Try this recipe for espresso martini, then check out our passion fruit martini, French martini, vesper martini and more easy martini recipes. Also try our recipes for homemade coffee syrup and other coffee cocktails such as our revolver cocktail, or, if you are entertaining, our espresso martini cheesecake makes for an impressive dinner party dessert.

Our drinks expert, Hannah Guinness, shares her at-home bar tips to help you take your espresso martini to the next level.

What is an espresso martini?

This coffee cocktail was created in 1983 by bartender Dick Bradsell at the Soho Brasserie (supposedly at the request of a tired model looking for a pick-me-up).


Coffee is the hero ingredient of this cocktail and using hot, freshly made espresso in this recipe is key – it’s essential for that all-important creamy layer at the top of the drink. Make sure you also invest in good-quality ingredients for the rest of the cocktail – we’ve tried and tested the best coffee liqueurs – check out the results. Make the espresso using our tried-and-tested picks of the best coffee machines, including the best coffee pod machines using eco-friendly coffee pods.


An espresso martini is served in a martini glass – chill this in the freezer beforehand for the best results.

Bar hacks and garnishes

To add another dimension to your drink, try making your own homemade vanilla vodka. Simply add two split vanilla pods to a bottle of vodka and leave in a cool, dark place to infuse for a week or so.

Take your skills to the next level with this handy cocktail kit from the olive shop. Completed with easy-to-use cobbler shaker, double jigger, fine mesh strainer and bar spoon, it has everything you need to make next-level drinks at home. Buy here.

Make it non-alcoholic

Swap the coffee liqueur and vodka for non-alcoholic versions – we like using Lyre’s Coffee Originale and White Cane Spirit. A vanilla-infused sugar syrup would round off the drink nicely.

Espresso martini recipe


  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50ml vodka
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 2 tbsp, hot espresso
  • 3 coffee beans to garnish


  • STEP 1

    Put the sugar and 100ml water in a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Cool. This will make more than you need but will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

  • STEP 2

    Put a handful of ice into a cocktail shaker followed by the vodka, coffee liqueur, hot espresso and 25ml of the sugar syrup. Shake vigorously for at least 15-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass and garnish with the coffee beans before serving.


Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSenior sub editor and drinks writer

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