Building the Perfect Espresso Martini

You can go out to a restaurant or cocktail bar and enjoy an Espresso Martini, but what happens if you want to enjoy one at home!  The Vibe Coffee team have put their heads together to provide a simple guide on how you can be an Espresso Martini “Mixologist” and do it yourself!

The Espresso Martini Flavour:

With the right espresso, the right alcohol, and the right steps, an Espresso Martini cocktail is a beautiful tasty mix of strong, sweet, and creamy.  And with the right guidance (see below), it’s easy to make!  All you need is a fridge, a cocktail shaker and the following ingredients….

The biggest challenge to making an Espresso Martini at home is only having one:)

This is a coffee lover’s MUST and is Vibe Coffee’s favourite cocktail (no surprise there).

This article is dedicated to explaining the ingredients needed, why they are important, and how to build the perfect Espresso Martini.

Breaking down the Ingredients:

The Coffee:

The key ingredient is properly brewed espresso coffee.  This is where Vibe Coffee comes in.  With our choice of different espresso flavours and intensities, you can have an Espresso Martini that aligns with your own coffee tastes.

If you ever wondered what the “Coffee Pod Intensity” actually represents (hint: it’s not caffeine concentration), we have an article explaining that for you (click here to read).

The “Mixologists” say to use strong espresso, but if that is not your thing, don’t do it.  Bartenders make this statement because they are used to getting espresso from a café grade coffee machine.  Put simply, they take what they are given when working in a bar environment and making an Espresso Martini.

Vibe Coffee gives you many great espresso choices to make the Espresso Martini your very own.

The important point to make here is, the coffee used must be a properly brewed espresso which can easily be achieved with Vibe Coffee Pods and a coffee pod machine.

Using instant coffee or French Press will not bring out the true flavours of this cocktail.  Using espresso coffee is how you achieve the crema texture (“crema” is the velvety layer of foam on the Espresso Martini).

Vibe Coffee now has “Starter Packs” which enable you to try a variety of Espresso Coffee options.  There are two pack options available:

A “Smooth” pack

A “Strong” pack

The Booze:

There are two types of alcohol required for the Espresso Martini:

  • Vanilla Vodka
  • Coffee Liqueur

There are a few different coffee liquor options with the most common one being Kahlua.   Tia Maria can be used and is preferred by some because it’s a little less sweet.

The ideal type of Vodka to enhance the taste experience is Vanilla flavoured.

Sugar Syrup:

A small amount of sugar syrup is recommended to balance out the bitterness of the espresso.  Only 0.5 of an ounce is needed.  This is not essential but all the research proves this is a common ingredient used internationally for the Espresso Martini.

If you can boil water, you can make simple syrup.   This common cocktail sweetener comprises equal parts of granulated sugar and water.

If you need guidance on how to make sugar syrup, there is a brief explanation at the end of this article.

The Beans:

This is not an essential part of the cocktail but if you are seeking a traditional Espresso Martini, the beans are part of the experience.

Consider the beans a garnish.

Putting it all together – building the perfect Espresso Martini:

The ingredients quantities below are for 1 Espresso Martini.

Step 1:  Chill martini glass:

Place your martini glass(es) in the fridge to chill.

Step 2:  Get the coffee ready

Brew the espresso coffee, then pour into a cup and place in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down.

Step 3:  Get the cocktail shaker ready

While the coffee is chilling add the following into the cocktail shaker:

  • 2 ounces of Vodka*
  • 0.5 of an ounce of Kahlua (or Tia Maria)*
  • 0.5 of an ounce of sugar syrup
  • Add Ice

*There is variation around the amount of alcohol to use for one Espresso Martini.  When researching the top recipes around the world, the average volume is 2 ounces for Vodka and .5 of an ounce for Kahlua.  We are choosing to listen to on this one, but this comes down to personal preference.

Step 4:  Add the Espresso

Once the ice has been added to the shaker, grab the espresso out of the fridge and add it to the other ingredients which are now in the shaker.

You only need 1 ounce of Vibe Espresso for one Espresso Martini.

Step 5:  Mixing

Once all the ingredients are together, close the shaker and begin to vigorously mix the ingredients together.  This shaking action does not need to last longer than 3 to 5 seconds, but it’s the shaking that creates the foam on top of the Espresso Martini.

It’s really important for Steps 2, 3 and 4 to be done quickly because you do not want the ice (in the shaker) to melt.  Melting ice will water down the cocktail, affecting the taste experience.

This is also why you chill your espresso before adding it to the shaker.

Step 6:  Pouring

Once the shaking is done, quickly and carefully pour the contents into your chilled martini glass.   You pour quickly to ensure the foam ends up on top.

Pouring the contents needs to be done in a way to ensure none of the ice reaches the martini glass (for the same reasons mentioned above about watering down the cocktail).  The recommendation is to use an ice strainer to ensure only the mixed ingredients can escape, leaving all ice behind.

As you pour, you will see the beautiful crema texture of the cocktail, this is what you want.

Step 7:  Add garnish and enjoy!

Place three coffee beans on top and enjoy your masterpiece!

The Final Word:

And there you have it!  An Espresso Martini masterpiece in your own home.

Vibe Coffee never condones the overindulgence of alcoholic beverages, however, if you are going to have one or two drinks safely at home, do it in style with an Espresso Martini.

May your good vibes keep on coming.

How to make Sugar Syrup:

Special thanks go to Dan Murphy’s for their simple instructions on how to make Sugar Syrup, see below….


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar


  1. Fill a saucepan with equal parts water and sugar. You can increase or decrease the amounts depending on how much syrup you need – just keep the 1:1 ratio the same
  2. Heat over medium and stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is crystal clear – resist the urge to boil! You want to simmer just gently enough for the sugar to dissolve
  3. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then store in a firmly sealed container or bottle in the fridge where it will keep for a few weeks

Many bartenders prefer a sweeter, thicker syrup as it adds a nice texture to the cocktail. To do this, just increase the ratio of sugar to water to 2:1.

Great Vibes straight to your inbox...

Be notified when we create new blends for you to test, have exclusive offers and much more