Death Wish Coffee Espresso Martini

By Megan Dority — / Recipes

Best Espresso Martini Recipe

This espresso martini recipe is perfect anytime you’re looking to treat yourself to something easy, delicious and caffeinated. It’s classy, it’s dressed to kill and the sophistication of it just might create its own magic. Make this iconic espresso martini cocktail recipe—in just three simple steps.

The History of the Espresso Martini

The espresso martini is a combination of coffee liqueur and espresso, making it the perfect perk-me-up cocktail. Originally called the vodka espresso, this iconic drink was concocted by Dick Bradsell in the early 1980s at his bar  Soho Brasserie in London. It’s rumored that fashion icons like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell would request “something to wake me up, then f*ck me up”—and the espresso martini does just that. How’s that for some hot tea?

The Ivy Soho Brasserie in London, England.[Photo Credit: The Ivy Soho Brasserie]

The popular drink didn’t get served in a martini glass until the 1990s when martini glasses were gaining popularity. The name changed from vodka espresso to the more sophisticated espresso martini. The inventor of the espresso martini, Dick Bradsell, also called it a “pharmaceutical stimulant” and served it on the rocks at a bar called Pharmacy in Notting Hill. We all know coffee is our drug of choice.

The martini is having a major moment in today’s world. Last year the demand for martinis increased by 25 percent at bars and restaurants nationwide, according to Technomic and dominated pop culture. The glitz and glamour of dry martinis, dirty martinis and the elegant espresso martinis have dominated our social feeds over the past few years—and we’re not mad about it.

An espresso martini garnished with coffee beans on top.[Photo Credit: Kike Salazar via Unsplash]

What’s in an Espresso Martini?

An espresso martini contains actual coffee, not just coffee liqueur. Ideally you want to use freshly brewed espresso or an espresso roast, if you don’t have an espresso machine. Once brewed, the espresso has to be chilled. All you need is a cocktail shaker, coffee liqueur, espresso and vodka, and you’ll be in a caffeinated bliss before you know it. 

Espresso Martini Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce espresso, chilled
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce cerme de cacao
  • 3 coffee beans, for garnish

Espresso Martini Equipment:

  • Coffee maker or espresso machine
  • Martini glass
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer

How to Make an Espresso Martini:

  1. Brew the espresso or espresso roast coffee and allow it to chill.
  2. Add the chilled espresso, crème de cacao and espresso to the cocktail shaker.
  3. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
  4. Shake the cocktail for 15-30 seconds, then strain into a martini glass.
  5. Garnish with three coffee beans over the top of the drink and enjoy! 

Next time you’re out on the town, late-night Netflix binging or brunching, order the damn espresso martini! You don’t have to be a supermodel to enjoy it’s double-whammy effect.

RELATED: What is Espresso? 

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