The espresso martini is an elegant cocktail that combines fresh espresso, coffee liqueur, vodka, and a little simple syrup.  This martini is perfect before dinner, but also makes a fabulous dessert cocktail. 

Hand holding and espresso martini.


The espresso martini is a must for coffee lovers.

It’s rich with flavor from the espresso and the coffee liqueur.  

While many choose to garnish their espresso martinis with coffee beans, we garnish ours with a lemon peel as a nod to the Italian restaurants that traditionally serve espresso with lemon.

The espresso martini is a wonderful cocktail to serve for dessert alongside tiramisu or orange olive oil cake.

Ingredients shown: vodka, coffee liqueur, simple syrup, 1 lemon, and espresso.

Espresso martini ingredients

  • Espresso. We used espresso from a local coffee shop but you can certainly brew your own at home or even use strong coffee. 
  • Coffee liqueur. Mr. Black cold brew coffee liqueur was used here and seems to be the liqueur of choice for many mixologists.  If you can’t find Mr. Black, there are plenty of other options to choose from, like Kahlua or Tia Maria.
  • Vodka. We used unflavored vodka for our espresso martini but you can try using a flavored vodka if you want to change it up.  Vanilla or caramel-flavored vodkas would be great with the espresso.
  • Simple syrup. We made our own simple syrup but many stores sell it.  To make your own simple syrup use a 1:1 water-to-sugar ratio and simply simmer the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Allow the syrup to cool and store it in the refrigerator to cool before using.
  • Garnish. As mentioned above, we used a lemon peel as a garnish but coffee beans would be a great garnish as well.

Overhead shot of espresso martini on black slate board.

How to make an espresso martini

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of espresso, 2 ounces of Mr. Black (or other coffee liqueur), and 1/4 ounce of simple syrup.
  2. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain and pour the ingredients into a coupe or martini glass.
  3. Gently twist the lemon peel over the drink to release some of its essence, then place it on top of or inside the martini.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Two espresso martinis on black slate tile.

More dessert-worthy cocktails

The espresso martini is definitely a wonderful dessert cocktail.  Here are a few others that are also perfect for closing out a meal with something sweet.

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Espresso Martini

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 drink
The espresso martini is a sophisticated cocktail for coffee lovers. Espresso, coffee liqueur, vodka, and simple syrup are shaken with ice and served in a glass with a lemon peel.


  • 1 ounce vodka unflavored
  • 1 ounce espresso or strong coffee
  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur such as Mr. Black
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 peel lemon for garnish


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  • Strain and pour the ingredients into a martini or coupe glass.
  • Garnish with a peel of lemon and serve. Enjoy!


  • Coffee can be used in place of espresso.
  • The make your own simple syrup, combine 1 part sugar to 1 part water and simmer over low heat until the sugar dissolves.  Store the simple syrup in a container in the refrigerator to chill before use.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 50mg | Sugar: 29.9g | Calcium: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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