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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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  1. I made this recipe for Christmas Eve and my husband won’t stop asking me to make it again! Ha! We’ve probably had it five more times. Thanks for an amazing recipe and hope your dry January is going great!

    1. Instant espresso powder would work fine for this. Just be sure to combine with hot water since the temperature helps create the foam.

  2. Is there a way of making this with gin … when I started drinking these, a real martini 🍸 was only made with gin! ☺️

    1. yeah, if we are getting technical this drink isn’t really a true “martini” since there is no vermouth or gin. But, it’s one of those cocktails that has taken on the name.

  3. I use chocolate or vanilla vodka and instead of simple syrup use Bailely’s, or a Godiva chocolate Liqueur, the total package! Delicious! We made these all autumn long out by our chiminea! Thank you!