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The Best Espresso Martini Recipe | Man of Many

An espresso martini, as the name suggests, is a cocktail that uses espresso coffee as one of its main ingredients. Although not a true martini, due to the lack of gin or vermouth, the drink takes its martini title from the glass it is served in. The espresso martini uses vodka as a spirit, blending with the bitter, sharp espresso coffee for some truly unique and impactful flavours.

What is an Espresso Martini?

The history of the espresso martini goes back to merry ol’ England in 1983, with bartender Dick Bradsell. While serving at the Soho Brasserie, a young supermodel approached the bartender and asked for a cocktail with coffee. Thinking quick on his feet, Bradsell mixed vodka, sugar, coffee liqueur and a shot of espresso from the coffee machine across from his station. And thus, the espresso martini was born, with the shot of fresh espresso-making the drink a hit on the club scene. Bradsell was championed for his success and went on to make the Bramble, Russian Spring Punch and Treacle. Talk about a mix master.

Where Did the Espresso Martini Come From?

Getting your hands on the perfect espresso martini ingredients is one sure-fire way to take you mixology to the next level. Thankfully, the espresso martini recipe hasn’t changed much since it’s inception. Straight-forward and simple to make, the cocktail is a great choice for casual creators and amateur bartenders. For this variation, we’ve gone straight to the source, collecting our espresso martini ingredients following the guidelines set out by the International Bartenders Association (IBA). Here is what you need to make the perfect espresso martini.

Espresso Martini Ingredients

While the ingredients list is short and sweet, getting the flavour combinations and method down requires some careful thought. As we’ve seen with other recipes such as the gin & tonic or the Dark & Stormy, few ingredients means more margin for error. Make one slight mistake and your guests are sure to pay the price, and when you’re playing with an ingredient as tart and strong as coffee, you want to make sure you are sticking to the method.

The Best Espresso Martini Recipe

While the espresso martini will be here forever, a few cheeky bartenders have taken on the challenge of recreating the cocktail into something just as delicious. Below are some of the delicious variations you’ll find on the classic espresso martini.

Espresso Martini Variations

As if this classic Italian dessert could get any better. The gorgeous, layered mix and presentation of this cocktail will almost stop you from drinking it. Almost. Because a good cocktail is a terrible thing to waste. Here’s what you’ll need, and how its done.


Coconut goes well with everything, so how about with coffee? That’s what this variation on the espresso martini is all about. This recipe has a recipe, within the recipe, for salted coconut syrup, so we hope you’re ready for some preparation (don’t worry, it’s not that hard).


And finally, the salted caramel variation of the espresso martini. The oozy richness blends perfectly with the coffee, for a flavour that’ll change the way you drink coffee.

Salted Caramel

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