Espresso Martini

Editor Note: Check out our 2012 updated article The Coffee Martini for more ideas.

Recently, I went to a swanky bar to find a coffee martini on the menu. Similar in concept to the Espresso Stout, the coffee martini gives you a caffeine buzz and an alchohol buzz at the same time. Who could ask for more? But when I ordered the drink at this swanky bar, I was dismayed that it wasn’t as good as I had hoped. I decided that I would go on a journey in an effort to find the perfect espresso martini blend, so I invited a few friends over and played bartender. Some among us were coffee conoisseurs, others weren’t big fans. Some wanted sweet, others expect a martini to be strong. Consequently, there wasn’t one drink recipe that pleased all of us. This article shares the range of the positive results.

The differentiating factor in this martini is the coffee, therefore it was incumbent upon me to find the right espresso blend for the task. As a homeroaster, I went to Sweet Maria’s to find the right espresso blend. I tested the following:

  • Tom’s Blend – excellent body
  • Classic Italian Espresso Blend – excellent caramel taste, powerful aftertaste
  • Malabar Gold – potent (not a Sweet Maria’s blend)

Espresso Martini Madness
Espresso Martini Madness

There are two types of martinis: the gin martini and the vodka martini. Let me assure you that gin does not work for this drink, so don’t bother. Stick with a vodka base. Many of the recipes call for a shot of some other flavored liquor or liqueur, so I’ll list all of the possibilities below.

  • Coffee and Vanilla Stolichnaya – flavored vodka
  • Skyy – unflavored vodka
  • Godiva Original and Cappuccino – Original is chocolate flavored liqueur, Cappuccino is a sweet coffee flavor
  • Kahlua – coffee flavored liqueur
  • Bailey’s Irish Creme – creamy, vanilla liqueur
  • Frangelico – nut-flavored liqueur

Italian Ice

Italian Ice
Italian Ice

This one came the closest to getting everyone’s approval. It wasn’t considered too sweet by the males, or too potent by the people who didn’t want to taste the alcohol.

  • 1 shot: Classic Italian Espresso blend
  • 1 shot: Kaluah
  • 1 shot: Stoli Coffee
  • 1 shot: Stoli Vanilla

Served in a chilled martini glass, shaken or stirred.

Frozen Iced Espresso Martini

Frozen Iced Espresso Martini
Frozen Iced Espresso Martini

This drink was sweet, mild, creamy and dreamy. The recipe is simple.

  • 1 shot: Tom’s Espresso blend
  • 1 shot: Bailey’s
  • 2 shots: Stoli Coffee vodka

Shaken, with ice.

Milkshake with a Kick

Milkshake with a Kick
Milkshake with a Kick

It’s a stronger, more coffee-centric version of the Frozen Iced Espresso Martini.

  • 1 shot: Malabar Gold
  • 1 shot: Godiva Cappuccino
  • 1 shot: Skyy Vodka

Shaken, with ice.

Coffee Craving Espresso Martini

Coffee Craving Espresso Martini
Coffee Craving Espresso Martini

If you want the coffee taste to shine through, go with this recipe:

  • 1 shot: Malabar Gold
  • 1 shot: Godiva liquor
  • 2 shots: Skyy vodka (chilled)

Stirred.

Nutty Coffeeman

Nutty Coffeeman
Nutty Coffeeman

It has a golden glow to it and tastes very nutty.

  • 1 shot: Malabar Gold
  • 1 shot: Frangelico
  • 2 shots: Vanilla Stoli

Shaken, no ice.

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Lura Lee

Founding member of INeedCoffee, Lura Lee, contributed content for a while, then stepped away.She came up with the original tagline "Caffeination Information."Now she enjoys coffee, but no longer pursues coffee as a hobby. You can find her entrepreneurial efforts elsewhere on the web and in B-2-B circles.

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