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Espresso Martini Kahlua Drink Recipe

Give yourself a jolt and take the edge off with this delicious kahlua drink. A perfect happy hour or after dinner cocktail.

Espresso Martini
Espresso martini

Coffee is a staple. At least it is where we live on the West Coast. Birth land of Starbucks right here.

It makes perfect sense that espresso found its way into the starring role of this kahlua recipe. Coffee, chocolate and vodka. All the comfort foods. 🙂

Espresso Vodka Martini:

Watch me make it!

History of the Espresso Martini:

The Folklore on this vodka Martini is rather fun. Bartender Dick Bradsell says he created this drink in the late 1980s. Here is his story.

One day a girl walked into the Fred’s Club in London where Dick worked. She requested something ‘ To wake me up and then F**ck me up’.

The coffee station was close to the bar and causing lots of problems with it’s endless coffee grounds all over Dick’s work area.

So he had coffee on his mind when she made her request. Vodka was the drink of the day back then…

So he made this espresso Martini for her. And now we can all enjoy it. Thank you Dick!

Espresso Martini
Espresso martini

More Vodka Drinks:

Visit our cocktail Section for our complete line-up of alcoholic drinks

Ingredients in the Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini With Three Coffee Beans On Top.
Three coffee beans on the foamy top are a simple way to say coffee is in here.

The Espresso:

You want great espresso for this drink. It turns out there are several ways to attain that goal.

With an Espresso Machine:

Make a short extraction shot of espresso and chill it before making this martini.

  • A short shot of espresso has less bitter and more acid flavors with less volume.
  • The espresso must be properly chilled or you will have trouble with too much dilution when the ice in you cocktail shaker melts too much. Weak!
Freshly Made Espresso Martini With A Shot Of Espresso
freshly made espresso martini with a shot of espresso

Not too long ago espresso machines planted themselves all over america’s coffee stations at home and work. We Americans do love a good espresso.

I don’t see too many of these rather large coffee appliances on my friends kitchen counters anymore.

Method Without the Machine:

Buy Espresso at a Coffee Stand:

However, the coffee stands do a stellar business around here.

That’s where I found my espresso for this martini. My barista is still waiting for me to come back and share this martini. So sorry….

I actually made this recipe TWO ways. I made one with the coffee stand shot and then I found a can of cold brew in my fridge and made one that way too. They are both really good.

Buy Espresso in Cans:

The good news is coffee is now sold right in grocery stores in cans. So you can make this recipe with either fresh brewed espresso if you have a machine… or buy it.

My favorite cold coffee drink and hot coffee add-in is High Brew brand Cold brewed coffee. They are sold in 8 oz. cans at the grocery.

Ingredients For Espresso Martini
Ingredients for Espresso Martini

Try this Cold Brew Recipe version for a gentler after dinner drink

  • Reduce the vodka to 1 oz.
  • High Brew Mexican Vanilla cold Brew for the espresso.

Cold Brew coffee flavors include Double Espresso, Black and Bold and Salted Caramel and they all work PERFECTLY in this cocktail. My personal favorite flavor for this drink is the Mexican Vanilla bean.

All you have to do is pop a can and pour it in. No messy machine to clean up. You don’t need a trip to the coffee stand either. And store bought espresso is actually really great stuff.

The Vodka:

This cocktail is delicious with kahlua and espresso and simple syrup. So your vodka flavor is not going to show much.

A less expensive smirnoff or Skyy vodka is perfect for this recipe.

Substitution Possibilities:

  • Vodka comes in flavors. You could choose to use a chocolate flavored vodka for a bit more velvety chocolate flavor. Or vanilla to give it a rich warm flavor.
  • You can also use creme de Cacao instead of the simple syrup if you have it on hand.
  • Just be careful not to overpower and unbalance your flavors by going to strong on the chocolate or coffee.


This is one of my very favorite liqueurs. Ever. I love how it blends into a creamy foamy coffee cocktail with the espresso in this martini.

I used to make my own homemade kahlua recipe. It’s really easy to whip up a batch on the stove but store bought kahlua is cheap. So now I just buy it.

You can use Baileys or any brand of coffee liqueur you like. Kahlua is my first choice.

Espresso Martini Recipe:

Espresso Martini Made With Cold Brew
Espresso martini made with cold brew.

Method For this Recipe:

Follow the simple process you see pictured. Find the proportions in the recipe card.

You want foam on your cocktail as you see pictured here. Shake REALLY hard and long so you can get that creamy foam top. After you pour the cocktail the foam will float to the top. Garnish and enjoy.

Your Printable Recipe:

Espresso Martini
Yield: 1 Martini

Espresso Martini

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Espresso (or cold brew) and Kahlua are the base for this delicious, conflicted vodka Martini. Jazz up up on caffeine while the alcohol take the edge off. A sweet combination for a lovely vodka martini.


  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Kahlua
  • 1 oz. Espresso (Or cold brew)
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Measure and pour all ingredients into the shaker.
  3. Put the lid on the shaker tightly and shaker at LEAST 30 seconds to a minute.
  4. Pour into your martini glass and serve.


Garnish Suggestions:

  • Coffee beans arranged on the top of the drink
  • Chocolate syrup can be artfully laid around the glass before you pour in the drink.
  • Shaved chocolate can be arranged on the drink.
  • Crushed chocolate could be rimmed on the glass prior to pouring the martini.
  • A bit of lemon zest sprinkled on top or even a lemon curl.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 198Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 6mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 0gSugar 9gProtein 0g

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The Classic Espresso Martini-Pin Image
Give yourself a jolt and take the edge off with this delicious kahlua drink. A perfect happy hour or after dinner cocktail.

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