Classic Espresso Martini Cocktail

Classic espresso martini with a simple Mikado chocolate garnish

Classic espresso martini with a simple Mikado chocolate garnish

Even though it looks like a pint of Guinness in a fancy glass, the espresso martini is pleasant and easy to drink. It has become a cocktail favourite and the go-to digestif for many of us. Its popularity has spurred creative concoctions and all kinds of riffs on the original—some are amazing, others are “interesting”. Personally, I’m always up for trying new things.

If you live in London, definitely keep an eye out for events by The Espresso Martini Society and try to get along to the annual Espresso Martini Festival sponsored by Mr Black. So much fun.

Every now and again though I have to go back and enjoy a classic espresso martini. It resets my baseline.


  • 60ml vodka

  • 30ml Kahlua

  • 30ml hot, freshly brewed espresso coffee

Strictly speaking the proportions in a classic recipe are 1 to 1 to 1 but that’s too sweet for me so I bump the vodka to a double. I know. Naughty. But if you boost the coffee too much you risk losing the creamy foam after pouring. An alternative is to use Illy coffee liqueur instead of Kahlua. Also, make sure the coffee is hot. It helps with the foaming.


1. In a shaker, pour the vodka, Kahlua and hot espresso. Add ice.

2. Shake vigorously to combine, until the shaker is painfully cold to hold.

3. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a chilled martini glass. 

4. Typically garnish with 3 coffee beans.