Espresso Martini Cocktail Recipe

If you're a fan of the latest, greatest, and trendiest cocktails, you may have spent your summer sipping on espresso martinis. This drink, which recipe developer Christina Musgrave tells us was big back in the '90s, had a recent resurgence where she tells us it was once again "all the rage," or at least until the negroni sbagliato came along to displace it from the top of the trendy drinks chart.

Musgrave tells us that her version of the drink includes "no special ingredient[s]," but she does feel that "using real espresso in the drink makes all the difference" should you be so lucky as to have an espresso maker on hand. (If not, you may need to make use of the instant stuff, but it can be our little secret.) You can also, should you be feeling daring, turn this drink into a pumpkin version with the addition of pumpkin puree (pumpkin pie spice is optional), or Musgrave also suggests, "You could make a creamy espresso martini" by stirring in some milk or cream or a plant-based facsimile thereof. 

Assemble the espresso martini ingredients

It won't take you long to gather up the necessary ingredients, as there aren't many of them: vodka (just the plain kind), Kahlua, espresso, and simple syrup. Musgrave notes that she typically buys premade simple syrup, but it's quite easy to DIY as well. You can either boil equal amounts of sugar and water together or you can skip the boiling part and simply allow the sugar to dissolve in room-temperature water. Shake the sugar solution and your syrup will be set to go. See, wasn't that simple?

Measure out the ingredients

Once you've assembled all four of your ingredients, you may now measure them out and combine them. Not sure how large a shot of espresso is? An espresso shot typically measures 1 ounce, so you can measure out 2 tablespoons. For the ½ ounce measurements, a single tablespoon will do, while 2 ounces equates to ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons.

Chill the drink

Should you have a cocktail shaker, you can make use of it now. If you do not, a jar with a lid can be used, or a thermos, or a cup that you can fit another cup inside of. Basically, you want to create a more-or-less water-tight seal so your drink will stay contained while you shake it.

Add some ice cubes to the drink, then cover it and shake it up while you slow-count to 15 — once 15 seconds (or a fair approximation thereof) is up, your drink should be sufficiently chilled.

Strain the drink

Strain the drink into a glass — a martini glass, if you have one, or a coupe or even a rocks glass if you do not. You don't need a dedicated bar strainer for this, as a small-sized regular mesh strainer will work just fine.

Want to fancy up your drink a bit? Musgrave suggests, "If you want to add a garnish, you can top [it] with coffee beans." If you want something you can nibble as an extra treat, you might even like to upgrade to chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Espresso Martini Cocktail Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
If you follow the trends, then you've like sipped on an espresso martini at bar — now, make it at home with this easy recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
espresso martini with crumpled towel
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce Kahlua
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 shot espresso
  1. Add the vodka, Kahlua, simple syrup, and espresso to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake the drink over ice for 15 seconds.
  3. Strain the drink into a martini or coupe glass and serve chilled.
Calories per Serving 219
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Total Sugars 15.8 g
Sodium 14.1 mg
Protein 0.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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