We celebrate the espresso martini

The espresso martini is having a moment

The espresso martini was first served in 1983 by legendary London cocktail connoisseur Dick Bradshell. It was his quick response to a young model who demanded a cocktail to “wake her up and then screw her up.” The mixture of vodka, sugar, coffee liqueur and a fresh shot of espresso did the trick and the news spread. It was all the rage in the '90s and fell out of favor in the early 2000s… but it's returned with renewed vigor. Everyone seems to celebrate the espresso martini.

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In 2022, it became one of the 10 most ordered drinks in America, surpassing the Manhattan. It became the hot, fizzy drink that was suddenly being ordered everywhere. Some believe the popularity is due to the ongoing obsession with craft coffee. Cities where coffee is more cult than coffee have never ended their love for the fragrant and extremely flavorful elixir. London, Sydney, New York City and a few others keep shaking the magic. It took a moment for the rest of the world to catch up.

The Espresso Martini is a vintage cocktail that is making a comeback. The drink's popularity has translated into easy access… At Kettle One, One On The Rocks, Cutwater and others, it's pre-made and ready to drink.

For those concerned about caffeine, espresso typically contains 63 mg of caffeine in one ounce (the amount in one shot), according to the Department of Agriculture's Nutrition Facts data. In contrast, regular coffee contains an average of 12 to 16 mg of caffeine per ounce. This means that espresso contains more caffeine for every ounce. BUT most people drink an 8-ounce cup of coffee, which contains 96 to 128 mg of caffeine.

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If you're sensitive to caffeine, it might join the ranks of the Mimosa and Bloody Mary as a breakfast drink.

The espresso martini


  • Espresso 1 shot (approximately 1.5 ounces) of espresso.
  • Vodka 2 ounces of vodka.
  • Kahlua 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
  • Coffee beans for garnish


  • Prepare the espresso and let it cool (otherwise the ice will melt). If you're in a hurry, put it in the fridge.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in espresso, vodka and Kahlua
  • Shake until cool. This also creates foam.
  • Color and pour into a chilled glass.
  • Garnish with a few coffee beans.

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