Since its introduction in the 1980s, Espresso Martini cocktail has been infusing evenings with added excitement allowing the fun to linger on well into the night. It was created with the intent of adding an invigorating jolt of energy after dinner. The Espresso Martini recipe is made with vodka, coffee liqueur and strong espresso. Although there is a plethora of recipe variations available for you to try, the original Espresso Martini remains a beloved classic.
If you don't own an espresso machine, using cold brew concentrate is a handy alternative. The strongly flavored coffee is a great substitute for fresh espresso. And since it is cold, it will not melt the ice as fast.
Adding hot espresso to ice will dilute the cocktail. If you are adding hot espresso, we suggest adding it as the last ingredient and shaking and straining the cocktail as quickly as you can. This is to minimize the dilution.
The espresso in this cocktail is combined with vodka and coffee liqueur, usually Kahlúa, which adds an additional rich coffee flavor. Once shaken, all the ingredients blend into a pleasantly balanced, caffeinated drink. It is just the right balance of alcohol, coffee, and sweetness.
3 Beans in Espresso Martini Meaning
Garnish with three coffee beans. While the espresso martini cocktail has many variations, one standard garnish remains: three espresso beans floating on top. It’s believed that these three beans represent health, wealth, and happiness. This garnish has long been a tradition in the world of cocktails and continues to be a beloved symbol of good fortune.
Espresso Martini Ingredients
Vodka – use your favorite vodka brand.
Espresso or Strong Coffee – Make sure to use a strong espresso or strong coffee preferably brewed in a machine with plenty of froth! Avoid using instant coffee, it will not have the robust flavor of coffee as intended. If you prefer a caffeine free martini, you can use decaffeinated espresso or strong decaf coffee. The strong coffee flavor will still be present without the caffeine.
Kahlua – is a delicious and luxurious coffee and rum liqueur. It has an intense sweet, coffee flavor and we suggest using Kahlua brand opposed to other coffee liqueur brands.
Coffee beans – these are a traditional garnish with meaning.
How to Make Espresso Martini
Brew the espresso or strong coffee and let it cool completely. Eliminate waiting by using cold brew.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add vodka, Kahlua and espresso/coffee.
Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds for a frothy foam.
Strain into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans. Enjoy!
You may also like our Simple Vodka Cranberry Cocktail.
Looking for more vodka cocktail inspirations? View our favorites here.