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Espresso Martini Kit with Components, Recipes and DIY Instructions

Updated: Mar 7

Are you interested in having your own espresso martini kit at home? Or have you been wondering which tools are needed to make home martinis? Or are you looking to gift an espresso martini kit? If any of these apply to you, you are in the right place!

espresso martini kit for home bartending with classic espresso martini recipe with vodka kahlua simple syrup and espresso from your home espresso machine using coffee beans

Table of Contents for Espresso Martini Kit

Evolution of the Espresso Martini and Espresso Martini Kit

Espresso Martini Kits

How To Choose High Quality Vodka and Coffee Liqueur for Your Espresso Martini Recipe

Espresso at Home Without An Espresso Machine

13 Bonus Recipes:

  • Homemade Simple Syrup

  • Espresso Martini Recipes Without Espresso Machine

  • Classic Martini Flavor Variation Recipes

  • FAQ & Additional Resources


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Evolution of the Espresso Martini and Espresso Martini Kit

The Espresso Martini, now a global bar favorite, was created in the 1980s by British bartender Dick Bradsell. Its inception at London's Fred's Club was inspired by a model's request for a drink that could both energize and intoxicate.

Bradsell's concoction of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup became an instant hit. This martini has become a cocktail menu mainstay worldwide. The espresso martini is loved by customers for its rich and sweet coffee flavor and by bartenders for being the basis of many creative variations.

Espresso Martini Kits began gaining popularity in the early 2010s due to the increased interest in craft cocktail culture and the high-quality coffee espresso drink boom.


 

Check out this FREE eBook (not ours, but we found great recipes in it) on Amazon 4.6 stars:



 

The Classic Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini is a sophisticated cocktail that combines the rich, bold flavors of coffee with the smoothness of vodka. This elegant drink, known for its distinctive balance of bitterness and sweetness, has garnered a worldwide following among cocktail enthusiasts.

Basic Recipe for the Classic Espresso Martini:

  • Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Espresso (freshly brewed and cooled)

  • 1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur (such as Kahlua)

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup (adjust to taste)

  • Instructions:

  1. Prepare chilled a martini glass by freezing it or filling it with ice and water.

  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

  3. Add the vodka, cooled espresso, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup.

  4. Shake vigorously until well chilled.

  5. Strain into the chilled martini glass.

  6. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

See below for additional glass decor and garnishments.

Approximate Nutrition Facts for One Espresso Martini (without garnishment):

  • Calories: Approximately 171 calories

  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 12 g

  • Fat: 0 g

  • Protein: 0 g

The nutritional values provided for an Espresso Martini are estimated and may vary depending on the specific brands of vodka and coffee liqueur used, as well as the inclusion of simple syrup. The coffee beans used as a garnish add minimal calories and nutrients to the drink. It's important to keep in mind the alcohol content of cocktails and how they fit into your overall dietary and health goals, ensuring a balanced and responsible enjoyment of such beverages.

Espresso Martini Presentation and Garnishments

Presentation is very important for bartenders when making drinks, especially martinis. But why not create a beautiful presentation for your martini in your at home bar? Treat yourself to some creative and delicious espresso martini enhancements.

Decorating the Chilled Martini Glass:

Once chilled, add a design to the interior empty martini glass with chocolate syrup or caramel syrup. If the glass is well chilled, the syrup will stay in place after pouring the martini into the glass, giving a beautiful and fun presentation.

Rimming the Espresso Martini Glass:

Wet the martini glass rim with simple syrup or very light amount of chocolate syrup, caramel syrup or Nutella. Nutella, chocolate syrup and caramel syrup are excellent rims in and of themselves, but you can also lightly add on:

  • Finely Ground Coffee or Espresso Powder: Enhances the coffee flavor in the martini.

  • Cocoa Powder: Adds a chocolatey note, complementing the coffee.

  • Cinnamon Sugar: Offers a sweet and spicy contrast to the rich espresso.

  • Crushed Chocolate Cookies: Creates a dessert-like, decadent edge.

  • Vanilla Sugar: Adds a sweet and aromatic vanilla flavor.

  • Grated Chocolate: For a subtle and elegant chocolate touch.

  • Brown Sugar: Gives a slightly caramelized sweetness.

  • Nutmeg: Adds a warm, spiced accent, perfect for a festive twist.

  • Crushed Nuts (like hazelnuts or almonds): Provides a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.

  • Sea Salt: A pinch of salt can enhance the overall flavors and add a unique twist.

