The Espresso Martini {History, Fun Facts, And How To Make It} 

August 11, 2022
An Espresso Martini

Do you like coffee? Do you like alcohol? Have you ever heard of an espresso martini? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to keep reading. This post is all about the espresso martini – its history, how to make it, and some tips for making it even better. So whether you’re a coffee lover or an alcohol enthusiast, read on for everything you need to know about this delicious drink.

What Is An Espresso Martini?

An espresso martini is a cocktail made with coffee, espresso, vodka, and coffee liqueur. It’s a popular choice for after-dinner drinks or as a pick-me-up during long nights out. In cocktail terms, the Espresso Martini has a short history. The drink is said to have been invented in the early eighties by London bartender Dick Bradsel.

According to Dick, a famous model entered the Soho Brasserie where he was working and requested that he develop a drink that would “wake me up.” Because there was a coffee machine nearby, Dick thought of combining the coffee with vodka. The original formula included vodka, sugar syrup, two varieties of coffee liqueur, and freshly brewed espresso.

The term “martini” was once used to describe a beverage served in a V-shaped cocktail glass, so Dick renamed his drink the Espresso Martini. Later on, Dick worked at the Pharmacy Bar in Notting Hill when he changed the name again to the Pharmaceutical Stimulant in 1998. Around the world, these three names are now associated with this beverage, with slight variations on some of the components.

Espresso Martini Recipe

An espresso martini

Below, we discuss some of the key ingredients you’ll need to make an espresso martini, as well as some possible substitutes:

1. Coffee: Use a strong espresso, ideally prepared in a machine with plenty of froth! Instant coffee is an undesirable type of coffee to use when preparing this drink; it just won’t taste like an authentic Espresso Martini.

2. Vodka: Any good quality vodka will do, but we prefer to use a slightly sweeter variety like Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka.

3. Coffee Liqueur: Kahlúa is the most popular choice for this ingredient, but you could also use Tia Maria or even Baileys Irish Cream if you’re looking for something a little different.

4. Sugar Syrup: This is a sugar-based sweetener that’s sometimes used to balance the strong coffee and vodka. Simple syrup may be purchased in bottles or produced by combining equal quantities of water and sugar in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil, then allowing it to cool fully.

5. Coffee beans: Coffee beans are optional, but tradition (and most bartenders) will tell you to garnish your espresso martini with 3 coffee beans.

6. Ice: Use plenty of ice to keep your cocktail chilled and refreshing!

How To Make An Espresso Martini

Now that we’ve gone over the ingredients, it’s time to get into how to make this delicious cocktail. The great news is that an espresso martini is actually quite easy to make and only requires a few simple steps:

1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

2. Add all of the ingredients except for the coffee beans (if used) and stir until the outside of the shaker is frosted. This step is important because it chills the drink without watering it down.

3. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with 3 coffee beans placed on top of each other (optional).

And that’s it! You’ve now made a classic espresso.

5 Pro Tips For Making This Recipe

Here are a few expert tips to take your cocktail to the next level:

1. Use freshly brewed espresso coffee – this will make all the difference in terms of flavor!

2. Make sure all of your ingredients are well chilled before you start mixing – this will help keep your cocktail nice and cold.

3. Use a good quality vodka – we recommend using a slightly sweeter variety like Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka.

4. Don’t overdo it on the sugar syrup – a little goes a long way in terms of sweetness, so start with less and add more to taste.

5. If you don’t have bottled simple syrup, heat equal amounts of sugar and water to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow it to cool completely before using it after turning off the heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

An espresso martini

How Strong Is An Espresso Martini?

An espresso martini is a strong cocktail, but the exact alcohol content will depend on the proportions of each ingredient used. Generally speaking, an espresso martini contains around 20% alcohol by volume (ABV)

What Makes An Espresso Martini Frothy

The key to a frothy espresso martini is using machine-brewed espresso. When you use a coffee maker, the coffee will have foam on top (known as Crema in Italian), but no such thing will happen if you make it with a French press or instant coffee.

Alternative to a coffee machine –If you don’t have an espresso machine, add one egg white to the cocktail shaker; it doesn’t affect the taste of the drink but provides a nice foam on top.

Alternative to egg whites – If you’re afraid of raw egg whites, you may buy cocktail foam in tiny bottles on the internet. Simply add one or two drops to each drink, and it creates a beautiful foam on top of your drink after shaking.

Can I Make An Espresso Martini Without Coffee?

No, an espresso martini needs coffee to balance the sweetness from the sugar syrup and liqueur. If you don’t like coffee, you could try using a cold brew concentrate or substituting the coffee for chocolate milk.

Can I Make This Cocktail Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make a big batch of espresso martinis and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Simply combine all of the ingredients (except for the coffee beans) in a jug or bottle and stir well. When you’re ready to serve, simply shake the mixture with ice and strain it into glasses.

What Do The Three Beans On The Top Mean?

The three coffee beans placed on top of an espresso martini represent “health, wealth, and happiness.” So if you’re looking for a pick-me-up in any (or all) of those areas, this is the drink for you!

I Don’t Have A Cocktail Shaker – Can I Use Something Else?

If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can use a lidded jar or container. Simply add all of the ingredients (except for the coffee beans) to the jar, put the lid on tight, and shake well. When you’re ready to serve, simply strain the mixture into glasses.

Fun Facts

  • The original name for the espresso martini was simply vodka espresso, but it became known as a Pharmaceutical Stimulant in the late 1990s. It is now widely recognized as an espresso martini.
  • It’s not really a martini, which is made with gin and vermouth, but rather got its name because it was served in a martini glass. The beverage is now frequently served in coups and even tumbler glasses.
  • It’s claimed that Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell could have been the espresso martini’s inspiration.
  • While espresso is the correct spelling and pronunciation, many dictionaries now indicate espresso as a variant. As a result, if you order the latter, you’re technically off the hook.

Espresso Martini Variants To Try

Two espresso martinis on trays

Once you’ve mastered the classic espresso martini, why not try your hand at one of these delicious variations:

Cinnamon Espresso Martini – add a dash of cinnamon syrup to the mixture for a warming twist.

Vanilla Espresso Martini – swap out the coffee liqueur for vanilla vodka and add a splash of vanilla extract (or essence) to the mixture.

Chocolate Espresso Martini – add a dash of chocolate syrup or melted chocolate to the mixture for a decadent treat.

Orange Espresso Martini – swap out the coffee liqueur for orange liqueur and garnish with a twist of orange peel.


An espresso martini is a delicious and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply looking for a new drink to try, this classic cocktail is sure to hit the spot. So what are you waiting for? Grab your cocktail shaker and get mixing!

Want To Try An Espresso Martini But Can’t Make One Yourself? Visit The Chocolate Martini Bar!

The Chocolate Martini Bar is a unique and stylish cocktail bar located in the heart of Georgia. We offer a wide range of martinis, all made with the finest ingredients and served in a chic and relaxed setting.

If you’re looking for something special, our selection of espresso martinis is sure to hit the spot. Made with fresh espresso, premium coffee liqueur, and vanilla vodka, these delicious cocktails are perfect for any occasion.

So why not pay us a visit today? We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Our reservations take priority At The Chocolate Bar. So we strongly suggest you contact us and make a reservation before your arrival. You can do that by “Booking Now “! Visit us today and see why we’re the best martini bar in town! Cheers!


Book your Chocolate Martini Bar reservation on Resy



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