This gin espresso martini combines gin, espresso, and coffee liqueur to give you a cocktail that’s also a pick-me-up. It’s a variation on the classic espresso martini that is made with gin instead of vodka. And it’s my coffee counterpart to “The Lady Bridgerton” cocktail, which combines Empress 1908 gin and Earl Grey tea.
The espresso martini is generally believed to have been created by Dick Bradsell, who also created the bramble.
Tips and tricks for this gin espresso martini 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.
You can use instant espresso if you want to make this gin espresso martini with instant coffee. You can find it in most grocery stores.
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!
If it’s all you have, you can also use a cup of regular coffee. Cook it down until it’s about one quarter of its original volume.
The coffee liqueur
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.
These aren’t the only coffee liqueurs out there. Use the one you like best!
The dry shake
When you make a gin espresso martini, or really any cocktail with a layer of foam, you want to start out with a dry shake. Shaking your ingredients for at least 10 seconds without ice will give you a foam like on your favorite espresso drink without diluting it. Once you have your foam, then add ice and shake to chill.
FAQs about this gin espresso martini recipe
Merriam-Webster surprisingly says that both are acceptable pronunciations.
Yes, although I almost always make my martini with gin, the original espresso martini 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.
We drink the Espresso Roast from Blue Star Coffee Roasters which is based in Twisp, Washington in the beautiful Methow Valley.
Check out other uglyducklingbakery beverages including:
Creamy espresso martini with Baileys and Kahlua
Peanut butter manhattan or a perfect brandy manhattan
“The Lady Bridgerton,” an Empress 1908 gin cocktail
Cherry Bakewell cocktail
Jalapeno raspberry bramble
If you’re looking for a cake equivalent to this creamy cocktail, check out my tiramisu cake.
Gin espresso martini recipe
- 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
- 3 coffee beans, for garnish
- Make the espresso with instant coffee or brew a strong cup per your espresso maker (see note). Let cool.
- Combine the gin, espresso, coffee liqueur and bitters, if using, into a cocktail shaker without any ice and dry shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Add a 1/2 cup of ice cubes and shake again.1 ounce strong espresso, chilled, 1 ounce Tanqueray or other dry gin, 1 ounce Kahlua or other coffee liqueur, 2 dashes chocolate bitters, optional
- Strain into a martini or coupe glass and garnish with three coffee beans3 coffee beans, for garnish
If you make this gin espresso martini recipe, I’d really appreciate if you left a comment or rating.
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