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Espresso Martini. 7 variations

The Espresso Martini is one of my favorite drinks ever!


When I arrived in New York in 2016 and started my 4-week cocktail course, I had only had one cocktail in my life: the Cosmopolitan. Manoh man, how gross I thought it was. Much too bitter (the bartender was very generous with the cointreau, I now know) and it didn't made me think of a cosmopolitan at all: easy-going, worldly, flexible.


The second cocktail I ever drank was -you guessed it- the Espresso Martini.

Day one of my course started off well, and I immediately fell in love with the combination of alcohol and caffeine. The two "extremes" play tennis with your brain and actually do what the bartender who created the Espresso Martini (Dick Bradsell) intended them to do:

Fucking you up and Waking you up at the same damn time.


This drink fits perfectly with the city in which it was conceived.

New York is a fast-paced city and its inhabitants are - in addition to being rude - very thoughtful and vibrant. I had a great time there and when I sip an espresso martini, it always takes me back to that time.


To make these seven variations, you obviously need espresso. Here's how to brew a quality, strong and simple-to-make espresso at home.


*All these cocktails have the same glassware, method and garnish: Coupe, Shake & Fine Strain, 3 coffee beans.

We'll talk about those 3 coffee beans later.


Vodka Espresso Martinis


The Classic: The recipe of the inventor, Dick Bradsell:

60ml Vodka

30ml Espresso

15ml Kahlua

7.5ml Sugar syrup


Chocolate Espresso Martini, made by yours truly:

20ml Vodka (Stolichnaya, if possible)

20ml Tia Maria

20ml Crème de Cacao

50ml Espresso


Hazelnut Espresso Martini:

60ml Vodka

60ml Espresso

20ml Hazelnut syrup from Dreamy


Rum Espresso Martini's


Espresso Daiquiri:

45ml Havana 3 year-old Rum

30ml Espresso

10ml Sugar syrup

2 drops salt solution (1:4 ratio salt:water)


The ABC-F (Arabic Black Coffee Flip):

45ml Angostura 7 year-old Rum

30ml Espresso

15ml Caramel

1 whole egg


Whiskey Espresso Martini


The "doe-je-dit-expres-zo?"

50ml Jameson Irish Whiskey Stout Edition

45ml Espresso

20ml Whole Milk

10ml Mint Syrup

10ml Caramel


Non-alcoholic Espresso Martini:


Espresso Martino

50ml Seedlip Spice 94

50ml Espresso

15ml Sugar syrup


Why 3 coffee beans in the Espresso Martini?

The tradition of three coffee beans in your Espresso Martini originated in Italy. There, Sambuca is usually served with three coffee beans. Sometimes you get one coffee bean in it and they call this "Sambuca con la mosca" there. Apparently, in the 1950s it was a fun game among Italians to try to throw coffee beans into each other's glasses on the terrace. If you succeeded, there was a fly in your Sambuca: "Sambuca con la mosca". Since Italians love symbolism, someone eventually came up with the idea of garnishing Sambuca's with three coffee beans, symbolizing Health, Prosperity and Happiness. Dick Bradsell adopted this and thus most bartenders garnish your Espresso Martini with three coffee beans!


Fancy making one of these cocktails in real life? Then book now!

Go to Cocktail Workshop The Hague


CHEERS!