how to make a kahlua espresso martini (with real espresso)

The Kahlua Espresso Martini which is also sometimes known as the Espresso martini is a coffee flavored martini with some sweetness to it. The ingredient that makes this drink is an actual shot of espresso along with the coffee liqueur. Actually, very few martini drinks actually use real coffee as an ingredient.

It is mostly served as an after-dinner drink or a dessert drink. This is a perfect combination of alcohol and coffee with a sweetness to boot.

It works well with a rich chocolate dessert like the chocolate cake. This cocktail is always shaken and served with a little froth on top. You can generate froth by shaking the ingredients quite vigorously….but of course that is optional.


  • 1.5 shots of Vodka
  • 1.5 shots of Kahlua
  • 1 shot of Creme de Cacao
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • Couple of coffee beans for garnish


  1. Add ice cubes into cocktail shaker
  2. Add one and a half shots of Vodka into the shaker
  3. Add equal amount of Kahlua or other coffee liqueur into the shaker
  4. Add one shot of Creme de Cacao into the shaker
  5. Add a shot of the espresso (preferably chilled) into the shaker
  6. Shake well for a few minutes
  7. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  8. Garnish with coffee beans

Kahlua Martini with Espresso

Variations and Similar Drinks

Espresso Martini: Creme de Cacao is optional in this recipe. The drink is also called Espresso martini and the same name is sometimes used to refer to both cocktails.
Espresso Grand Martini: Subtitute Creme de Cacao with Grand Marnier. This gives the drink an orange flavor that goes well with coffee.

Another variation (or recipe) of the kahlua expresso martini substitutes Creme de Cacao with Baileys Irish Cream.

Tips and Notes

  • Creme de Cacao adds a richness to the drink, but is optional. Technically, you get the Espresso martini but what is in a name?
  • Shake well to create a froth which can then be strained into the martini glass.
  • You could also use Tia Maria or another coffee liquor if Kahlua is not available.
  • You may chill the espresso beforehand, but is not necessary. Chilling or letting it cool will avoid melting of the ice and diluting the drink.