A frothy, boozy, perfect mix of sweet and strong: the espresso martini. No, you haven't transported back to 2002. The espresso martini is BACK, and the new, modern version is better than ever.
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How to make an espresso martini
You are going to be shocked by how simple this cocktail is to make! While the original recipe popularized by then-Calvin Klein model Kate Moss in the 90's was mostly just vodka, espresso, and Kahlua, the modern espresso martini recipe is a little more refined. Simply combine a shot of vodka, 1 ounce of freshly brewed espresso, ½ ounce of chicory liquor or coffee liquor, and ½ ounce of brown sugar syrup in a shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously, and serve up in a martini or Nick and Nora glass!
What makes an espresso martini frothy?
The BEST espresso martini is a frothy one! The espresso makes the cocktail frothy, which is why it's so important to use espresso and not coffee in this recipe if you are able to. If you do not have access to espresso, you can use coffee shake the heck out of it to try to get a little froth going, but don't expect it to have that wonderfully rich froth that hangs around while you keep drinking like in the restaurant.
I use espresso from my Nespresso Creatista - a splurge for sure, but probably my favorite thing I've ever purchased for myself.
What can you use instead of Kahlua in an espresso martini?
I actually prefer my espresso martini with no Kahlua! Hoodoo is a chicory liquor and a great alternative to anything you'd usually use Kahlua in -- White Russians, I'm looking at you. Or, you can make your own homemade coffee liquor. If you can find it, Caffe Borghetti Espresso is also wonderful (although admittedly, I struggle to find it here in the South!) Last but not least, Tia Maria is a great alternative to Kahlua as well.
If you love this espresso cocktail, you might also like:
- 1.5 ounces vodka use a good quality vodka like Grey Goose
- .5 ounces Hoodoo chicory liquor. if you cannot find it, feel free to substitute with your favorite coffee liquor
- 1 ounce espresso freshly brewed
- .5 ounces brown sugar simple syrup recipe in Notes
- ice cubes enough to fill shaker
- 3 beans espresso beans garnish, optional but lovely
- Cocktail Shaker
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Place the lid securely on the shaker and shake vigorously to combine.
- Strain the ingredients into a cocktail glass, coupe, or Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with three coffee beans.