If you’re a party animal, you’re good friends with Vodka & Red bull. Some might even say that the 3 of you are inseparable. Sadly, at some point you grow up and can’t be the stupid college kid anymore. It’s time to grow up, look serious and have a “sophisticated palate”.

Trouble is, we like what we like. Forcing yourself to drink things you’re not into for the sake of appearances isn’t what you wanna be doing as a taxpaying adult.

So here’s an adult compromise, how about a caffeine charged alcoholic cocktail that’s sweet enough to be pleasant but classy enough that you can be seen sipping at a black tie event? We’re of course talking about the espresso martini, the grownup’s vodka Red Bull.

Espresso martini ingredients

As far as cocktails go, this one’s just a step more complicated than pouring 2 drinks in and hoping the mix is good. It’s worth it, we promise.

You’re gonna need:

  • Vodka
  • Kahlua
  • Simple syrup or sugar
  • A shot of espresso
  • Some coffee beans (for garnishing)

For your espresso, our Midnight Brew is amazing for this. The deep aroma and flavors of the dark roast won’t get diluted by the vodka and ice. Yes we’re biased, we like our stuff… Crazy.

How to make an espresso martini

Sounds good? Got all the ingredients ready? Let’s make you a delicious cocktail that keeps you awake.

An Espresso Martini glass topped with coffee beans being garnished with chocolate shavings raining down on the creamy surface.

As far as cocktails go, this one’s both delicious and simple. Order or make it when you’re at an event that requires your full attention but is difficult to refuse drinking. The most “exotic” ingredient you would need is a coffee liqueur and most households have that. Of course, the shot of espresso might be tricky depending on where you are.

Total Time: 3 minutes


A shot of espresso being poured into a stirring glass by a bartender.

Into a shaker or mixing glass full of ice, pour in 2oz of vodka, 1oz of Kahlua, 1 shot of espresso, and a splash of sugar or simple syrup to your preference. To reduce ice dilution, wait until the espresso has cooled down before pouring it over the ice mixture.


Close the lid to the shaker and shake everything together or stir in your mixing glass vigorously. You’ll want to use the shaker if you want a creamy espresso martini.

Strain & serve

An Espresso Martini being strained our of a shaker cup and into a martini glass.

Strain the mixture into a martini glass and garnish with 1 or 3 coffee beans for aesthetic purposes and enjoy.

Note that simple syrup could be replaced with sugar or whatever sweetener you like with your coffee, it’s just easier to grab simple syrup if you’re using your cocktail shaker.

If you’re a vodka & red bull enjoyer, you’ll want to try adding a bit more sugar to taste but we like it on the less sweet side.

If you can’t find Kahlua but have Baileys on hand, it’ll work also but Kahlua has a bit more depth for this specific cocktail.

For an extra fancy touch, sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the top before serving.

Bonus: The tequila espresso martini

Is your espresso martini not “spicy” enough? Not to worry, swap the boring vodka for a dash of tequila to add a layer of flavor to your drink. Guests will love the unique taste and

Okay cool, but why?

You might be wondering, “why would I wanna drink this at all?”. Obviously, mixing alcohol and caffeine does not make for a healthy combination. In fact, it’s probably the worst combination to abuse, see the Four Loko Saga.

So before we go any further, it’s important we stress that you should drink responsibly. Caffeine and alcohol together are one of the more dangerous mixes you can accidentally abuse so make sure you know your limit and approach the amounts cautiously. It’s much harder to gauge how drunk you are if you’re high on caffeine… Which is also why it’s great.

A nice and concise PSA on why caffeine can be dangerous with alcohol.

That said, if you’ve been invited to discuss something important at a nice bar or lounge, it’s the perfect drink to keep yourself sharp while being classy. There are times in life that being just 1% sharper than your peers can make all the difference.

On top of it all, there are times when the evening goes on for way too long. Being too drunk is one thing, getting sleepy before you even get drunk is the worst. This cocktail is a reasonable compromise. Helps that it’s tasty too.

Just make sure you don’t go overboard with these, it’s weird to be jittery in a laid back place like a bar.

So the next time you need a companion for a long evening, ask for an espresso martini and enjoy the evening while everyone else is struggling to stay awake.


What is the ingredients for espresso martini?

A classic espresso martini consists of vodka, Kahlua, simple syrup, a shot of espresso, and 3 coffee beans for garnish. Do keep in mind, the cocktail is usually mixed in ice before being strained out. This is why the cocktail is traditionally frothy and creamy.

What liquor is best for an espresso martini?

A bottle of Ketel One Vodka from the Netherlands.

Vodka is generally the preferred base liquor but if you’re feeling adventurous, tequila or rum make for a nice twist that’ll set your cocktail apart from everyone else’s.

For Vodka, Ketel One is a great choice.

How do you make an espresso martini like a bartender?

A cocktail being strained out of a stirring glass and into a skull bottle.

Unless you’re at an upscale bar, your average bartender doesn’t have time to shake and clean up the shakers for every cocktail. That means they’re gonna be combining the ingredients in a mixing glass and serving.

They’re also more likely to be using simple syrup over sugar or sugar cubes for the sweetener for efficiency.