Espresso martini
IBA official cocktail
Base spirit
ServedStraight up: chilled, without ice
Standard garnish3 coffee beans
Standard drinkware
Cocktail glass
IBA specified
PreparationPour all ingredients into cocktail shaker, shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Espresso martini recipe at International Bartenders Association

The espresso martini, also known as a vodka espresso, is a cold caffeinated alcoholic drink made with espresso, coffee liqueur, and vodka. It is not a true martini as it contains neither gin nor vermouth, but is one of many drinks that incorporate the term martini into their names.


There are several claims for the origin of the espresso martini. One of the more common claims[1][2] is that it was created by Dick Bradsell in the late 1980s while at Fred's Club in London for a young lady – sometimes claimed to be Kate Moss[3] – who asked for something that would "Wake me up, and then fuck me up."[4] Bradsell has made this claim in a widely-circulated video.[5] Bradsell has also been quoted about the circumstances of his invention of the drink, "The coffee machine at the Soho Brasseries was right next to the station where I served drinks. It was a nightmare, as there were coffee grounds everywhere, so coffee was very much on my mind. And it was all about vodka back then – it was all people were drinking."[6][7]

The recipes for an espresso martini vary depending on the source. Traditionally, they include Kahlúa or Tia Maria.

Difford's Guide

Difford's Guide recommends 1.5 US fluid ounces (44 mL) of vodka, 1 US fluid ounce (30 mL) of hot espresso coffee, and 23 US fluid ounce (20 mL) of coffee liqueur.[8] The ingredients are poured into a shaker filled with ice. The mixture is then shaken, fine strained and poured into a chilled martini glass. The drink is garnished with coffee beans (and perhaps a twist of lemon zest) and served.[9][10]


The drink had a surge in popularity in the early 2020s.[11] This popularity was met with apprehension by bartenders due to the time and effort required to prepare the drink.[12]


  1. ^ Blythe, Thomas (July 23, 2012). "Shot in the dark: beware the espresso martini". GQ UK. Condé Nast. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. ^ Parkhill, Chad (November 4, 2016). "Why is Australia so obsessed with the espresso martini?". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  3. ^ "An oral history on the espresso martini". British GQ. 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  4. ^ The Origin of Espresso Martini[dead link] (wake her up and then f**k her up). Rin Recipes, July 18, 2023.
  5. ^ "Dick Bradsell and his Vodka Espresso". YouTube. YouTube. April 24, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2017. London's Cocktail Guru Dick Bradsell has a brief interview with Kasia Olszko; Then Uncle Dick makes a Vodka Espresso, followed by a Vodka Martini.
  6. ^ Simon Difford (2017). "Vodka Espresso/Espresso Martini". Difford's Guide. Difford's Guide. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  7. ^ Hatchman, John (August 25, 2016). "Spirit of the Month – Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur". The London Economic. The London Economic. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Espresso Martini". Difford's Guide. Difford's Guide. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  9. ^ Newman, Kara (2016). "Espresso Martini". Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  10. ^ Cloak, Felicity (December 28, 2016). "How to make the perfect espresso martini". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  11. ^ Sidman, Jessica (11 June 2021). "The Espresso Martini—the Grown-Up Red Bull and Vodka—Is Back". Washingtonian. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  12. ^ Crowley, Chris (7 October 2021). "The Espresso Martini Is the Hottest Drink on the Planet. Bartenders Hate It". Grub Street. Retrieved 13 October 2021.