Liquor Laboratory

What Does Espresso Martini Taste Like? Flavor Guide

What Does Espresso Martini Taste Like

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Espresso Martini origins trace back to the 1980s when a young and aspiring supermodel requested Dick Bradsell, a British bartender, a cocktail that would wake her up and delight her taste buds.

This classic cocktail is a testament to the artistry of mixology, a unique blend between espresso’s bold character and a classic martini’s sophistication.

If you’re yet to give it a shot, we’ve taken the opportunity to craft one ourselves so we can answer, “What does Espresso Martini taste like?”

Understanding Espresso Martini & Its Flavors

Glass of Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini showcases coffee’s bitterness with mild sweetness and creamy texture from the liqueur and vodka.

The Espresso Martini’s taste gracefully harmonizes the robust bitterness derived from premium cold-brewed espresso beans with the sweetness of the espresso liqueur.

“Espresso martinis leave a lot of room for creativity.” -Zach Spears, Bar Lead at Lot Six Bar

The Espresso Martini’s flavors dance together, making each sip a journey of taste and texture.

But what does a dirty Martini taste like?

Espresso Martini’s Tasting Notes

Bartender Making Espresso Martini Drink


The initial sip greeted me with the bold embrace of freshly brewed espresso – a rich and slightly bitter note. The brewed espresso flavor is the robust foundation of the favorite beverage.

As I savored the moments, the velvety texture of the vodka gently emerged, adding a smooth and luxurious touch that intertwined seamlessly with the coffee’s essence.

But what truly set the Espresso Martini apart was the artful interplay of the coffee liqueur. Its indulgent sweetness and creamy texture danced harmoniously with the bitterness of the coffee.

Bartender Tip: Adding chocolate syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon, or vanilla syrup can give a new dimension to this coffee-infused cocktail while still maintaining classic taste appeal.


As I completed crafting the Espresso Martini, my nose was filled with an enticing coffee aroma that seemed to transport me to a cozy café.

The unmistakable scent of freshly brewed coffee took center stage, offering a rich, earthy, comforting, and refreshing essence.

Amidst the coffee’s robust notes, there was a delicate undercurrent of sweetness – a trace of the indulgent Kahlua liqueur that hinted at the harmonious blend of flavors within the classic cocktail.

Find out what a classic Martini tastes like here.


As I sipped the Espresso Martini, I noticed its smooth texture. It flowed easily over my palate, neither too heavy nor too light.

The Vodka espresso comfortably coated my tongue, allowing me to appreciate the flavors without overwhelming sensations.

It was a straightforward yet enjoyable texture that contributed to the overall experience of the cocktail. One part of Kahlua gives out creaminess when shaken over ice ingredients, creating a deluxe snow cone effect.


The finish of the Espresso Martini was both satisfying and lingering. The flavors gently subsided, leaving a pleasant aftertaste that echoed the coffee’s robustness and the subtle sweetness of Kahlua.

It wasn’t an abrupt ending but rather a gradual fade that invited me to reflect on the interplay of flavors I had just experienced.

The finish added a final layer to the overall profile of the cocktail, ensuring that its essence stayed with me even after the glass was empty.

When to Drink Espresso Martini

Glass of Espresso Martini with Star Anise

Espresso Martini won’t keep you wide awake all night. This versatile cocktail is suitable for both pre-and post-dinner enjoyment.

The Espresso Martini seamlessly adapts to the occasion, whether a refined aperitif before your meal or a delightful digestif to round off your evening.

If you want Espresso Martini with stronger coffee aromas and tastes, ask for a double shot of espresso in the liquid mixture.

Key Ingredients

To make an Espresso Martini, you will need vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso (cold brew [1] or freshly brewed coffee), simple syrup, and three coffee beans (for health, wealth, and happiness) [2].

The heart of the Espresso Martini lies in the infusion of high-quality cold-brewed espresso beans. The bean quality brings a bold, slightly bitter character that forms the foundation of the cocktail’s flavor profile.

Kahlua liqueur enhances the distinct aroma of espresso martinis by adding sweet hints. This element balances the bitterness from the espresso coffee beans and creates a frothy creaminess.

Vodka provides a smooth, almost velvety texture to the cocktail. Its subtle presence elevates the overall experience, allowing the espresso coffee and Kahlua to shine without overpowering them.

“Espresso Martini gives out a harmony of flavors so sip, savor, and delight in balance.” -Liquor Laboratory

You can go for vanilla syrup or whipped cream with chocolate syrup on top for an additional sweetness factor. But what’s the best vodka for an Espresso Martini?

FAQs Related to What does an espresso martini taste like?

What does an espresso martini taste like?

An espresso martini has a rich and indulgent taste characterized by a balance of bitter coffee, sweet liqueur, and the smoothness of vodka. It offers a harmonious blend of coffee intensity, sweetness, and alcoholic warmth.

Can you describe the sweetness level of an espresso martini?

An espresso martini typically has a moderate level of sweetness, derived from the addition of coffee liqueur such as Kahlúa or Tia Maria. The sweetness complements the bitterness of the coffee and the strength of the vodka.

What are the prominent flavors in an espresso martini?

The prominent flavors in an espresso martini include strong espresso coffee, with its robust bitterness and rich aroma, balanced by the sweetness of coffee liqueur and the smoothness of vodka. Some variations may also include hints of chocolate or vanilla.

Is an espresso martini similar to a regular martini in taste?

While both drinks share the name “martini,” they have very different flavor profiles. An espresso martini features the bold flavors of coffee and liqueur, whereas a classic martini typically showcases the herbal and botanical notes of gin or vodka with vermouth.

How does the addition of espresso coffee impact the taste of an espresso martini?

The addition of espresso coffee gives an espresso martini its distinct coffee flavor, adding depth and complexity to the drink. It contributes a rich bitterness and aromatic intensity that balances the sweetness of the liqueur and vodka.

Can you compare the taste of an espresso martini to other coffee-based cocktails?

An espresso martini is unique among coffee-based cocktails due to its combination of coffee intensity, sweetness, and alcoholic kick. While other coffee cocktails may feature similar flavors, an espresso martini stands out for its balance and sophistication.

Are there variations of an espresso martini with different flavor profiles?

Yes, there are numerous variations of the espresso martini that incorporate different ingredients to create unique flavor profiles. For example, some variations may include flavored syrups, spices, or alternative liqueurs to customize the taste.

In Summary

Espresso Martini presents a symphony of flavors and gives an elevated experience to the typical martini flavor.

The espresso martini’s taste can be comparable to coffee but with a nice kick. Combining espresso with the indulgent sweetness of Kahlua and a touch of vodka adds a smooth undercurrent.

This harmonious blend of bitter and sweet notes gives a true martini a velvety sip and unique taste.

Whether drawn to its complexity or enticed by its balance, the Espresso Martini offers a taste adventure for martini and coffee lovers.

How do you find the Espresso Martini taste? Is it sweet or bitter for you? Let us know in the comments.


Lumint ad Side Bar
Flex Ad Side Bar