how to make an espresso martini…with vodka and real espresso

The Espresso Martini is a cocktail martini that is quite on the sweeter side, making it a good after-dinner drink. There are several variations of the drink, most of which uses different liquors in lieu of the Kahlua. Because of that, this variation or recipe is sometimes referred to as the (Kahlua) Espresso Martini.

There is a different drink or recipe that is more popular as the Kahlua Espresso Martini, which is not to be confused with this one.


  • 2 shots of chilled Espresso
  • 1.5 shots of Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 shots of Kahlua
  • Cardamom pods (optional)


First you need to make the espresso. You may make the espresso as you normally would if you do not care much for the cardamom flavor.

  1. Add ice cubes into a martini shaker
  2. Add 1.5 shots of Grey Goose Vodka into the shaker
  3. Add 1 shot of the Kahlua into the shaker
  4. Add 2 shots of freshly brewed espresso into the shaker
  5. Shake well to mix the ingredients
  6. Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled martini glass

Espresso martini with Kahlua

Making of the Espresso

The flavoring of the drink with cardamom gives the drink a good twist both in terms of the taste as well as the aroma. If you want to do this, you will need to flavor the espresso when it is made. Crush several (3 or 4) pods of the cardamom and mix it in with the coffee before making the espresso.

Note that the original recipe to the drink does not include the cardamom.


There are several variations of this drink with varying ingredients. Almost all of them also inherit the name of Espresso martini which makes it quite hard to keep track of. The only constant across all of the recipes is the espresso.

A variation of the drink adds a dash of heavy cream to the recipe. You can add the heavy cream into the shaker before mixing. Be sure to give it a good shake as it takes a lot more work to mix the cream well.
Another variation of the recipe adds about half a shot of Bailey’s Irish Creme to the ingredients.
Yet another variation flips the proportions of Kahlua and Vodka, using 1.5 shots of Kahlua to 1 shot of vodka. This makes the drink sweeter which makes it even more appropriate as an after dinner drink.
Kahlua Espresso Martini: Add half a shot of the white creme de cacao to the ingredients.


  • Shake well for up to 30 seconds so as to form a nice frothy top in the martini glass.
  • You may use either caffeinated or decaffeinated espresso in this recipe.
  • The drink usually goes with no garnish, but you can use some coffee beans as garnish. ¬†Another idea for garnish is scrapping some nutmeg over the drink, but only if it is not already flavored with cardamom.