The Ultimate Espresso Martini Recipe

It was the winter of 2016.

Mark was working the late, and I was home alone, doing whatever it is I do at home (probably arsing around looking at animal videos, forwarding the best ones to Mark, and intermitently online window shopping for mid-century furniture on eBay).

I have this vague notion that I need to go to the supermarket for something or other for the days ahead, and besides, I like going to the supermarket alone in the evening. I dawdle round the aisles, browse the homeware and foreign foods sections, and have a rummage through the reductions.

I'm suddenly struck with a hankering for a cocktail I've tried only once, on a weekend spent in Amsterdam the year before. I don't have the ingredients at home, and so this hankering has come at a fortuitous moment, while I'm standing in the canned veg aisle at Sainos. I simply must have an espresso martini tonight. I really, really fancy one.

And so my love of the Espresso Martini began. I screwed up the froth whilst pouring my first, but the second attempt was better, and the rest is history. Mark likes to offer this one to guests at our place after dessert, and it's always received with pleasure; even from friends who don't usually drink coffee.

espresso martini and boston shaker


50ml vanilla vodka (You can make your own by popping a vanilla pod in your preferred bottle)
50ml coffee liqueur
50ml shot espresso*, chilled
Dash of stock syrup (Alternatively you can sweeten your espresso while it's still hot)


Half fill a Boston shaker with ice and pour all the other ingredients in.

Shake until the shaker frosts, then pour in to chilled martini glasses.

Garnish with a coffee bean and a grating of tonka bean (optional)

* We're publishing this one in the middle of Fairtade Fortnight. Just like cocoa, the variety of Fairtrade options available these days makes it easy to make the ethical choice when shopping for coffee. We like the John Lewis Premium Blend beans for this recipe. Here are some other good ones:
Taylors of Harrogate Good Morning
Waitrose Columbian Coffee Beans

Espresso Martini and 2 espresso martinis on a copper tray