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Summary Information - A short introduction into this article

How do you make an Espresso Martini? You make an Espresso Martini by combining Vodka, Kahlua, Sugar Syrup and a strong Espresso.

Click here to jump right to the recipe.

Wanna know how to make an Espresso Martini at home? Don’t worry! I’ve got ya covered!

A good Espresso Martini is fierce, delicious and a perfect pep on a night out drinking. Also, they’re classy AF.

In this article, I’m going to show exactly how to to make an Espresso Martini at home and a whole lot more.

I’m going to:

  1. Go into detail about how to make a good Espresso Martini at home (a perfect, quick & easy Espresso Martini that is).
  2. Guide you on what you need to make the cocktail.
  3. Provide a guide on how you can you cocktails better.
  4. Give you all the information you need to know about how the drink was invented.
  5. Plus a whole more.

Let’s dive right in.

Ever thought: How do I make an Espresso Martini? Here's how to make an Espresso Martini at home.

History of the Espresso Martini Drink

Before we get into how to make the Espresso Martini drink, let’s take a look at the history of the cocktail.

The Espresso Martini was invented in 1983 by Dick Bradsell whilst working at the Soho Brassiere in London.

One evening, he was asked by a young model (who he says is now famous, but doesn’t name her) to make a drink that would, "Wake me up, and then fuck me up."

via GIPHY

So how did he come up with a concoction that would do just that?

Well, since Red Bull hadn’t been invented yet, the most likely ingredient guaranteed to wake a person up was…

…you guessed it…

…coffee.

And the Soho Brassiere had an Espresso Machine right there at the bar.

With a little cocktail chemistry, he came up with an idea for the perfect drink.

via GIPHY

Or in Bradsell’s own words: "The coffee machine at the Soho Brasseries was right next to the station where I served drinks. It was a nightmare, as there were coffee grounds everywhere, so coffee was very much on my mind. And it was all about vodka back then – it was all people were drinking."

Here’s a video f Bradsell talking about creating the Espresso Martini drink. As a bonus, he also walks through how to make a good Espresso Martini at home.

However, the drink wasn’t originally called the Espresso Martini…

…it was actually called Vodka Espresso.

So Why Did the Name of the Drink Change?

The name change for the drink was a sign of the times…

…at least a sign of the times in the cocktail world.

In the late eighties and early nineties, Martini cocktails had made a resurgence and became a common request in bars.

With that information at hand, Bradsell capitalised on the trend and re-christened the drink: Espresso Martini.

Now that I’ve given you a guide to the history of the drink, let’s take a look at how to make an Espresso Martini at home.

How to Make an Espresso Martini

Before I get into how to make an Espresso Martini at home, I need to give you a bit of a guide on the things you’ll need to make the drink.

A Guide to an Espresso Martini: Things You’ll Need

In order to make a good Espresso Martini you’re going to need the following things:

A Good Cocktail Shaker

via GIPHY

The best way to make an Espresso Martini drink is to use a good Cocktail Shaker.

If you’re looking for a Cocktail Shaker but don’t know where to start – don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you!

We’ve written a detailed guide that compares some of the best-selling cocktail shaker sets available on Amazon. Here’s our verdict:

Good Martini Glasses

As you might’ve been able to tell from the name of the drink, the Espresso Martini is traditionally served in a Martini glass. We recommend (advertisement):

Cocktail Glasses
Cocktail Glasses
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Vodka

The next question is: what is a good Vodka to use for the drink.

In previous cocktail recipes, we’ve recommended Smirnoff Vodka because it’s a well-known brand and it’s a reasonable price (advertisement).

Smirnoff Vodka (1l)
Smirnoff Vodka (1l)
Price: £17.00
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However, back when the Espresso Martini drink was invented Russian Vodka was a big no-no. The 1980s was the era of the Cold War, in which a war with Russian was thought to be on the cards.

Of course, it didn’t happen…

…but at the time, people wanted nothing to do with Russian Vodka because of it.

Wyborowa Polish Vodka
Wyborowa Polish Vodka
Price: £16.69
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…However, if you’re looking for a bit more information about which Vodka is the best for cocktails, you might want to check out our complete guide.

In our guide, we compare different vodkas based on:

It’s definitely worth a read. Next up, Coffee Liqueur.

Kahlúa Coffee Liqueur

There are a number of Coffee Liqueur brands on the market at the moment, but the one the creator of the cocktail originally used was Kahlúa.

