How to Make the Perfect Espresso Martini

First created by British bartender Dick Bradsell, this cold coffee-flavoured cocktail is beloved around the world. If you’ve ever had one, it’s not hard to understand why. The espresso martini combines the best aspects of having a cocktail and an espresso into one delicious drink. What’s not to love?

It’s a guaranteed crowdpleaser, whether you’re having friends over or planning a special date night. That’s why we’ve created a straightforward guide on how to make the perfect espresso martini for bartenders, coffee lovers, and everyone in between. You’ll be impressing your friends or patrons with these luxurious-tasting beverages in no time.

Gather Your Ingredients

Despite what the name may have you believe, you won’t be using any gin or vermouth in your espresso martini. All you need is vodka, a handful of ice cubes, espresso, a few whole coffee beans, and optionally, a coffee liqueur. Kahlua is a popular choice of coffee liqueur for espresso martinis, as some people find the drink a bit intense without it. That being said, those who prefer a strong coffee flavour are encouraged to skip the sweetener.

As for your espresso, you’d ideally prepare it yourself using a machine or buy it from a cafe nearby. If these aren’t options for you, we recommend using a stovetop Moka pot. You should prepare the espresso in advance and allow it to cool before making your martini, as adding hot coffee to ice can alter its bitterness.

Prepare Your Espresso Martini

Preparing an espresso martini may be easier than you think. First, put a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Follow up with 40 ml of vodka, 20 ml Kahlua (optional), and 20 ml espresso. Shake for at least 20 seconds and then strain into a cocktail glass.

We recommend garnishing your espresso martini with a few coffee beans on top for both flavour and aesthetic appeal. We also encourage you to serve immediately while your cocktail is fresh.

Extra Tips and Tricks

The recipe above is how to make an espresso martini. If you’d like to make the PERFECT espresso martini, however, there are a few tips and tricks you need to know. The first is that you should chill your martini glasses in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This will help keep your cocktail colder for longer.

Interested in making your espresso martini sweeter? You can always add a sugar syrup of some kind to your cocktail, though we recommend doing this to taste to get the right balance. You can also pass on the syrup and only use the liqueur to adjust the flavour. If you find Kahlua too sweet, you may prefer the smoother Tia Maria.

Finally, did you know you can easily alter the fragrance of your espresso martini with one simple trick? If you express (lightly squeeze) the oils of an orange peel over your cocktail, it takes on a gorgeous citrusy scent. This addition isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely worth trying if you find that citrus-coffee combo appealing.

There you have it. After reading this how-to guide, you have all the info you need to try preparing your first espresso martini. Enjoy!

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