Espresso Martini Recipe // Easy Cocktail

This Espresso Martini is a delicious pre- or post-dinner pick me up cocktail for coffee lovers. An easy cocktail recipe, made with just 4-ingredients and shaken until deliciously frothy with a beautiful foam top and a little creaminess. 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been experimenting with more and more cocktail recipes at home lately. You may have caught some of them on my Instagram stories. From my favorite Aviation Cocktail, to the deliciously sweet Bee’s Knees, to fun, bubbly cocktails like the French 75 or Aperol Spritz, when the clock hits 5pm, I’m whipping out that cocktail shaker. 

Fun Fact: I used to be a bartender. 

But at the dive bar I worked at, it was more about pouring beers than mixing up fancy cocktails. I had my crew of regulars – a group of about 5 or so men in their 60’s who would stand at the end of the bar after a day of work. I was taught early on that these guys expected their beers without me even asking what they wanted. When they walked in – I would pour and deliver. Each had their preferred brand (Coors Light, Bud, Miller) and each wanted a different amount of “head” (or foam) on their beer. 

  • Bobby liked his Bud Light with about a ½” head on it. 
  • Guy liked his Coors Light with nothing more than a ¼” head – He wanted his money’s worth! 
  • Etc. 

How times have changed. 

Now I’m at home, making fancy cocktails in my kitchen. But the best part is, I’ve been able to explore so many classic drink recipes. And I’ve definitely discovered some new favorites.

Today I’m sharing with you this amazing classic Espresso Martini recipe and giving you tips on how to get the perfect “head” on your cocktail – aka that light layer of foam on top of your glass that contrasts beautifully with the dark coffee cocktail and those three espresso beans sprinkled on top. 

Three glasses of espresso martini on counter next to small bowl of coffee beans.

Here’s another fun fact for you: 

There’s a reason that Espresso Martinis are served with three coffee beans on top. The beans are meant to represent: health, wealth and happiness. So cheers friends – to all those things! And hopefully getting out of the house one of these days soon and sharing some of these Espresso Martinis with friends, in person. 

Espresso Martini ingredients:

Ingredients for espresso martini laid out on tray.

How do you make an espresso martini? 

  1. Add vodka, simple syrup, coffee liqueur and a shot of espresso to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. 
  2. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds. 
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass, spooning extra foam from the cocktail shaker on top. 
  4. Garnish with 3 coffee beans. 

How do you make an espresso martini frothy

  • To ensure you get frothy top on your espresso martini, be sure to use fresh espresso. Also use plenty of ice in your cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds. 
  • After pouring your cocktail, spoon any foam that remains in the shaker on top of your martini glasses. 
Single espresso martini prepared with good froth on top.

How to make an Espresso Martini without espresso: 

  • If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can substitute strong coffee in this recipe. Brew it at 2x its normal strength in your coffee machine. This works with cold brew or fresh brewed coffee. 

What can you use instead of kahlua?

  • If you don’t have Kahlua on hand, you can also use any coffee liquor, like Tia Maria or Sheridan’s coffee liqueur. You can also substitute it with crème de cacao, a chocolate flavored liqueur.

Feel free to play around with this original Espresso Martini recipe to suit your tastes. Want a creamier martini? Use Bailey’s in place of the coffee liqueur. Don’t like your cocktail so sweet? Reduce the amount of simple syrup, or leave it out entirely. Want to add extra flavor? Try swapping in vanilla vodka or hazelnut flavored vodka. Enjoy! 

What to serve with espresso martinis:

Sweet options:

Savory options:

If you loved this homemade Espresso Martini recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Three glasses of espresso martini on counter next to small bowl of coffee beans.

More popular cocktails: 

More → 17+ BEST Kahlua Drinks.

Overhead close up of prepared espresso martini topped with three coffee beans.

Espresso Martini Recipe

This Espresso Martini is a delicious pre- or post-dinner pick me up cocktail. An easy cocktail recipe, made with just 4-ingredients and shaken until deliciously frothy. 
4.55 from 11 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce freshly brewed espresso
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur (Kahlua, Tia Maria, or similar)
  • 3 coffee beans (to garnish)


  • Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  • Strain into a martini glass, spooning extra foam from the cocktail shaker on top.
  • Garnish with coffee beans.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Cocktail Shaker


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Sugar: 17g | Iron: 1mg

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10 thoughts on “Espresso Martini Recipe // Easy Cocktail”

  1. this looks and sounds incredible – I’ll take mine with a 1/4″ head, please.

    I also did not know that about the three beans – interesting! and cheers!

  2. Well, this sounds like the perfect blend of some of my favorite things and it’s simple to boot. Definitely plan on trying this one out, maybe even in the morning since #quarantinelife

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Perfect a Saturday afternoon drink! I added a touch of cream and only half of the simple syrup! Thanks for providing the variations up front! I can’t wait to try it with Bailey’s!

  4. Hi! My friends and I have been wanting to try espresso martinis and no bars near us have had them! So hosting a girls happy hour & making these. Any tips on what snacks to serve with them?


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