Garnishing the Espresso Martini:

Garnishment options to top espresso martinis with include: chocolate shavings, cocoa powder, candy cane, cinnamon stick, orange peel or nutmeg.

Garnishments that can be put onto a cocktail stick and added to the martini glass are: sea salt caramel square, mini marshmallows, chocolate candies, raspberries, maraschino cherries

The Espresso Martini Kit

What is an Espresso Martini Kit?

An Espresso Martini Kit is simply a collection of ingredients and tools needed to make great Espresso Martinis. Espresso martini kits can be used in bars by bartenders, in your at-home bar or man cave or in gift baskets for martini lovers on your gift list.

Every kit needs:

  • cocktail-making hardware (cocktail shaker, strainer and jigger for measuring),

  • Martini Glasses

  • Ingredients: vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, and simple syrup (based on the classic recipe above).

Optional add-ons are endless, here are a few of our favorites to get started:

Garnishment tools: cocktail picks, fruit shaver

Garnishments and Rims: chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, Nutella, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, orange, or any of the other garnishments and rims listed above, plus your own creative ideas!

The Classic Espresso Martini Kit - Basics Only

Classic Recipe (as above): 2 oz Vodka, 1 oz Espresso, 1/2 oz Coffee Liqueur, 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

The Classic Espresso Martini Kit Includes the following, click on the photos below for today's best price:

  • Martini Cocktail Hardware: this hardware kit is an excellent price for the 4 basics (shaker, strainer, jigger, spoon).

  • Classic Martini Glass stemware for 4

  • Coffee Beans for espresso: we've included LaVazza Italian Espresso coffee beans

  • Simple syrup: included is our favorite simple syrup with an easy built-in pouring spout.

  • Vodka (see high quality vodka recommendations below)

  • Coffee Liqueur (see coffee liqueur recommendations below)

How to Make a DIY Espresso Martini Gift Basket

Creating a DIY Espresso Martini gift basket is a thoughtful and elegant present, perfect for the espresso and or martini lovers on your list.

  1. Select a Basket: Choose a sturdy, attractive basket that's large enough to hold all the gift items.

  2. Add martini hardware and glasses: martini cocktail hardware kit that includes at least a shaker, strainer, and jigger. You can add a more expanded hard kit if you'd like to include more bartending tools. Add a martini glass or glassware set.

  3. Include the basic ingredients: vodka, coffee liqueur, some form of espresso (see options here for espresso), and a bottle of simple syrup or recipe for homemade simple syrup, which can be found here.

  4. Add Accessories: This could include a recipe card with the classic Espresso Martini recipe, coffee grinder, any of the many rim or garnishment options found here.

  5. Arrange the Items: Place the larger items at the back and the smaller ones in front. Ensure everything is visible and securely placed. Use tissue paper or shredded paper to add padding and enhance the presentation.

  6. Wrap the Basket: Place the basket in a large cellophane bag. Gather the cellophane at the top, ensuring it's transparent so the contents are visible.

  7. Tie with Ribbon: Secure the cellophane with a decorative ribbon. Choose a color that complements the basket and its contents. Make a bow for an added touch of elegance.

  8. Add a Gift Tag: Attach a personalized gift tag or a card for a final personal touch.

High Quality Vodka and Coffee Liqueur

The quality of vodka is extremely important in an Espresso Martini because it forms the base of the drink. High-quality vodka is typically smoother and more refined, providing a clean, crisp background that allows the rich flavors of the espresso to come through without a bitter or overpowering aftertaste. Lower quality vodkas can introduce a sharp or burning sensation after consumption.

3 high-quality vodkas available in the USA that are excellent for an Espresso Martini:

Grey Goose: 

Known for its smoothness and clean taste, Grey Goose is a premium French vodka that's distilled from wheat and uses spring water filtered through limestone.

Belvedere: 

his Polish vodka is crafted from Dankowskie rye and quadruple distilled, offering a full-bodied yet smooth taste with a subtle sweetness, ideal for cocktails.

Tito's Handmade Vodka: 

Distilled and bottled in Austin, Texas, Tito's is a corn-based vodka that's gluten-free. It's known for its affordability while still delivering a high-quality, smooth taste.

Coffee Liqueur

A high-quality coffee liqueur will provide an authentic coffee taste without being overly sweet. Lower quality liqueurs may have an imbalanced sweetness or a less pronounced coffee flavor.

