Espresso Martini is what you make for after dinner drinks, or when you need a pick-me-up but don’t want to fall behind the pack on a night out with your mates! Dangerously drinkable with a good slog of liquor, this coffee cocktail is made with espresso, vodka and Kahlua.
As a shameless coffee addict, this is hands down one of my favourite cocktails. I order it when I need a pick-me-up at social gatherings. I order it at nice restaurants to have alongside dessert – or in lieu of dessert.
I’d happily order it all night long except that I try (operative word here being try!) to be sensible about my caffein intake so I usually limit myself to two at most!
What you need
Here’s what you need for an espresso martini – just espresso coffee, vodka and Kahlua!
What is Kahlua?
Kahlua is a coffee flavoured liquor from Mexico. It’s sweet and has a thin syrup consistency.
The best substitute for Kahlua is an alternative brand of coffee liquor. I’ve seen some at my local liquor store, and I’d be surprised if Aldi didn’t have a knock-off bargain version!
People quite often get confused of the difference between Kahlua and Baileys. The difference is that Baileys Irish Cream is made with Irish Whiskey and cream, and is a pale brown cream colour. On the other hand, Kahlua is a dark brown colour, the colour of coffee.
But more importantly, Kahlua has a coffee flavour which is necessary for a great Espresso Martini, whereas Baileys tastes like sweet rum flavoured cream. Both are delicious straight, over ice!
How much alcohol is in an Espresso Martini?
It’s got a fairly high alcohol content – 60 ml / 2 oz combined total of vodka and Kahlua which equals 2 standard drinks.
Even though it’s got a decent slog of alcohol in it, it’s highly drinkable because the coffee flavour disguises the alcohol – so be warned!!
How to make it
And here’s how to make it an espresso martini. Just shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker with ice, and voila!
KEY TIP! Cool coffee prior to use otherwise it will melt the ice and dilute the flavour.
How do you make an espresso martini frothy?
To get the lovely signature frothy layer on the surface of your Espresso Martini, you need to use real espresso coffee from a proper coffee machine that gives you a nice crema (ie the velvety layer of foam on the espresso). Using instant coffee granules, a French Press or similar won’t give you the same result, no matter how vigorously you shake the cocktail shaker.
HOT TIP! If you don’t have a proper coffee machine, just add egg white. It won’t alter the taste or texture of the cocktail but once you shake it up, you’ll end up with an awesome froth on the surface. You need the foam for the coffee beans to float on the surface.
When and what to serve with Espresso Martini
Make this an after dinner cocktail by serving it alongside bowls of caramel popcorn (or Christmas Popcorn Candy if it’s that time of year!) or platters of Chocolate Covered Strawberries that people can graze on
If you’re a coffee lover, go all out with Tiramisu, everybody’s favourite coffee flavoured Italian dessert. Or try it with a classic Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting – because chocolate and coffee? 100% perfect!
Enjoy! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
- 40ml / 1 1/3oz Vodka
- 20ml (2/3 oz) Kahlua
- 20ml (2/3 oz) espresso coffee , cooled
- 3 coffee beans , garnish
- Place the vodka, kahlua and espresso in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously 10 times, then pour briskly into a cocktail glass. (Scrape out foam inside if necessary)
- Garnish wtih 3 coffee beans and serve immediately.
- Cool the coffee so it doesn't melt the ice = won't dilute drink flavour
- Espresso coffee from a proper coffee machine = nice crema (foam) on coffee = nice foam layer on surface of Espresso Martini
- Can't get foam on Espresso Martini with coffee granules, French Press coffee marker or similar. Need a proper machine!
- No coffee machine? Cheat! Add 1/2 egg white and shake, it will create a gorgeous foam layer but you will not be able to taste it at all!
- Need foam for the coffee beans to float!
Life of Dozer
That time he couldn’t figure out how to get out the dog door with this new toy snake…. 🙄