The Espresso Martini: A Guided History and Recipe

BRITISH MAN: “Oh, hello.

I’ve seen your sort — you can whip together libations various. You may even be capable of a Martini.

But tell me, darling, have you ever crushed a human soul with the sheer ferocity of your cocktail? Have you ever decimated your fellow man with a drink so deliciously dirty that it challenges their very notions of good and evil?

Have you? I thought not.”

Hence we embark on the history of the espresso martini recipe. If you ask me, a rather sordid history is full of rabble and unsavory sorts, but those who do not learn history are doomed to make horrid cocktails.

Table of Contents

A Brief History of the Espresso Martini Recipe

Any such history must be told in two parts. The first is that of the Martini itself.

The Martini

You see, the Martini offers a distinct air of panache and elegance. Its origins, however, are far from it.

The Martini is simply a mixture of gin and vermouth — two delightful spirits in their own rights. It is a thoroughly American drink — legend holds that it was invented during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s in the town of Martinez, California.

You see, there was a dusty fellow in temporary residence there who had just struck big on a slab of gold ore. Fancying himself worthy of celebration, he paraded into the local saloon to relieve himself of his sobriety.

It was here he requested champagne. The bartender, whose talents did not extend to stocking his shelves, had none to offer. No, bother; he insisted instead on concocting an entirely new creation based on available ingredients: gin, vermouth, a lemon slice, and various other bits and bobs.

Suffice it to say that the miner was smitten. When he retired with his hard-won fortunes to San Francisco, he even had a bartender there repeat the drink. Its popularity caught on, and its recipe was published in the 1880s.

The espresso

Oh, really. Must we dally on the history of the espresso? Look, darling, it essentially comes down to three things:

Italy. Early 1900s. An impatient businessman who wanted his coffee faster. Now, let us weave the two together.

The Espresso Martini

Yes. Lovely.

How can one resist the temptation of the espresso Martini? It is utterly divine, isn’t it? Hark! Its invention was no accident. It was created by a Londoner of the name Dick Bradsel in recent decades. Bradsel noticed a rather striking supermodel enter the establishment where he tended bar — a model who approached him and requested a “pick me up” sort of drink.

He christened it the Vodka espresso, though he later changed it to the Pharmaceutical Stimulant. Today we know it simply as…

…the Espresso Martini.

get an espresso martini recipe

The Espresso Martini Recipe

Among the most delightful cocktail recipes at your disposal are the following. Procure the following ingredients:

  • Prep Time 3 Minutes
  • Cook Time 2 Minutes
  • Total Time 5 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 280 kcal


  • 1 oz. freshly brewed espresso
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. coffee liqueur (Kahlúa recommended)
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Coffee beans (for garnish)


  1. Start by combining all liquids into your shaker.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice.
  3. Shake until chilled.
  4. Strain it into a cold cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish it with coffee beans and enjoy.


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Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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