An Espresso Martini is a classic and well-known coffee cocktail, which is loved worldwide. Its strong, sweet and delicious taste, topped with a creamy, foamy top, makes it perfect as an after-dinner cocktail to serve your guests. Garnish the Espresso Martini with some coffee beans to make it truly sophisticated. We from Galliano are happy to share the true Italian Espresso Martini recipe for this delicious experience with you. But first, some history about this world-famous drink.


In 1983 this famous cocktail was created by Dick Bradsell at the Soho Brasserie in London. The story goes that a young supermodel asked for a drink to ‘wake me up and f*ck me up’. That is how the Espresso Martini, consisting of vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso was born. Quickly the word spread and it became an icon. To this day it remains the most popular coffee cocktail and a staple of after-dinner ritual worldwide.

A twist of coffee on a classic Martini

Officially speaking an Espresso Martini is not like a true Martini, because it does not contain any gin or vermouth. But, because this caffeinated cocktail is served in a Martini glass, it has become just as iconic as the regular one. This twist on a regular Martini is a coffee lover’s dream cocktail.

For this cocktail using an espresso Liqueur instead of a coffee liqueur will give this classic cocktail a deeper, more intense flavor. Like a well-made espresso, our Galliano Espresso liqueur has a more pronounced flavor. It is made with dark roasted coffee beans. Coffee beans used for an espresso are often roasted for a longer period than beans used for regular coffee. This results in a heavier, fuller flavor palate. Galliano Espresso is the perfect brew of two strong coffee beans. Following the top barista, a good cup of espresso is made with the best quality of Arabica and/or Robusta beans, both present in Galliano Espresso; 55% creamy, chocolate Arabica beans and 45% strong Robusta beans. Therefore to truly master your cocktail we recommend Galliano Espresso liqueur, for those in love with coffee.

Espresso Martini ingredients


To serve this cocktail you should be using a Martini glass.

How to make an Espresso Martini

Start by putting your glasses into the fridge so your drinks stay nice and cold. Make a shot of espresso from your espresso machine and put it in the freezer for a quick chill. As a result the hot liquid will not melt the ice and cause the drink to be overly diluted. If you don’t have an espresso machine, using cold brew concentrate is also a good option. A tip from us to you: avoid making this cocktail with instant coffee, because it just won’t taste as magical.

After chilling, the Galliano Espresso liqueur will join the chilled espresso, which adds another rich vein of flavor to the cocktail. Then add all ingredients to the shaker and shake everything together. Finally you fine-strain the mixture in a pre-chilled glass and garnish with a few coffee beans to make it picture-perfect. The outcome will be a caffeinated cocktail that is surprisingly balanced, with just the right ratio of booze, coffee and sugar.

Bartender’s note

Replace the Sugar syrup with Galliano Vanilla for a subtle vanilla, herbal undertone. Very delicious and less of a hassle, so you do not need to make any sugar syrup.

Replace the vodka for tequila to make it an Mexican Martini.