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Espresso Martini

Refuge recipes: Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini has become a much-loved modern classic, and was created in 1983 by British bar legend, Dick Bradsell. It was originally called the Vodka Espresso, then the Pharmaceutical Stimulant, but finally adopted the martini moniker (which just comes from the original glass it was served in). This caffeine-laced cocktail was supposedly created for a guest who asked for something to ‘wake me up and f**k me up’. Quite the combo.

It’s all about the quality of the ingredients though, so don’t skimp on using great coffee. If you don’t have a coffee machine at home, then filter coffee will work too (use 14g ground coffee to 60ml boiling water).

Bar Manager Rose says if you fancy adding a twist, swap out the sugar syrup for hazelnut syrup.

Espresso Martini recipe

Makes one

You’ll need: a Boston shaker, a Hawthorne strainer, a fine strainer, a coupe or martini glass


25ml Absolut vodka
15ml coffee liqueur (we like Mr Black)
15ml sugar syrup (to make at home, heat equal parts water and caster sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves)
50ml espresso (double shot)
Garnish: three coffee beans


1. Chill your glass, by filling with crushed ice or putting in the freezer for 10 minutes.
2. Pour the first three ingredients into the Boston shaker and fill with ice. Pour the coffee over the ice and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
3. Discard the crushed ice in your glass. Attach the Hawthorne strainer to the tin side of the shaker and pour through the fine strainer into the glass.
4. Garnish with three coffee beans.