oz chocolate syrup


  • Put all ingredients into a co*cktail shaker and shake. Can stir as well if no shaker option.

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  • Garnish with coffee beans, ground cinnamon stick or cinnamon.

    The Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe | Inspire • Travel • Eat (7)


Print Recipe

Tried this recipe?Mention @InspireTravelEat or tag #InspireTravelEat!

The Best Simple Espresso Martini Recipe | Inspire • Travel • Eat (2024)


What is the 3 bean rule for espresso martini? ›

While there are many variations on the espresso martini co*cktail, you could say there's one standard garnish: three espresso beans floating on top. Tradition holds that these three beans represent health, wealth and happiness.

Can you make espresso ahead of time for martinis? ›

The best method to prep the caffeine portion of the co*cktail is to make the espresso coffee in advance and allow it to cool naturally. The good news is, because of its slightly acidic nature, espresso coffee can be prepared ahead of time and stored in a refrigerator for several days.

What liquor is best for an espresso martini? ›

Vodka: I add 1 ½ oz. of vodka for the perfect ratio of booze to coffee. Vodka is the signature alcohol for a classic espresso martini—use another, and it just won't be the same. While you don't have to reach for top shelf, I suggest using a brand you enjoy drinking.

What food do you eat with an espresso martini? ›

Savory snacks: If you're in the mood for something a little more savory, consider pairing your espresso martini with salty snacks like olives, nuts, or cured meats.

What is the key to a frothy espresso martini? ›

In a co*cktail shaker with ice, you put in vanilla vodka (regular vodka is okay if you don't have vanilla vodka), coffee liquor (Kahlúa), creme de cacao, and a shot of espresso. Shake it and strain it into a martini glass. If you shook long enough, you will have a nice froth on top to hold 3 coffee beans as a garnish.

Is Kahlua or Baileys better for espresso martini? ›

I recommend Kahlua for a strong coffee tasting espresso martini, or Baileys for a creamier espresso martini. My secret trick is to use both Kahlua and Baileys for a creamy, yet rich coffee flavored espresso martini. Espresso – you'll need one shot of espresso for this recipe! You can use regular or decaf espresso.

What is a dirty espresso martini? ›

Celebrate the holiday season with the coziest and most delicious Dirty Chai Espresso Martini. Homemade chai tea simple syrup mixed with your favorite vodka, Kahlúa and a strong shot of espresso. This is the perfect co*cktail to end the night!

Should I chill espresso for espresso martini? ›

If you add a freshly pulled shot, the espresso's hot temperature will quickly melt the ice and result in a watery, unsatisfying co*cktail. Chilling your espresso in the refrigerator or freezer for a minute before adding it to your shaker can make a big difference.

What type of person drinks espresso martini? ›

Espresso Martini

If this is your co*cktail of choice you are likely an intense individual who gives 100% to everything you do. Espresso Martini drinkers have a 'work hard, play hard attitude and are happy to take the lead in both professional and social situations.

Is Kahlua or Tia Maria better for espresso martini? ›

A natural process coffee will have a slightly boozy and juicy flavour profile which perfectly compliments the sweetness of the coffee liqueur. For our coffee liqueur we've chosen Tia Maria but you could also use Kahlua or another coffee liqueur.

Do you need Kahlua for espresso martini? ›

Kahlúa adds sweetness to your Espresso Martini, balancing out the other ingredients. It also helps create that velvety mouthfeel. What's a non-alcoholic alternative to Kahlúa in an espresso martini? Kahlúa adds the sweetness and smooth texture, so we recommend substituting with one part chocolate or vanilla syrup.

Do bartenders like making espresso martinis? ›

But if you're a mixologist at work, it's a nightmare. In fact, bartenders notably dislike making these co*cktails because of the prep time, complications, and cleanup of the espresso step alone.

What does 4 beans in espresso martini mean? ›

co*cktails, depending on the drink, can be garnished with anything from a cherry to a slice of lemon. One of the espresso martini's trademarks is three coffee beans on the top, and those beans serve a purpose: they represent health, wealth and happiness.

Should coffee be hot or cold for espresso martini? ›

The shot of espresso in your Martini should always be cold. That doesn't mean it can't be freshly brewed, but should always be popped in the fridge to chill before you add it to your drink. If your Espresso is warm enough to melt the ice in your shaker, it's too hot!

How many espresso beans are required to make one espresso shot? ›

The 'Standard' Answer

Industry standard for a single shot of espresso coffee is seven grams of beans per cup. That's about 56 roasted coffee beans in shot of coffee (green beans weigh much more than roasted coffee beans).

What is the 3 layer of espresso? ›

3 parts of an espresso shot. Crema, Body, Heart. “strength” that we taste in coffee in the mouth, especially by pressing the tongue against the palate.

Why do you put 3 olives in a martini? ›

An unspoken superstition deems an even number of olives bad luck. Like avoiding a black cat in an alleyway, most seasoned bartenders will only serve Martinis with one or three olives (never two or four). The origins of this superstition remain a mystery, but are adamantly followed.

How many espresso beans are required to make one espresso? ›

About how many espresso beans are required to make one espresso? Answer: B. It takes about 42 espresso coffee beans to produce a single shot of espresso.

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