Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Make the best espresso martini with these fantastic recipes

Curious about the trendy espresso martini? Here are some recipes worth trying

Person holding an espresso martini glass placing coffee beans as a garnish.
Kike Salazar N / Unsplash

According to Liquor.com, the espresso martini isn’t a martini at all because it isn’t made with gin or vermouth. When taking a deeper dive, it seems martinis that don’t involve gin and vermouth are nothing more than good mixed drinks in a martini glass. Who knew?

Don’t think for a minute that we’re going to change our minds about martinis. Some people just don’t like the taste or flavor of gin and that’s OK. Look, we know there are purists out there and they may have a thing or two to say about how a martini should be made, but that’s what test kitchens are for. Experiment with whatever you have on hand. Who knows, you may discover the next TikTok recipe sensation and go viral.

The story goes that bartender Dick Bradsell was approached by a customer stating she needed “something to wake me up and f**k me up.” That’s when he turned to the espresso coffee machine and created the chilled cocktail using vodka.

The variations of recipes have certainly made their rounds because 40-some years later, espresso martini cocktails are still all the rage. Even Kahlúa picked up on the trend and it has been used in drinks ever since. Read on for the best espresso martini recipes.

Kona Pipeline porter espresso martini with purple flower garnish next to kona porter beer.
Kona Brewing

Kona Pipeline martini recipe

Kona Pipeline Porter is made from Hawaiian-grown coffee. The brewing company was founded on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1994 by a father and son team. We all know Hawaii has some of the most beautiful shorelines, so it’s no wonder Kona Pipeline Porter was inspired by Oahu’s North Shore.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Kona’s Pipeline Porter
  • 1 ounce rum
  • 1 ounce cold brew coffee
  • 1 ounce macadamia nut syrup (Monin)
  • Edible purple flower for garnish

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the porter, in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake to chill and combine ingredients.
  3. Double strain into a sours glass.
  4. Top with Kona Pipeline Porter.
  5. Garnish and enjoy!
Ketel One espresso martini sitting on a tray next to coffee beans in a dish.
Ketel One

Espresso martini recipe

This espresso martini recipe is courtesy of Ketel One and Charles Joly of The Café Crimson. Ketel One uses carefully selected wheat where the vodka is then distilled in a copper pot and filtered over charcoal. Did you know Ketel One is named after the original copper pot still that it was created in? It was called Distilleerketel #1.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 1/4 ounce raspberry liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces black cherry Kenyan cold brew (below)
  • 1/2 ounce unrefined coconut sugar syrup
  • 15 drops saline solution (1:5 ratio salt to water)

For the salted-vanilla oat milk

  • About 2 cups, 500 ml oat milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the black cherry Kenyan cold brew

  • Chill 60 grams coarse ground coffee steeped in 500 ml black cherry juice in the fridge for 24 hours

Method

  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well.
  2. Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled coupe glass.
  3. Carefully layer salted vanilla oat milk on top.
  4. Express oils from a lemon twist and place it decoratively on the rim.
Two espresso martinis sitting next to a bottle of grey goose.
Grey Goose

Grey Goose espresso martini recipe

Grey Goose started out in France somewhere in the 1990s and uses 100% traceable wheat that can be tracked from the crop all the way to the cork. The frosted bottle only knows vodka because each bottle, down to the cork, is washed with Grey Goose. One of their statements is: “if you need to distill more than once, you need better ingredients.”

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 ounce single-origin espresso
  • 3/4 ounce coffee liqueur
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with three coffee beans.
D'usse media noche espresso martini with garnish on the rim.
D'USSE

Media Noche espresso martini recipe

Not sure if you knew this or not, but D’USSÉ VSOP cognac was founded by Jay-Z, with the help of cellar master, Michel Casavecchia. If you’re unfamiliar with cognac, it is wine-based and made from the cognac region of France using white grapes from specific (and approved) regions and is then distilled, and finally aged for a minimum of two years in French oak casks.

Ingredients

  • 2 parts D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac
  • 1 1/2 parts café Bustelo Espresso (chilled)
  • 3/4 part simple syrup
  • 1/2 part half and half
  • 1/2 part coconut milk

Method

  1. Add D’USSÉ, espresso, simple syrup, half and half, and coconut milk into a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Skrewball peanut butter espresso martini sitting on a silver serving tray.
Skrewball

Peanut butter espresso martini recipe

The Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey was born from a husband and wife team in California. Made solely from peanuts and peanut butter, the drink is a real twist on the classic.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces freshly brewed espresso

Method

  1. Shake ingredients vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
  2. Garnish with three coffee beans.
Amaro Averna Sicilian espresso martini on a serving tray next to toasted almonds.
Dante NYC

Averna Sicilian espresso martini

Amaro Averna has been around a few (hundred) years, starting somewhere in the 1860s by the Benedictine Monks. They surely took a vow of silence when asked about the recipe because it’s still a secret. Luckily for us, it was eventually passed down, and the recipe remains virtually unchanged from the day it was created. It’s infused with herbs and has notes of orange, licorice, rosemary, and sage (plus a few more).

