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Cheers to the holidays with this delicious Espresso Martini! Here is one of my favorite cocktails that is perfect for any time of the year, but I find myself sipping on them the most around the holiday season. 

Espresso Martini with another in the background plus the shaker. Espresso beans scattered around.

This traditional recipe is a cold, coffee-infused cocktail made with vodka, hot espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup (aka simple syrup) and served up in a martini glass or coupe. No matter if it’s for the holidays or not, this is the perfect pick-me-up to either kick off the night or to sip on post-dinner instead of (or with) your dessert. It remains one of my favorite cocktails!

And I know it seems strange to shake hot espresso with the ice and other ingredients since this is a cold cocktail, but trust me here! The heat combined with the other ingredients helps to create the delicious foam we all love and since you will shake until you can’t hold the ice-cold shaker anymore, I promise your drink will still end up icy cold.

Espresso Martini Ingredients:

  • Vodka
  • Kahlua
  • Simple Syrup
  • Hot Espresso
Espresso Martini ingredients lined up.

Espresso Martini Step-by-Step:

Step One: Combine Ingredients in Shaker

Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice. Add the vodka, Kahlua, simple syrup, and hot espresso. Close, seal, and shake until very cold (at least 20 seconds).

Vodka pouring into glass shaker.
Kahlua pouring into glass cocktail shaker.
Espresso pouring into glass cocktail shaker with other ingredients.

Step Two: Strain and Serve

Place the strainer on top of the shaker and pour the contents through a sieve (optional) and directly into the glass.

Espresso martini being strained into martini glass.

Recipe FAQs:

Are you sure I should use hot espresso?

Yes! I promise this helps create the foam while still leaving you with a chilled cocktail.

What if I want my martini extra cold?

If you want to be a little extra with your martini-making, you can place your martini glasses in the freezer for a bit or you can even fill your glasses with ice and pop it in the fridge as you make your cocktail then empty the ice out once you’re ready to serve your cocktail.


These are best shaken two at a time to ensure they are nice and foamy!

Close up of espresso martini. Another glass in the background.

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this Espresso Martini!

More Holiday Cocktail Ideas:

Tequila Espresso-Orange Martini

Spiced Apple Cider Margarita

Peppermint Espresso Martini

Holiday Sangria

Clayton’s Holiday Margarita

5 from 7 votes

Espresso Martini

Servings: 2 Drinks


  • 3 oz vodka (or 2 "big jiggers" full, I use Titos)
  • 1 oz kahlua (1 "small jigger" full)
  • 1 oz simple syrup (1 "small jigger" full)
  • 1.5 oz large hot espresso (or 1 "big jiggers" full, see note for why it needs to be hot!)


  • Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice.  Add the vodka, kahlua, simple syrup and hot espresso. Close, seal and shake until very cold (at least 20 seconds).
  • Place the strainer on top of the shaker and pour the contents through a sieve (optional) and directly into the glass.


It may seem strange to pour hot espresso into a cold drink, but the heat combining with the other ingredients in the cold shaker help to create the foam! The strainer and the sieve additionally help to create a rich, smooth, froth without any pieces of ice.

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

Additional Info

Servings: 2 Drinks

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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Recipe Rating


  1. hi Alex! just got my own espresso machine so started with your recipe to make my first one at home! I’m new to making cocktails at home, do you have a fav simple syrup you buy? Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Maddie! so fun!!!
      Honestly simple syrup is pretty straightforward, so any brand is great!! I also make it at home myself often when I forget to buy it, it’s super easy to do: Just do 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk to combine, bring to a rapid simmer and whisk–Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from heat and allow the syrup to cool. Transfer the simple syrup to a jar and you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

  2. 5 stars
    These are fabulous and a true crowd pleaser… that being said, I find myself attached to the bar making them over and over 😂 any thoughts on how to batch them to have on hand for parties? So good!

    1. You could make ahead– but the lovely foam just wont be there without the hot coffee!! You could combine all of the ingredients (minus the coffee) until it’s time to serve, then add the coffee and shake!