Espresso Martini | Cotswold Cocktail School
Skip to main content

Espresso Martini

Cotswold Cocktail School - Espresso Martini Cocktail Recipe

ABV 20% / 2.5 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Vodka

A Brief History of the Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini's origin can be traced back to the 1980s when London bartender Dick Bradsell created it for a patron who requested a drink that would "wake her up and then f*** her up." Drawing inspiration from the classic martini, Bradsell combined vodka, freshly brewed espresso, and coffee liqueur to craft this now-iconic cocktail.

Over the years, the Espresso Martini has gained a dedicated following, not only for its electrifying flavour but also for its ability to bridge the gap between the worlds of cocktails and coffee. Today, it stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of innovative mixology.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Espresso Martini is a sensory delight, combining the depth of coffee with the elegance of a martini:

  • Vodka: The base spirit, typically vodka, provides a neutral canvas for the other ingredients while contributing a subtle sweetness.
  • Fresh Espresso: Freshly brewed espresso is the star of the show, infusing the cocktail with rich coffee notes and a delightful caffeine boost.
  • Coffee Liqueur: Coffee liqueur, often Liqueurious Coffea, adds boldness and enhances the coffee flavour, creating a harmonious balance.
  • Simple Syrup: A touch of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) can be added to adjust the sweetness to your preference.

The result is a cocktail that's velvety, bittersweet, and exquisitely invigorating—a true testament to the artistry of modern mixology.

Food Pairings

To enhance your Espresso Martini experience, consider these delectable food pairings:

  • Chocolate Desserts: Indulge in chocolate truffles, chocolate mousse, or chocolate cake to complement the bittersweet notes of the cocktail.
  • Cheese Platter: A selection of fine cheeses and cured meats pairs wonderfully with the rich and velvety Espresso Martini.
  • Biscotti: Classic Italian biscotti provides a delightful crunch and echoes the coffee flavours of the cocktail.
  • Brunch Fare: Pair an Espresso Martini with brunch dishes like eggs Benedict, quiche, or smoked salmon for an indulgent morning treat.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Hawthorne strainer
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Martini/Coupe glass


  • 50ml vodka
  • 30ml freshly brewed espresso
  • 25ml Coffee liqueur
  • 5ml sugar syrup* (or to taste)
  • Garnish: 3 x coffee beans
  • Ice


  • Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, vigorously shake for 10 seconds and double strain into a chilled martini/coupe glass
  • Garnish with 3 coffee beans (one each for love, happiness and wealth!)

*Sugar syrup - 1 part sugar to one part water. Gently heat in a pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to cool

What's the best Vodka for an Espresso Martini?

Choosing the best vodka for an Espresso Martini is crucial to achieving a well-balanced and flavourful cocktail. Vodka serves as the base spirit in this drink, and it should be neutral enough not to overpower the rich coffee flavours while providing a smooth and clean backdrop for the other ingredients. Here are a few excellent vodka options for your Espresso Martini:

  • Belvedere Vodka: Belvedere is a premium Polish vodka known for its smooth and clean profile. It has a subtle sweetness and a mild creaminess that complements the coffee and coffee liqueur in the Espresso Martini.
  • Grey Goose Vodka: Grey Goose is a well-regarded French vodka recognised for its purity and elegance. It's exceptionally smooth and works well in cocktails where vodka is a primary ingredient.
  • Ketel One Vodka: Ketel One is a Dutch vodka with a smooth and crisp character. It's often favoured by bartenders for its versatility and ability to mix seamlessly in cocktails.
  • Absolut Elyx Vodka: Absolut Elyx is a premium Swedish vodka with a rich and velvety texture. It's crafted in copper stills and has a slightly fruity and nutty note that can add depth to your Espresso Martini.
  • Tito's Handmade Vodka: Tito's is a popular choice for cocktails due to its affordability and smooth, clean taste. It's a versatile option that pairs well with the coffee and coffee liqueur in the Espresso Martini.

When selecting a vodka for your Espresso Martini, consider your personal preferences regarding vodka's smoothness and subtle flavours. Keep in mind that while the vodka is a key component, it should not overpower the rich coffee and coffee liqueur flavours in the cocktail. Experiment with different vodkas to find the one that suits your taste and enhances the overall experience of your Espresso Martini.

Cotswold Cocktail School - Spirit of Education

Continue reading

Cotswold Cocktail School - Manhattan Cocktail Recipe


Dark 'n' Stormy

Dark 'n' Stormy

Cotswold Cocktail School - French 75 Cocktail Recipe

French 75

Your Cart
Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.