Why The Espresso Martini Is Your Go-To Cocktail This Summer

Perfect for parties, pubs and even picnics!

As legend has it, in 1983 a top model sashayed into the famous late bartender Dick Bradsell’s bar in London’s swanky Soho Brasserie with a special late-night request for a cocktail that would “wake her up and (we’ll let you use your imagination) her up” ­– and the famous Espresso Martini was born.

The magic of the Espresso Martini is in its simplicity. Equal parts Kahlua (the classic coffee liqueur), Absolut Vodka and fresh espresso, the result is sophisticated, edgy and unexpectedly strong. Perfect at a pub, party or picnic, we have the rundown on how you can make the Espresso Martini your go-to this summer, and how easy it is to make it part of your festive party plans.

Espresso martini is sophisticated, edgy and strong
(Credit: Getty)

At the bar

Good things take time, and there’s nothing like watching an experienced bartender create your cocktail with love before your eyes. However, the popularity of the Espresso Martini has come to mean you take a seat and patiently wait your turn while they make the coffee, add the spirits, shake and then pour to get that crema just right. Even with the slickest team behind the bar it can mean a long wait if the person ahead of you in line is in a shout of four. The great news is, the bright sparks at Kahlua have managed to put Espresso Martini on tap, so now some bars actually have it cold, mixed and ready to go. We’ll raise our glass to that!

Martini Espresso – alfresco!

When it comes to the perfect picnic, this is how you (metaphorically) knock it out of the park. Forget warm wine and soggy sandwiches, the Espresso Martini now comes in a ready-to-drink format in an easy to transport, easy to keep cool (and recyclable) can. Pack your picnic set with perfectly portable Kahlua Espresso Martinis, a fresh tablecloth to pop on your picnic rug, a cheese platter, crostini and antipasti and you’re set for a stylish New Year’s fireworks celebration, a picnic in the park with your bestie or a romantic tête-à-tête with your favourite plus-one.

Espresso martini now comes in ready-to-drink cans. Perfect for picnics
(Credit: Kahlua)

Party perfect

Nothing says ‘sophisticated soiree’ like a well-mixed welcome drink, so for your Christmas drinks or New Year party, treat your guests to something a bit special and make them an Espresso Martini to kick off proceedings. With a bit of organisation and forward planning, you’ll impress your guests and be top of the list as the host with the most. You don’t need a fancy drinks cart or a bar. With just a side table or bench with a crisp white cloth, spotless glassware and the right tools (below), you’ll nail your Gatsby vibe.

Espresso Martini Recipe

Here’s what you need

  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part Absolut Vodka
  • 1 part espresso


You need an espresso machine and a shaker. First, make the espresso. Shake the Kahlua, Absolut Vodka and espresso together with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass to get rid of all the small ice chips. Decorate with a couple of coffee beans and serve.

Tip: shake for about 10 seconds for optimal frothiness.

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