Here are three excellent coffee liqueurs available in the USA, ideal for an Espresso Martini:

Kahlúa: 

The most well-known and our recommendation, Kahlúa is a Mexican coffee liqueur that combines Arabica coffee with rum. It has a deep, rich coffee flavor with subtle vanilla caramel.

Patrón XO Cafe: 

This is a tequila-based coffee liqueur from Mexico. It's drier and less sweet than many other coffee liqueurs, with a clear espresso flavor and a hint of tequila's warmth.

St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur: 

Inspired by New Orleans-style coffee, this American liqueur combines Ethiopian coffee, French chicory root, and Madagascar vanilla.

Making Espresso at Home Without Espresso Maker

There are a few ways to make espresso for the espresso martini, even if you don't have an espresso maker.

Fresh Espresso - the Ultimate and classic method for espresso martinis:

Making fresh espresso involves grinding coffee beans just before brewing. It's often considered the best choice for flavor, aroma and espresso martini consistency.

  • Impact on Classic Martini Recipe Above: Using freshly ground espresso will provide the most authentic and robust coffee flavor. It also contributes to the drink's creamy texture due to the natural oils and fine particles in fresh espresso.

  • If you're interested in purchasing an espresso machine or fresh coffee bean grinder, you can find excellent information on espresso machine recommendations in these articles:

  • Article for Best Espresso Machine Under 1000

  • Article for Best Espresso Machine Under 500

  • Article for Best Espresso Machine Under 300

  • If you don't want to purchase an espresso machine, these articles may be of help:

  • Article for Best Quiet Coffee Grinder for Coffee Beans and Making Espresso

  • Article for How to Make Espresso With Keurig Coffee Maker

  • Article for Best Coffee for Strong and Robust Coffee Flavor

  • Article for Best Espresso Beans

High-Quality Instant Espresso:
  • Description: This is a powdered form of espresso that dissolves quickly in water. It's convenient but generally considered inferior in flavor to freshly brewed espresso.

  • Impact on Recipe: Instant espresso will make the recipe quicker and easier to prepare but might compromise the depth of the coffee flavor. The drink might also lack the creamy foam top that fresh espresso provides.

Top recommendations for instant espresso used to make Espresso Martinis:

  • Premium Instant Espresso: Brands like Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso Coffee, Nescafe Instant Espresso or Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast provide a more refined flavor profile than regular instant coffee.

Espresso Martini Syrup or Mix:
  • Description: This is a pre-made syrup or powder designed to mimic the flavor of espresso in cocktails. It's convenient and consistent in flavor.

  • Impact on Recipe: Using espresso martini syrup or powder can add a sweeter, more uniform coffee flavor, and it's easy to use. However, it might not provide the same depth and complexity of flavor that real espresso offers. The texture of the drink may also be less creamy. Be sure to read the labels, but many martini syrups and powders can replace the espresso, simple syrup and even the coffee liquor, again this impacts flavor but can decrease the initial cost needed to begin making espresso martinis at home.

Top recommendations for espresso martini syrup used to make Espresso Martinis:

  • High Quality Espresso Flavoring: Espresso Martini Syrup recommendations: Brands like Shaker and Spoon, Stonewall Kitchen's Sea Salt Espresso Martini Mixer or Craftmix's espresso martini skinny cocktail powder packets are highly rated.

pre-Made canned Espresso:
  • Description: Pre-made espresso has become very popular and there are some great options today.

  • Impact on Recipe: Canned espresso will make the recipe faster and cheaper initially, but over time, canned espresso does add up. The classic recipe will use the same amount of espresso, but adjust to taste, and the espresso flavor will not have the same classic aroma or texture, but it isa good word around.

Top recommendations for canned espresso used to make Espresso Martinis:

  • High Quality Canned Espresso: Highly rated brands include Black Rifle, Starbucks and Culturi organic.

Recipes

Simple syrup is used to subtly sweeten the Espresso Martini. If making martinis for others, it is good to ask their preference for level of sweetness.

Simple syrup recipe:

If you'd like to make your own simple syrup, it is a straight forward 1:1 ratio recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Combine Sugar and Water: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water.

  2. Heat: Place the saucepan over medium heat.

  3. Stir Until Dissolved: Stir the mixture gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. There’s no need to bring it to a boil; the goal is just to dissolve the sugar.

  4. Cool: Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

  5. Store: Transfer the cooled syrup to a clean bottle or jar. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.


Espresso Martini Recipes without an Espresso Maker

If you don't have an espresso machine, here are some recipes to consider. You can view other ways to create espresso martinis at home without an espresso machine here. With all martini recipes, follow the basic instructions here.

