Espresso Martini Recipe

An espresso martini is a delicious and sophisticated cocktail that combines the flavors of coffee, vanilla and vodka. It’s perfect for an after-dinner drink or a pick-me-up during a night out.

This Espresso Martini recipe is believed to have been created in the late 1980s by a British bartender named Dick Bradsell. At the time, Bradsell was working at the Soho Brasserie in London. The story goes that a famous model (whose identity remains unknown) walked into the bar and asked Bradsell to make a drink that would “wake her up and mess her up” at the same time.

The Vodka Espresso Martini Recipe Was Born

Given this unique request, Bradsell decided to combine vodka, freshly brewed espresso, coffee liqueur, and a bit of sugar syrup. This mixture was then shaken with ice and strained into a martini glass. The result was a sophisticated, caffeinated cocktail with a frothy texture, which he initially called the “Vodka Espresso.” The name later evolved into “Espresso Martini” as its popularity grew.

The Espresso Martini came about during a time when both vodka-based cocktails and the “martini” name were gaining traction. Although it is not a true martini in the classic sense (since it doesn’t contain gin or vermouth), the Espresso Martini has earned its place in the world of cocktails. Its unique combination of flavors and energizing effects has made it a favorite among coffee and cocktail enthusiasts alike.

Today, there are many variations of the Espresso Martini that incorporate different spirits, liqueurs, and flavorings. However, the essence of the original recipe—vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur—remains central to the drink’s identity.

See our homemade coffee liqueur recipe as an excellent base for your espresso martini. Try some variations on this cocktail by visiting our Top 6 Espresso Martini Cocktails of 2023.

Also try some variations in our

Espresso Martini

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  • 2.5 oz Felene Homemade Coffee Liqueur (coffee infused vodka)

  • 1 oz espresso (cooled)

  • ice

  • 3 coffee beans for garnish


  • Brew a fresh shot of espresso and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add the coffee-infused Felene vodka, and espresso to the shaker.
  • Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds, or until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty. This helps to combine and chill the ingredients while also creating a nice frothy texture.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass or coupe glass. To achieve a smooth pour without ice shards or coffee grounds, you can use a fine-mesh strainer or a Hawthorne strainer with a small conical strainer.
  • Garnish with three coffee beans, placed in the center of the froth in a triangular arrangement. This is not only visually appealing but also adds a subtle aroma to the cocktail.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy your espresso martini!

Recipe Video


  • For a sweeter martini, add a dash of simple syrup or your preferred sweetener. For a creamy cocktail add a teaspoon of heavy cream.
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