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Amaro Averna
  • 1/2 ounce Espolón Blanco
  • 1/4 ounce dark crème de cacao
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat
  • 1 1/2 ounces cold espresso
  • 3 dashes chocolate bitters

Method

  1. Shake very hard and strain.
  2. Place in a large coupe.
  3. Garnish with coffee beans and a side dish of unsalted toasted almonds.
SelvaRey espresso martini.
SelvaRey

SelvaRey espresso martini

This recipe banks on the richness of chocolate rum, which does quite well with the bitter and nutty kick of espresso and the mint. The drink is proof that the espresso martini is more of a fluid concept than a fixed drink with a single rigid recipe. Plus, we just plain like rum (like, a lot).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces SelvaRey Chocolate Rum
  • 3/4 ounces coffee liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Creme de Menthe
  • 1 ounce espresso

Method

  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker tin with ice.
  2. Shake and stain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with three coffee beans.

Can’t decide whether you like coffee or booze more? You don’t need to. Check out the best coffee beans on the market and the best coffee cocktails to whip up at home.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Morales
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joe Morales is a trained chef with over five years of experience working in fine dining and Michelin recommended restaurants…
How to make the controversial Singapore Sling cocktail
While its exact origins might be up for debate, the Singapre Sling has endured
Singapore Sling

Many classic cocktails have an uncertain history because of a lack of record keeping or a long game of telephone where one name or ingredient was inaccurately transformed into another over time. The Singapore Sling, however, might be the most convoluted of all because of the myriad of ingredients it contains, but there are a few things that have been uncovered thus far. For starters, the cocktail isn't even a sling.

According to renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich — who has done the work of the cocktail gods by sifting through various texts and archives to unravel when and where the cocktail originated and what was originally in it — there are a few ingredients that are a part of the recipe for certain. Gin, a cherry brandy (kirschwasser style), Bénédictine, lime juice, and a few dashes of bitters seem to be the constants based on a mention of this particular formula in the Singapore Weekly Sun in 1915.

Read more
This is our new favorite cold brew concentrate for nightcaps and coffee cocktails
Try this cold brew concentrate in everything from desserts to cocktails
People enjoying coffee cocktails.

Some people can have a cup of coffee at 9 p.m. and go right to sleep. The rest of us need to stop drinking caffeine by noon to even try to get to bed at a decent time. But if an end-of-the-day nightcap has you craving something with a coffee flavor, how can you make sure you won't be up all night? The crew at The Manual sampled Explorer's Cold Brew Concentrate — sans caffeine — and wants you to try it shaken, not stirred, in your next espresso martini.
The cold, concentrated truth

Before you make your first creation, know Explorer Cold Brew cares about offsetting emissions, the environmental impact of the whole process, and sourcing organic, fair-trade beans. The company also gives back, with every gourmet purchase leading to a donation to Charity:Water, which brings clean drinking water to areas without it. Every sip of your coffee-themed drink using Explorer Cold Brew is important — remember that.
Pick your caffeine level
Yes, there is a 99.9% caffeine-free option for those late-night drinks to help you unwind. But if you wanted your martini to give you an extra pick-me-up before your night out, choose one of the caffeinated options.
Find your flavor
For the cost of one cup of coffee from Starbucks, you can add a flavor to your cold brew. You could never go wrong with vanilla, but the choice of sea salt caramel is there if you feel adventurous.
Make it an elite elixir
A coffee cocktail will ease you into bed if you add an elixir. The Dreamer is perfect for sleepy time, and The Optimist is there to help you unwind.
A little goes a long way
Remember, this is cold brew concentrate. Don't give the $45 price any side eye. One 32oz bottle will make 20 cups of coffee, making the price per cup around $2.25. Do you know the last time you had cold brew that cheap? Don't lie.
Decaf doesn't have to mean disappointing

Read more
How to make a perfect milkshake at home every time
Summer is almost here, so it's time hone your milkshake skills
Chocolate milkshake and whipped cream on a table

As the summer months are just around the corner, we're always looking for ways to cool off. It may be hard to believe, but sometimes, we aren't in the mood for a cold beer or cocktail. A smoothie could be a great way to cool off, but sometimes, we want something a little more decadent.

Cue the milkshake. This sweet treat has the deliciousness of ice cream, but you don't have to worry about it running off the cone and down your arm on a hot day. Also, the flavor combinations are limitless. You can go with a classic vanilla or strawberry milkshake, or you can blend in your favorite cookies, candies, and fruits. Also, since we're big boys, who's to stop us from adding a little peppermint schnapps to the blend to make a delicious boozy milkshake?

Read more