Creamy Espresso Martini with Baileys

This creamy espresso martini with Baileys and Kahlua was created for the 52 weeks of cocktails challenge (week 9: Baileys). Adding Baileys Irish Cream to a classic espresso martini recipe makes it creamy and just a bit sweeter. Perfect for after dinner or an afternoon of budgets and taxes.

I was thinking about remaking my gin espresso martini for last week’s challenge (coffee or tea). Instead, I played around with a chai bourbon old-fashioned with a honey simple syrup.

I’m glad I did. That cocktail was delicious.

a creamy espresso martini with Baileys on a tray of coffee beans.

Tips and tricks for this recipe

The original espresso martini was created by Dick Bradsell in the 1980s. There are not many truly famous bartenders, but he is the source of many classic cocktails, including the espresso martini, the bramble, and others.

The vodka

Vodka is the base liquor in this cocktail, like in the original espresso martini. To bring in a bit of controversy here, some would suggest that all (or at least most) vodka is the same. So use whatever vodka you have and like to drink. I personally don’t buy flavored vodka, because it’s easy enough to infuse your own.

The espresso

If you have an espresso machine, go ahead and and pull a shot for this espresso martini. If you aren’t lucky enough to have your own, you can sub an instant espresso powder like the one pictured below.

a jar of instant espresso powder.

The coffee liqueur

The picture below has Tia Maria on the left and Kahlua on the right. They have the exact same percent of alcohol by volume.

I’ll encourage you to do a taste test of the two. To me, the Tia Maria tastes sweeter but with a stronger taste of alcohol. The Kahlua is darker and has a stronger coffee taste. To me, that’s the preferable coffee liqueur. But any will work.

sipping glasses filled with Tia Maria and Kahlua.

Baileys Irish Cream

There are also lots of Baileys variations, but it’s the Baileys Original Irish Cream that makes this a creamy espresso martini. Check out the website for other recipes using Baileys.

The key shaking technique for this cocktail

You could spend time learning all of the different shaking techniques for cocktails, but it doesn’t matter for this espresso martini as long as you get the foam. To get a good foam, you’ll want to shake the cocktail for longer, about 20 to 30 seconds. But in order to do that but not dilute your drink, you’ll want to do a dry shake.

To do a dry shake, put all of the ingredients in the cocktail shaker without any ice. Shake hard for 20-30 seconds, add about a 1/2 cup of ice, and shake again just to chill the drink. Pour into a chilled coupe, garnish with coffee beans, and serve immediately before the foam goes away.

a top down view of the creamy espresso martini with baileys on a tray with coffee beans.

FAQs about this creamy espresso martini with Baileys

Is it “espresso” or “expresso”?

Merriam-Webster surprisingly says that both are ok to use.

What is Baileys?

Baileys Irish Cream is a liqueur made with Irish whiskey, cream, sugar, and cocoa. You could even try to make your own.

What is your favorite espresso bean?

We like the Espresso Blend from Blue Star Coffee Roasters which is based in Twisp, Washington in the beautiful Methow Valley. They ship!

What else could you make with espresso powder?

I use espresso powder in lots of baking. It’s a key ingredient in my coffee and walnut pound cake. Coffee is used in the cake layers in my triple layer chocolate cake and peanut butter drip cake. Or it’s used in coffee syrup to soak this tiramisu cake.

Related recipes

Of course, you will want to check out the gin espresso martini. Try them side by side and compare!

Check out other uglyducklingbakery beverages including:
Peanut butter manhattan or a perfect brandy manhattan
The Lady Bridgerton,” an Empress 1908 gin cocktail
Cherry Bakewell cocktail

Creamy Espresso Martini

5 from 1 vote
Category: Drinks
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 292kcal
Author: uglyducklingbakery
This creamy espresso martini with Baileys is richer and a bit sweeter than the classic. Enjoy it as an after dinner or afternoon cocktail.
Print Recipe


  • Cocktail shaker


  • 1.5 ounce vodka
  • 1.5 ounce strong espresso, cooled
  • 1.0 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 1.0 ounce Baileys Irish Cream
  • 3 coffee beans for garnish


  • Put all of the ingredients except for the coffee beans into a cocktail shaker without ice and shake for 20 to 30 seconds.
    1.5 ounce vodka, 1.5 ounce strong espresso, cooled, 1.0 ounce coffee liqueur, 1.0 ounce Baileys Irish Cream
  • Then add about one half cup of ice and shake again for another 5 to 10 seconds to chill.
  • Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the traditional three coffee beans. Serve immediately.
    3 coffee beans


For fun, add a dash or two of chocolate bitters and compare.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 49mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
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