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Espresso Martini

A cocktail after dinner always sounds right, but sometimes coffee does, too. The perfect compromise? An Espresso Martini. This "retro" cocktail (popular in the '80s and '90s) is making a comeback on cocktail menus and after-dinner parties. It's a little sweet, a little boozy, and offers a jolt of caffeine that coffee-lovers can appreciate.

Espresso coffee, like regular coffee, is made from coffee beans. The difference is the way that it's brewed. Espresso makers use higher pressure to extract a stronger, more intensely flavored coffee from finely ground beans. Because espresso is more concentrated in flavor (and caffeine!) it's served in small (usually 1 ounce) portions.

A countertop, instant espresso maker like that from Nespresso is a great for making espresso at home. They are inexpensive and easy to use. But for the purist, I'd still recommend using a machine that uses coffee that you grind yourself for this martini. The flavor is more clean, and will usually produce more of the the same kind of froth you see on professionally brewed espresso.

A great substitute for freshly brewed espresso is cold brew coffee concentrate, a product found in the refrigerated drink section of most grocery stores. It uses a large proportion of coffee beans to water to brew, thus making it strong like espresso.

This drink is great for a party that has the potential to go into the wee hours of the night like New Years! If your event is more low-key, serve it alongside a chocolate dessert.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 1


  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. coffee liquor
  • 1 oz. espresso (fresh-brewed with froth)
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • coffee beans, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a cocktail shaker, one-half full of ice, combine the vodka, coffee liquor, espresso and simple syrup. Shake very well, until a layer of foam develops on the surface of the liquid.
  2. Pour into a chilled coupe or martini glass and top with 3 coffee beans to garnish, if desired.
  3. Serve immediately.

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