The Espresso Martini Substitution You Should Try For A More Chocolatey Cocktail

The espresso martini is popular for a reason — especially amongst coffee lovers. Made with freshly brewed espresso, vodka, and coffee liqueur (usually Kahlua), the drink combines coffee's natural bitterness, the sweetness of Kahlua, and the strength of vodka to create a balanced and unique drink. However, as delicious as the drink is already, it doesn't hurt to reach for some unexpected ingredients to elevate the espresso martini. For example, as much as the Kahlua is an integral part — it brings in some extra coffee flavor, as well as some key sweetness — it doesn't hurt to swap it out for something a little more chocolatey: Bailey's.

For anyone unfamiliar, Bailey's Irish Cream is a whiskey-infused liqueur with flavors of chocolate and vanilla. It's sweet, creamy, and delicious and by using Bailey's instead of Kahlua, the espresso martini is transformed into more of a dessert-like drink, perfect for indulging in after dinner.

The process for making the Bailey's version is the same as the traditional version of the drink — you can use Tasting Table's recipe for an espresso martini as the starting point, simply swapping out the Kahlua for Bailey's. Add all of the ingredients — 2 ounces of vodka, ½ ounce of Bailey's, ½ ounce of simple syrup, and one shot of espresso — into a shaker with ice. After shaking thoroughly, strain into a cocktail glass and serve. If you would like to garnish the drink, the typical garnish for an espresso martini is coffee beans.

How to make the Bailey's espresso martini even more chocolatey

Bailey's already has notes of chocolate in it, but if you want an even more prominent chocolate flavor for your Bailey's espresso martini, then you can opt specifically for Bailey's Chocolate Liqueur. Or, instead of buying a bottle of Bailey's, you can actually make your own homemade Irish cream — if you do this, you can control the exact amount of chocolate syrup that goes into the recipe. Our recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup, but you can always add an extra tablespoon to really up the ante on the chocolate factor.

You can also turn to the garnish to make the drink more chocolatey. For example, instead of the coffee beans, you could sprinkle cocoa powder over the top. Or, in place of cocoa powder, you can drizzle chocolate sauce over the top of the drink — you can either use a store-bought sauce or make your own, perhaps using our recipe for hot fudge sauce. Finally, another option is to use actual chocolate as the garnish — either a square from a chocolate bar or even a chocolate truffle will work here — which will really turn this dessert-like drink into a full-blown dessert.