The Perfect After-Dinner Drink – The Espresso Martini

A martini is a type of mixed alcoholic cocktail that is typically crafted with gin & vermouth – and then topped with a garnishment of a twist of lemon or simply an olive at the end of a cocktail stirrer. It is often associated with the glamor characterized by Old Hollywood – and its cast of characters like Alfred Hitchcock, Dorothy Parker, and Frank Sinatra, among others.

Over the years, the martini’s ratio of gin to vermouth evolved, and at some point, vodka was substituted for gin, and voila – the vodka martini was born. However, it was James Bond – who famously ordered his martini Shaken, not Stirred in the 1964 movie Goldfinger.

Although many versions of this espresso martini preparation and recipe exist, most attribute this dessert cocktail’s humble beginnings to one of the most influential and creative mixologists/bartenders who hailed from Britain – Dick Bradsell.

The Espresso Martini, which is sometimes known as the vodka espresso, is among the ultimate innovative cocktails for coffee lovers and often the perfect ending to a really terrific dinner. Fortunately, the espresso martini preparation is strong, creamy, and delicious, so make a splash at your next get-together.

The Ingredients for an Espresso Martini

The good news for those who enjoy cocktails and coffee is that your kitchen, bar, or pantry likely has all or most of the required ingredients.

  • Fresh Espresso-1 oz.
    Freshly brewed espresso offers the best result, but remember to leave time to chill the espresso before you begin crafting your cocktail. And espresso powder or a quality cold brew option also works in a pinch.
  • Vodka– 2 oz.
    Be certain to choose a good quality vodka as this is the base flavor of this delicious, potent potable.  
  • Coffee Liqueur– ½ oz.
    There are a variety of coffee liqueurs which are alcoholic liquids infused with the flavor of coffee.
  • Simple Syrup– ½ oz.
    This simple syrup is simply a blend of sugar and water and can easily be made at home. Simple syrup is an easy way to counterbalance any bitterness from the coffee beans.  
  • Coffee Beans
    The perfect garnish.

How to Prepare an Espresso Martini

Step #1 – Make the Espresso

After you brew your espresso, put it in the fridge and allow it to chill thoroughly. For those in a rush (or without a home version of an espresso machine), you can substitute it for a cold brew espresso concentrate or espresso powder. However, as one would expect, the best result for this espresso martini preparation is to craft it with freshly made espresso, as this helps develop the delicious and unique frothiness.  

Step #2 – Combine the Ingredients

  • Place the chilled espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with 1 cup of ice cubes.
  • Shake vigorously so the liquid becomes cold and frothy. The secret to the froth comes from the fresh machine-brewed espresso.

Step #3 – Strain the Shaken Liquid into a Martini Glass

  • After you have shaken the martini, pour it into a martini glass using a strainer. The martini glass is a distinctive-looking, V-shaped vessel with a long stem but a circular base. The functional glass prevents the gin and vermouth from separating while offering the perfect place to highlight the garnish.
  • Garnish with coffee beans, which were used to traditionally garnish Sambuca. These beans represented wealth, health, and happiness.



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Chad is the co-founder of Unfinished Man, a leading men's lifestyle site. He provides straightforward advice on fashion, tech, and relationships based on his own experiences and product tests. Chad's relaxed flair makes him the site's accessible expert for savvy young professionals seeking trustworthy recommendations on living well.

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