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The Perfect Espresso Martini

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The Perfect Espresso Martini

We figured you may use a little pick-me-up in this frigid weather, and since the Espresso Martini is all the rage right now, it would be the perfect cocktail to serve you. Although this cocktail isn’t widely enjoyed by bartenders (and isn’t even really a martini), it’s ideal for coffee connoisseurs. Let’s get our coffee shakers out and get this party started!

Ingredients for an Espresso Martini

In today’s video, we go for a more classic take by mixing vodka with coffee liqueur (only half an ounce), espresso (a full ounce), and simple syrup (just a touch) to tone down the bitterness. To set the record straight, while Absolut is the gold standard of vodka, we prefer Broken Shed. As always, have a drink of your choosing.

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Despite its popularity as an after-dinner beverage, be aware that it includes real coffee, which likely has caffeine and might keep you awake. For that reason, I think it makes an excellent breakfast drink.

Some recipes call for espresso, which you may brew at home with your espresso machine or coffee pod machine, or you can prearrange to purchase at your neighborhood coffee shop.

If you decide to prepare your own, remember to factor in extra time in the kitchen before you want to serve the finished drink so that the coffee has time to cool.

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Experiments with the Classic Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini may be created with a wide range of ingredients; while our two variations use real espresso, we’ve also seen it made using instant coffee, espresso powder, cold brew concentrate, Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur, and even normal coffee (which kind of feels like cheating).

While we prefer ours served chilled, we have seen this cocktail prepared in a variety of other ways, including with hot espresso coffee or vanilla vodka for extra sugar and sweetness.

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Rob Harrah, our resident bartender, has a tasty twist on the classic espresso drink he calls a Espresso Ricomincia (which translates to “Espresso Restart” in Italian). Fresh espresso is the sole source of coffee flavor in this thick and velvety Espresso Martini; extra coffee liqueurs are unnecessary.

Our recipe calls for Black Mama Vodka, but you may use any vodka you choose. If you haven’t tasted it yet, though, we highly recommend it. This contemporary classic has a nutty, creamy taste with the sharp sting of coffee, thanks to the use of several liqueurs.

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Frosty Espresso Martini with Espresso Ricomincia


  • Black Mama Vodka, 1 ounce
  • Amaro Nonino, 1 oz.
  • Black Walnut Liqueur, 1/2 oz. (Nocino)
  • Velvet Cream Liqueur by Disaronno, 1/2 ounce
  • Espresso Coffee, 1 1/2 Ounces
  • There should be three espresso beans on top (or coffee beans)


Integrated ice bucket and cocktail shaker. Blend and chill by shaking vigorously (about 10-15 secs). Pour through a strainer into a coupe glass (or Martini glass if you feel strongly about it– We personally prefer a coupe glass for a variety of reasons). Sprinkle some coffee beans over that lovely froth.

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A Traditional Winter Espresso Martini Recipe

Leave your thoughts on the difference between this version and the traditional Espresso Martini below! I was wondering if you have a go-to recipe of your own. Please share with us the names of your favorite wintertime cocktails and your plans for the coming spring.

Don’t forget that we stock everything you need to mix up your favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage at home, including bar tools! Come to our store to get all the supplies you need to stock your own bar at home. You can still get your holiday shopping done! (Slightly hints.)

Ready to mix up your own tasty coffee drink? Keep warm till next time, and enjoy our more traditional recipe that follows.


  • Count One: Bostonian
  • 1 Jigger from Japan
  • 1 Strainer for a Julep


  • One shot of Vodka
  • Kahla Coffee Liqueur, Half Ounce
  • Espresso, 1 oz (Freshly Brewed)
  • 1 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • Coffee Beans, Three of Each (For Garnish)


  1. Put everything in a cocktail shaker tin with some ice and give it a thorough shake to combine the flavors.
  2. Pour through a strainer into a Nick & Nora or coupe.
  3. Add three coffee beans as a garnish.
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