The Story Behind the Espresso Martini: A Legendary Cocktail’s Origin

Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini is the perfect post-dinner pick-me-up, thanks to its potent combination of espresso and booze. After making its debut in the 1980s, the drink has been a fixture in social gatherings and prolonging evenings ever since.

A British bartender named Dick Bradsell came up with the now-classic cocktail at London’s Fred’s Club. According to lore, a “top model” once requested a drink that would “wake me up and f**k me up” at the same time. The Espresso Martini was invented when Bradsell agreed to blend vodka with espresso and coffee liqueur.

Using an espresso machine, you may make a shot and put it in the freezer to cool it down. That will keep the ice from melting and dilute the drink, preventing it from being too hot. If you don’t have access to an espresso machine, a simple workaround is to use cold brew concentrate. In place of fresh espresso, the coffee’s robust taste retains the temperature just perfect.

Espresso is paired with Kahla, a coffee liqueur, which offers a second layer of coffee taste. Once you’ve mixed it all together, you’ll have a caffeinated beverage that’s just the proper amount of alcohol, coffee, and sugar. It’s picture-perfect if you add a few coffee beans as a garnish.

On your next late-night adventure, or when a Bloody Mary just isn’t cutting it, get an Espresso Martini. Not even Kate Moss is exempt from its double-edged effects.


  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • Ice
  • 4 coffee beans (optional)
  • 50ml coffee liqueur (we used Kahlua)
  • 50ml freshly brewed espresso coffee


Make the sugar syrup first. Pour 50ml of water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Bring the mixture to a boil by stirring frequently.

Allow the mixture to cool before removing it from the heat source. Refrigerate two martini glasses to make them ice cold.

Pour 1 tbsp of the cooled sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice, vodka, espresso, and coffee liqueur. Shake well. The cocktail shaker should be ice cold after you’re done shaking it.

The cold glasses are ready. If you’d like, you may sprinkle some coffee beans on top of each one.

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