The Story Behind The Espresso Martini

This iconic modern classic was created in 1983 by London bartender Dick Bradsell at the Soho Brasserie for a guest — supposedly a model — who wanted a drink that would “wake her up and f*ck her up.” Not exactly subtle, but Bradsell was determined to deliver on his guest’s needs. He created a drink that he originally dubbed the “Vodka Espresso,” which later became known as the Espresso Martini.

Along with the Cosmopolitan, this cocktail is one that defined 1990s drinking. The balance of bitter, frothy espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, and sugar creates a sum greater than its parts.


  • 1 ounce vodka, preferably Belvedere Smógory Forest
  • ¾ ounce coffee liqueur, preferably Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 ¼ ounces fresh espresso
  • ½ ounce simple syrup, (1:1, sugar:water)
  • Garnish: 3 coffee beans


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake vigorously with ice.
  2. Strain into a coupette glass.
  3. Garnish with three coffee beans.

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Updated: 2020-07-14

The Espresso Martini Recipe