A Gin Espresso Martini Recipe

A Gin Espresso Martini Recipe

This gin espresso martini combines gin, espresso, and coffee liqueur to give you a cocktail that’s also a pick-me-up. It’s my coffee counterpart to “The Lady Bridgerton” cocktail, which combines Empress 1908 gin and Earl Grey tea.

A few notes about this gin espresso martini

  • If you’re looking for a cake equivalent to this cocktail, check out my tiramisu layer cake.
  • Feel free to use a cup of brewed espresso in place of the instant if you’re lucky enough to have access to an espresso machine. Just make it strong!
  • Below is the instant espresso I use. You can find it in most grocery stores.
a jar of espresso instant coffee
  • You can also use a cup of regular coffee. Cook it down until it’s about one quarter of its original volume.
Eight ounces of coffee in a pyrex measuring cup cooked down to two ounces

Tia Maria versus Kahlua

Tia Maria on the left. Kahlua on the right. They have the exact same percent of alcohol by volume.

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.

a sipping glass filled with Tia Maria on the left and Kahlua on the right

FAQs about this gin espresso martini recipe

Who created the espresso martini?

It is generally believed to have been Dick Bradsell, who also created the bramble.

Is it “expresso” or “espresso”?

Merriam-Webster surprisingly says that both are ok.

Which gin should I use for this recipe?

You will want a dry gin here, so that the flavors don’t clash with the coffee. This is a great primer on gin.

Can I use another liquor?

Yes, the original was made with vodka. But you could use rum to make a rum espresso martini. Or sub out the kahlua for Frangelico and make a hazelnut espresso martini.

Is there a right way to shake a cocktail?

No, go ahead and shake to whatever song you like. But there a few things you shouldn’t do. Note that you’ll need to shake this one a bit longer to get a foam.

What’s your favorite espresso bean?

We drink the Espresso Roast from Blue Star Coffee Roasters which is based in Twisp, Washington in the beautiful Methow Valley.

a comic type image of the gin espresso martini

Gin espresso martini recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • Cocktail shaker


  • 1 ounce strong espresso, chilled
  • 1 ounce Tanqueray or other dry gin
  • 1 ounce Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters, optional
  • coffee beans, for garnish


  • Make the espresso using instant espresso powder or brewed per your espresso maker (see note). Let cool.
  • Combine the gin, espresso, coffee liqueur and bitters, if using, into a cocktail shaker with a small amount of ice and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
    1 ounce strong espresso, chilled, 1 ounce Tanqueray or other dry gin, 1 ounce Kahlua or other coffee liqueur, 2 dashes chocolate bitters, optional
  • Pour into a martini or coupe glass and garnish with three coffee beans
    coffee beans, for garnish


I love the flavor of coffee, so I would use twice the amount of espresso powder per ounce or brew a strong cup of espresso.
The longer duration of shake is to get a foam like on your favorite espresso drink. In order to avoid diluting the drink too much, I would use only a small amount of ice in your shaker.

What’s next?

If you make this gin espresso martini recipe, please comment and/or share a pic with me!

Check out other uglyducklingbakery beverages including:
Peanut butter manhattan
The Lady Bridgerton,” an Empress 1908 gin cocktail
Cherry Bakewell cocktail
Jalapeno raspberry bramble

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