Mix up the perfect alcoholic espresso shot with only four ingredients to get a little energy boost at the end of the night. In under 10 minutes, you can whip up six shots that will both wow and please any crowd.
Originally created in the 1980s by a British bartender by the name of Dick Bradsell, the espresso martini is one of the most popular cocktails in America.
It only makes sense that in a country that loves coffee and enjoys drinking, we found Dick Bradsell’s creation to be so appealing.
With this espresso martini shot recipe, you can enjoy the deliciousness of this drink in a perfect shot. If you’re like me and love sipping on this popular cocktail, this mini espresso martini shot may just change your life.
If you enjoy this recipe, be sure to check out 50 more delicious shot recipes to shake up.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- The secret to achieving a delicious foamy top on espresso martini shots.
- How to make a demerara sugar syrup- this same technique will help you with other simple syrups as well.
- An easy way to prep ahead and large batch these shots.
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Ingredients You Need
Demerara sugar: This type of cane sugar is less processed than white sugar and still retains traces of molasses, which gives the sugar a golden brown color.
If you don't have demerara sugar on hand, you can substitute it with brown sugar. However, the sugar syrup will bit less rich if made with brown sugar.
Vodka: For this recipe, a generic, unflavored vodka is best. If you want to experiment and amp up the flavor, try using vanilla vodka. Learn more about vodka, and how to purchase a bottle you'll love.
Freshly brewed espresso: Espresso is a strong black coffee made by forcing steam through coffee beans. This is the ingredient that is going to give you energy at the end of a long night out.
It's important to use espresso instead of cold brew or drip coffee if you want to achieve the classic espresso martini foam on top of your shots.
An easy way to get fresh espresso if you don’t have a way of making it at home is to stop by your local coffee shop and buy some shots of espresso.
If you don’t have the time or the ability to do this, you can use cold brew to give your shot the same delicious flavor, just without the foam on top.
Coffee liqueur: There are many different brands on the market, I personally love Kahlúa or Mr Black.
Check out the recipe card below for the full details on the ingredient quantities.
How To Make This Recipe
Here's how to make a batch of these delicious shots in under 10 minutes.
Demerara Sugar Syrup
1. Add demerara sugar and water to a small saucepan. Cook everything over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved, which usually takes about 2 minutes.
Be sure not to overcook the sugar syrup, as this could cause the sugar to crystallize. Only cook until the sugar is dissolved, no more.
2. Allow the mixture to cool in the saucepan. Optionally, you can make this syrup ahead of time and store it in the fridge for over 3 months in a sealed container.
Shake Espresso Martini Shots
3. Add vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and demerara sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker filled partway with ice.
4. Shake until everything is well-chilled and foamy.
The shaking mixing technique is infamous in the cocktail world and is perfect to use for these mini espresso shots. This is because you want to both chill your drink but also mix it aggressively enough that you will form that classic espresso martini foam.
The foam is a byproduct of the natural oils in the espresso combined with the cold and the air from the shaking.
5. Once you're done shaking, strain the shots into six, 2-ounce (60ml) shot glasses using a hawthorne strainer. This recipe is perfect for a party since it makes multiple shots at a time.
Since most classic espresso martinis are garnished with a coffee bean, we’re doing the same with these shots. With this being said, this garnish is completely optional.
- The demerara sugar syrup yields slightly more syrup than what is required in the recipe. I did this to give you the freedom to adjust the sweetness level of your shot. The best way to figure out the ideal amount of sweetness in your personal espresso martini shots is to start with the amount of syrup listed in the recipe, then taste. You can optionally shake in more syrup until the perfect sweetness level has been achieved.
- Remember, before you take your espresso martini shots, be sure to remove the coffee bean garnish floating on the top so nobody chokes.
- Having a hard time opening the cocktail shaker after you have finished shaking? Hit the side of the shaker to release the seal. Once this is done, it should be much easier to remove the top shaker cup.
While you cannot make the shots ahead of time, there are some steps you can take to make your life super easy when it comes time to shake and serve.
First, combine the vodka, coffee liqueur, and demerara sugar syrup in a pitcher.
Next, brew your espresso and allow it to cool in a separate pitcher.
When the time comes to serve, simply combine the two batches in a cocktail shaker with ice.
This is a great way to get things done ahead of time for a party!
Absolutely! This recipe is easy to batch. While this recipe already makes 6 shots, making bigger batches is no problem.
First, increase the recipe quantities using the recipe card below to reach the desired number of shots you wish to make.
Next, mix the vodka, coffee liqueur, and demerara sugar syrup in a pitcher.
Then, brew your espresso and allow it to cool in another pitcher.
When you are ready to serve, pour 2 ½ ounces (75ml) of the freshly brewed espresso with 6 ½ ounces (195 ml) of the premixed cocktail ingredients and fresh ice in a cocktail shaker to give you the 6-shot batch just like in the recipe.
Repeat this process with the remaining amount of liquids in your pitchers. It is important to give the mixture in the pitcher a good stir before you measure everything out into your cocktail shaker to ensure an even distribution of the demerara sugar syrup, coffee liqueur, and vodka.
Absolutely! Simply find a place that has tasty decaffeinated espresso, and swap it for the espresso in the recipe.
You can make these espresso martini shots with cold brew, and you will have the same delicious flavor, but you will lose the classic foam on top.
More Cocktail Recipes
Espresso Martini Shots
Demerara Sugar Syrup
- ¼ cup demerara sugar
- ¼ cup water
Demerara Sugar Syrup
- Add demerara sugar and water to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until all the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool in the saucepan.
Espresso Martini Shots
- Add vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and demerara sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker filled partway with ice.
- Shake until well-chilled and foamy, about 15 seconds. Strain into six, 2 ounce (60 ml) shot glasses.
- Optionally, garnish each shot with a coffee bean.