And that’s a great choice as far as we’re concerned.

Kahlúa is our recommended Coffee Liqueur too (see: How to Make a White Russian: A Quick & Easy Cocktail Recipe).

Good Espresso Coffee

I believe the best Espresso Coffee comes from a machine. The best (and most affordable) coffee machine that I personally use is the Nescafe Dolce Gusto.

via GIPHY

Nescafe Dolce Gusto

I’ve had my Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine for around 5 years and have no issues with it whatsoever. In fact, I loved it that much I bought the same coffee machine for my parents and my in-laws.

…They all love it too.

You can pick this coffee machine up here (advertisement):

Nescafe Dolce Gusto by De'Longhi
Nescafe Dolce Gusto by De'Longhi
Price: £34.99
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Dolce Gusto Pods

The Dolce Gusto coffee machine uses pods to make coffee. For an Espresso Martini, I’d recommend these coffee pods (advertisement):

Espresso Intenso
Espresso Intenso
Price: £22.44
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These coffee pods may seem pricey, BUT it’s better to buy these coffee pods in bulk as it works out much cheaper in the long run. The above deal is £22.44 for 90 pods, which works out roughly at 25p a pod.

But what if you prefer to use ground coffee or grind the coffee yourself? Don’t worry, I got ya covered.

Ground Coffee

I recommend Strong Coffee to Wake the Dead. Like the title says, it’s a strong coffee but it’s really tasty. I love it.

You can buy this coffee here (advertisement):

Strong Coffee to Wake the Dead
Strong Coffee to Wake the Dead
Price: £15.99
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Aeropress

Also, for making single and small coffee using grounds I would heavily recommend the Aeropress coffee maker (advertisement).

Aeropress
Aeropress
Price: £24.10
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A good list, right?

Let’s get back to telling you how to make an Espresso Martini at home.

So, how do you make an Espresso Martini Drink?

Espresso Martini Recipe

Espresso Martini Recipe

Ingredients

  • Vodka 50ml / 1.7oz.
  • Kahlua 20ml / 0.7oz.
  • Sugar Syrup 10ml / 0.3oz.
  • 3 coffee beans

Recipe

With a Cocktail Shaker:
  • Add Ice, Vodka, Kahlua, Sugar Syrup, and Strong Fresh Espresso to your cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well.
  • Strain into a Martini Glass.
  • Garnish with 3 coffee beans.
Without:
  • Add Ice, Vodka, Kahlua, Sugar Syrup, and Strong Fresh Espresso to a Martini Glass.
  • Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

How to Make an Espresso Martini Infographic

How to make an Espresso Martini in 4 Easy Steps Infographic

FAQs

How many calories are in an Espresso Martini?

Here’s the calorie breakdown for this drink:

Calories
Vodka
108
Kahlua
61
Sugar Syrup
90
Espresso
1
Total Calories
260

How do you make a good Espresso Martini drink without a coffee maker?

If you have ground coffee, you could use a Cafetiere or better yet an Aeropress Coffee Maker.

If you really had to, you could use strong Instant Coffee (something like Nescafe Azera Espresso Coffee is the best bet).

But obviously, instant is never as good as proper ground coffee and it’s going to affect the quality of your drink.

Do you use hot Espresso for a good Espresso Martini drink?

Yes. The Espresso coffee needs to be hot in order to bring out the flavours. If you let it cool, the drink isn’t going to be as good.

Is there a good Espresso Martini Kit that I can buy?

There sure is! Making a good Espresso Martini is now even easier with this kit (advertisement):

Espresso Martini Kit
Espresso Martini Kit
Price: £29
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Summary

So that’s our guide on how to make an Espresso Martini at home. But that’s not all we’ve learned in this article.

Let’s gather all of our information up and break it down:

Want More Cocktail Recipes?

Now that you know how to make an Espresso Martini at home, are you looking for more cocktail inspiration?

Then why not check out our Cocktail Recipe page. There you can find over 100 quick & easy cocktail recipes for you to try out.

And the best part is…

…it’s FREE!

Happy mixing!

A Good List for Further Reading

Kris Barton Author
Despite an ill-fated attempt at making a brand new cocktail which featured Blue Curacao and Milk, Kris Barton has been making cocktails for most of his adult life. Since then, he's gotten much better at making cocktails. He's got even better at drinking them.