This creamy espresso martini is a robust, sophisticated cocktail made with simple ingredients. If it weren't for the cocktail glass, looking at it, you might think it's a cold brew or strong coffee drink.
It feels like this elegant cocktail has been having its moment of late — and I can see why! It's the perfect pick-me-up drink at the start of the night, and the perfect after-dinner drink to enjoy with dessert like these gluten-free biscotti, paleo chocolate cake, or hazelnut shortbread cookies with Nutella ganache.
The taste of this coffee cocktail is smooth and velvety, blending rich coffee flavor with the bold kick of vodka that doesn't overpower. The coffee base is bold and slightly bitter but is well-balanced by the creamy texture of the coffee liqueur and the sweetness of the simple syrup. The velvety froth on top is a nice contrast to the silky cocktail.
Served in a chilled martini glass and garnished with espresso beans and cocoa powder, the result is a fancy coffee cocktail that appeals to both coffee lovers and cocktail enthusiasts.
It's just like the classic espresso martini, but with the addition of heavy cream to make it light and creamy.
If you're looking for a non-alcoholic drink with fresh espresso, we have the perfect drink. Our iced cinnamon dolce latte incorporates the rich flavor of fresh espresso (or cold brew coffee) with a cinnamon dolce syrup made with real maple syrup and topped with creamy foam and whipped cream.
How to Make This Creamy Espresso Martini Recipe
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This traditional espresso martini is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Make simple syrup. Heat equal parts water and granulated sugar over medium heat, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves then allow it to cool.
Brew and cool espresso. Brew a shot of espresso and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Espresso alternative: see the recipe card for instant coffee or cold brew options.
Combine ingredients. Fill a cocktail shaker or mason jar with ice cubes. Add vodka, coffee liqueur, cooled espresso, simple syrup, and heavy cream to the shaker.
Shake and serve. Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. This will chill and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Strain the drink into a chilled glass and top with coffee beans and sifted cocoa powder.
Espresso Martini Variation
- This recipe calls for Kahlua coffee liqueur, but you can substitute with Bailey's Irish cream liqueur to still make a delicious espresso martini.
- Not a fan of vodka? Try a gin espresso martini instead.
- Use a flavored vodka like marshmallow or vanilla vodka.
- Make it a virgin cocktail by using heavy cream in place of the Kahlua and omitting the vodka.
- Want less caffeine? Make it with decaf espresso.
- Don't have an espresso maker? Try cold brew coffee, cold brew concentrate, or instant espresso powder instead.
- If you really want to take this drink to the next level, you could garnish the rim of your martini glass with chocolate syrup and crushed chocolate shavings.
Expert Recipe Tips
- For best results, make sure you allow time for the espresso to cool completely before you pour it over the ice.
- Be sure to use freshly brewed espresso and to shake the cocktail for a full 15 seconds to get the frothiest foam on top.
If you make this frothy espresso martini recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Delicious Cocktail Recipes
- This skinny spicy margarita is perfect for taco night.
- Try this spiced winter sangria for special occasions.
- This maple bourbon smash takes coziness to the next level.
- This cranberry Moscow mule is the perfect holiday cocktail.
- Love a drink with a creamy liqueur? Try this pumpkin spice white Russian.
Creamy Espresso Martini Recipe
Simple Syrup (4 Servings)
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar or honey
Creamy Espresso Martini
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) vodka (I used Titos)
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) Kahlua
- 1 ounce (1 shot; 2 Tablespoons) espresso (Note 1)
- 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) cold heavy cream
- .5 ounce (1 Tablespoon) simple syrup more or less to taste
- Ice cubes
- Coffee beans for garnish
- In a small saucepan, combine equal parts water and granulated sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. Let it cool, and then transfer to a clean container. You can store any extra simple syrup in the refrigerator for future use.
- Brew a shot of espresso and allow it to cool to room temperature. Alternately, use cold brew coffee, instant espresso, or cold brew concentrate.
- Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add vodka, coffee liqueur, cooled espresso, simple syrup, and heavy cream to the shaker. Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. This will chill and mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and serve with coffee beans. Sift cocoa powder on top for an added garnish if desired.