Monday, April 15, 2024

Celebrating The Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini is having a moment

The espresso martini was first served by legendary London cocktail connoisseur Dick Bradshell back in 1983. It was his quick response to a young model requesting a cocktail to  “wake her up, then mess her up.”  The concoction of vodka, sugar, coffee liqueur and a fresh shot of espresso did the trick and the word spread.  It was all the rage during the 90s and the fell out of favor in the early 2000s….but it has returned with a force   Everyone seems to be celebrating the Espresso Martini.

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In 2022,  it became one of the 10 most-ordered drinks in America, knocking out the Manhattan. It become the hot, buzzy drink suddenly ordered everywhere. Some believe the popularity stems for the continued obsession of craft coffee.  Cities where coffee is more cult than caffiene never ended their love affair with the fragrant and deeply rich in tasting elixar. London, Sydney, New York City,and a few others keep shaking up the magic. For the rest of the world it took a moment to catch up.

The espresso martini is a vintage cocktail making a comeback The drinks popularity has translated to easy access….Kettle One, One On The Rocks, Cutwater and more have it premade and ready to drink.

The 5 Point Cafe in Seattle has been a bar staple for generations – and has seen trends come and go.  Owner David Meinert shares “Espresso Martinis are the perfect evening drink when you need the energy of a morning coffee but the spirit of a nighttime drink.  A little buzz served with a kick”.

For those worried about caffeine, espresso typically has 63 mg of caffeine in 1 ounce (the amount in one shot), according to Department of Agriculture nutrition data. Regular coffee, by contrast, has 12 to 16 mg of caffeine in every ounce, on average. That means that ounce for ounce, espresso has more caffeine.  BUT, most people have an 8 oz cup of brew coffee, providing 96 to 128 mg of caffeine.

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If you are caffeine sensitive, it might join the ranks of the mimosa and Bloody Mary as a breakfast beverage.

The Espresso Martini


  • Espresso 1 shot (about 1.5 ounces) espresso.
  • Vodka 2 ounces vodka.
  • Kahlua 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
  • Coffee beans for garnish


  • Make the espresso and allow to cool (otherwise, it will melt the ice). If you’re in a hurry, put it in the refrigerator.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the espresso, vodka, and Kahlua
  • Shake until chilled. This will also create the froth for foam.
  • Stain and pour into a chilled glass.
  • Garnish with a few coffee beans.


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