Espresso Martini Recipe with Shaker & Spoon Espresso Cocktail Syrup
  • 2 oz (60 ml) Vodka

  • 1 oz (30 ml) Shaker & Spoon Espresso Cocktail Syrup

  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) Coffee Liqueur (like Kahlúa)

  • Ice

  • Optional: 3 Coffee beans or chocolate shavings for garnish

Espresso Martini Recipe with Black Rifle Canned Espresso
  • 2 oz (60 ml) Vodka

  • 1 oz (30 ml) Black Rifle Canned Espresso

  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) Coffee Liqueur (like Kahlúa)

  • Ice

  • Optional: 3 Coffee beans or a light sprinkle of cocoa powder for garnish

Recipes for Classic Martini Flavor Variations

Go beyond the classic and experiment with these great flavor combinations. With all martini recipes, follow the basic instructions here.

Vanilla Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Vanilla flavored syrup or liqueur

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Salted caramel syrup

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

  • A pinch of sea salt

Irish Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Irish whiskey

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

  • 1/2 oz Cream

Chocolate Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Crème de cacao or chocolate liqueur

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

Spiced Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

  • A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg

Amaretto Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Amaretto

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

Coconut Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Coconut cream or coconut flavored syrup

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

Hazelnut Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Hazelnut liqueur

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

Mocha Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Chocolate syrup or liqueur

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

  • 1/2 oz Cream

Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini
  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Pumpkin spice syrup

  • 1 oz Espresso

  • 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

Frequently Asked Questions

Espresso Martini Gift Basket Essentials

What do you put in an espresso martini gift basket?A good espresso martini gift basket should include high-quality vodka, a bottle of coffee liqueur (like Kahlua), freshly ground espresso beans, simple syrup, and a cocktail shaker. Optionally, you can add martini glasses, a measuring jigger, and a strainer.

Espresso Martini Ingredients and Variations

Do espresso martinis contain milk?Traditional espresso martinis do not contain milk. They are made with vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup.

Are espresso martinis lactose free?Yes, standard espresso martinis are lactose-free since they don’t contain milk or dairy products.

Is there dairy in Kahlua espresso martini?Kahlua, a common ingredient in espresso martinis, does not contain dairy. Therefore, a Kahlua espresso martini is dairy-free.

Are espresso martinis vegan?Yes, espresso martinis are generally vegan, as they consist of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup, all of which are typically vegan-friendly.

Ready-Made Espresso Martinis and Mixes

Can you buy cans of espresso martini?Yes, canned espresso martinis are available in some markets, offering a convenient, ready-to-drink option.

Is there an espresso martini mix?Yes, there are pre-made espresso martini mixes available that only require the addition of alcohol.

Making and Serving Espresso Martinis

How do you make an espresso martini like a bartender?To make it like a pro, combine high-quality vodka, fresh espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a few coffee beans.

What goes best with espresso martini?Espresso martinis pair well with desserts, especially those with chocolate or coffee flavors, and can also complement savory appetizers like cheese or charcuterie plates.

Can you use something other than vodka for espresso martini?Yes, you can experiment with other spirits like rum or bourbon for a twist on the classic recipe.

What is the best strainer for an espresso martini?A fine mesh strainer is ideal for espresso martinis to ensure a smooth, sediment-free cocktail.

Pre-Made Options and Alternatives

Can you buy espresso martinis?Yes, pre-made espresso martinis are available in bottles or cans at some liquor stores and online retailers.

Can you buy espresso martini in a bottle?Yes, bottled espresso martinis are available for purchase, offering a convenient way to enjoy the drink without mixing it yourself.

Can you use drip coffee for espresso martini?While espresso is preferred for its strong flavor and crema, drip coffee can be used as a substitute in a pinch.

Espresso Martini Ingredients

What are the ingredients for espresso martini?The classic espresso martini includes vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup.

Special Varieties

What is a nitrogen infused espresso martini?A nitrogen-infused espresso martini is a version of the cocktail that has been charged with nitrogen, giving it a creamy, frothy texture similar to nitro cold brew coffee.

Health and Preparation

What does an espresso martini do to your body?An espresso martini combines the stimulating effects of caffeine with the depressant effects of alcohol, which can lead to increased alertness but also potential overstimulation or disrupted sleep patterns.

Can I premix espresso martinis?You can premix the alcoholic components, but it's best to add fresh espresso just before serving to maintain the best flavor and texture.

How do you serve a ready-made espresso martini?Shake the ready-made espresso martini with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans for an authentic touch.

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