Recipe: Espresso Martini

January 25, 2023

by Maggie Frank

Last year espresso martinis were the “it” drink. Slowly but surely my friends and I started to replace our usual cappuccino end-of-dinner drinks with espresso martinis. And I think that these drinks aren’t going anywhere.

In fact, I would predict that we will only see a growth in coffee-based cocktails. So why not get ahead of the curve with this easy-at-home and customizable recipe? With just espresso, vodka, simple syrup, and coffee liquor you’ll have a perfect cocktail.

The Ingredients

The Espresso

After dinner, drinks should be rich and full of flavor. And while chocolate does not have to be an ingredient in your espresso martini, it is a very common note. So how do we get this? By using ingredients that have complex flavors. For this drink, I would recommend brewing a strong shot of Catuai Natural. It has notes of dark cocoa and sweet plums that will compliment the ultimate flavor of the cocktail.

The Spirits

The main alcohol in this recipe is vodka, so I would recommend you use your favorite. If you can, try to shoot for a higher-shelf product for a smoother finish. Plus, you’re saving money making it at home, so why pick up a bottle of belvedere or grey goose?

Next, you're going to need some coffee liquor. There are a few options so this is where you'll be able to customize your drink. Kaluha is a popular and widely available product. It is a rum-based alcohol and is lightly sweetened. It works really well in this recipe. But, if you think you might like a creamier drink.

Or perhaps you’re a fan of lattes, maybe you would like to use Bailey's Irish Cream instead. This coffee liqueur is whiskey-based and flavored with cream and cocoa. This would make a really special drink!

The Sweetener

Simple syrup can be purchased at any grocery store, but it is also really simple to make. The recipe is to follow and it lasts for weeks. Another sweetener option is to use honey. I would recommend bamboo raw honey for this drink.

The Tools

Espresso Tools

If you're lucky enough to have one, you will need an espresso machine to pull a strong, rich shot of coffee.

If not, Lardera's got you covered!

To grind the coffee to a find powder you can use our Chestnut Grinder, or the Wilfa Uniform Grinder.

Once you have a fine espresso powder, a French Press will make a fine cup!

Martini shaker

A metal martini shaker is so important to make this drink properly. Shaking the drink will chill and homologize the ingredients. An element of shaken drinks that I love is the tiny ice shaving that breaks off into the drink and creates a little pleasant texture for the final product. It is hard to describe but once you’ve had a properly shaken drink, it's so hard to go back.


This is the best way to create consistently accurate drinks time after time. This tool may come in different measurement sizes so be sure to check yours before starting the recipe. Alternatively, you can use a small liquid measuring cup.

The Recipe

Serving size: one 3oz Martini

● 1 oz espresso
● 1 oz vodka
● 1 oz coffee liqueur
● .25 oz simple syrup (optional, below)
● Ice, to shake
● Whole coffee beans, to garnish


1. Either fill your final drinking glass with ice to chill it, or place it in the freezer for a minute.

2. Pull a 1 oz shot of espresso using your machine or favorite method.

3. In a shaker full of ice, pour in the espresso, then use a jigger portion in the vodka, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup.

4. Close the lid of the shaker and shake vigorously enough for the liquid to run all the way to the top and bottom of the shaker. You’re done shaking when the entire outside of the shaker is very chilled.

5. Remove the ice from your glass and pour in the drink. Top with three whole espresso beans for garnish and enjoy!

Optional: Simple Syrup
● 1 cup sugar
● 1 cup water

Instructions for Simple Syrup
1. In a pot over medium heat, stir together sugar and water.

2. Once the sugar is fully dissolved remove it from heat and cool. If you like a thicker and sweeter syrup, let the water cook out a bit longer. It thickens more as it cools so don't let it go too long.

3. Store in an air-tight jar.