Espresso Martini

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up post-dinner, the Espresso Martini is here to jolt you awake with its boozy magical powers. The cocktail has been jumpstarting outings and extending nights ever since making its debut in the 1980s.

The now-classic drink was invented by British bartender Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in London. Legend has it that a “top model” asked for a drink that would “wake me up and f**k me up” at the same time. Bradsell complied, mixing vodka with espresso and coffee liqueur, and the Espresso Martini was born.

If you have an espresso machine, you can pull a shot and put it in the freezer for a quick chill. That will keep the hot liquid from melting the ice and overly diluting the drink. If you don’t have an espresso machine, using cold brew concentrate is an easy hack. The strongly flavored coffee subs admirably for fresh espresso and keeps the temperature just right.

The espresso is joined by coffee liqueur, usually Kahlúa, which adds another rich vein of coffee flavor to the cocktail. Shake everything together, and you get a caffeinated drink that is surprisingly balanced, with just the right ratio of booze, coffee and sugar. Garnish with a few coffee beans, and it’s picture-perfect.

Try an Espresso Martini on your next late-night outing, or order one for brunch when a Bloody Mary won’t cut it. You don’t have to be Kate Moss to enjoy its two-pronged effects.





  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur (usually Kahlúa)
  • 1 ounce espresso, freshly brewed (or cold brew concentrate)
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Garnish: coffee beans


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