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Top 12 Espresso Cocktails to Try

Check out these boozy espresso drinks for a cocktail with a little kick.

Refreshing and full of flavor, espresso cocktails are a favorite for good reasons.

Espresso Martini cocktails garnished with coffee beans

They range from delightful, after-dinner drinks to bold brunch beverages.

They can be warm and rich, perfect for a cold winter’s night, or frozen and laced with fruit flavors.

Knowing how to make a great one might take some practice, and you may need to hunt down a few unique ingredients.

But the results are more than worth it. 

Best Espresso Cocktails

Espresso Martini

A trendy bar staple, the espresso martini is the perfect after-dinner drink. You can create an indulgent cocktail that takes the place of dessert using rich espresso, coffee liqueur, and a shot of vodka.

espresso martini cocktail
source: mybartender.com

The trick is to shake this drink hard and fast. That’s what creates the impressive foamy topper on this beverage.

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Affogato Cocktail

Fans of coffee ice cream will love this espresso cocktail. Crafted using grappa, coffee liquor, creme de cacao, espresso, and ice cream, this recipe requires more than your standard bar fare. But the results are worth the effort.

Affogato Cocktail
source: diffordsguide.com

Try it after your next Italian-themed dinner in place of dessert.

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Espresso Old-Fashioned

This stiff take on a coffee cocktail isn’t for the faint of heart. It combines a double shot of espresso with rye whiskey, simple syrup, bitters, and a lemon twist. 

Espresso Old-Fashioned
source: bonappetit.com

Far from a creamy, after-dinner drink, this is one you might consider after a hard day’s work. Or, serve it up sans alcohol for a mid-morning pick-me-up.

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Mocha Espresso Martini

Chocolate and coffee lovers rejoice! This cocktail is designed with you in mind.

Mocha Espresso Martini
source: elletalk.com

This would be a great alternative to the standard mimosa with brunch, featuring coffee liquor and espresso over ice. As an icy cocktail, it’s also fantastic in the summer months

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Insomniac Cocktail

Sweet, creamy, and oh-so-caffeinated, this cocktail is perfect for those nights you don’t want to end. Crafted from hazelnut liquor, coffee liquor, vodka, cream, and espresso, this is an ideal dessert drink.

Insomniac Cocktail
source: drinkinghobby.com

Plus, it’s easy to whip up, even if you don’t have an espresso machine. Cold brew or strong-brewed coffee work as the perfect substitutions.

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The Dark Velvet

The Dark Velvet cocktail takes a few extra steps, but the results are worth it. Rich, creamy, and decadent, this beverage relies on amaretto, espresso, rum, and heavy cream to create a stunning drink.

The Dark Velvet
source: beansandburrs.com

The hardest part is getting the cream to float on the espresso and rum mix. But with a bit of patience, anyone can do it.

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Tequila Espresso Martini

You might think tequila and espresso would only go together sometimes, but this cocktail recipe will prove you wrong. It uses Kahlua, tequila, and espresso to create a martini that pays tribute to Kahlua’s Mexican roots.

Tequila Espresso Martini 
source: kahlua.com

Plus, it’s super easy to make. Simply shake everything together over ice and strain.

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Iced Dark Chocolate Orange Espresso

If you’re a fan of chocolate and orange, you’ll love this take on the espresso cocktail. Bold espresso with rich chocolate undertones and bright orange zest come together beautifully in a chilled cocktail glass.

Iced Dark Chocolate Orange Espresso
source: angelinos.com

This recipe doesn’t include alcohol, but you could add a vodka shot if you choose.

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Wake Up Call

The Wake Up Call features fruity rum with a smokey chili kick. This unique espresso cocktail is bright and exciting, perfect for a weekend brunch.

Wake Up Call
source: vinepair.com

You might not have chili bitters in your regular bar inventory, but if you’re a fan of rum-based cocktails, it’s worth seeking out. It plays with the rum and espresso exceptionally well.

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Frozen Salted Espresso Martinis

The Frozen Salted Espresso Martini is the perfect pick for a sunny day. It will take some preparation, as you’ll need to freeze your espresso in advance, but the results are epic. 

Frozen Salted Espresso Martinis
source: foodandwine.com

Best of all, this recipe makes enough for two, making this salty-sweet treat perfect for sharing with a friend at the pool.

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But First, Coffee

If you’re a fan of cold brew, you’ll love this modern take on the traditional espresso martini. The recipe uses reposado tequila and a unique Coca-Cola reduction to create a unique cold-brew-flavored cocktail.

But First, Coffee
source: punchdrink.com

It’s not an easy one to put together, as you’ll have to seek out Mexican Coke and reduce it down to syrup. But if you like the deep flavors of cold brew coffee, it’s worth the extra effort.

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Espress Ya’self

If the bitter notes in a typical espresso martini aren’t your jam, this recipe might be a better option.

Espress Ya'self
source: liquor.com

It’s a little complex, and you’ll have to search for ingredients, but a recipe like this will impress your friends.

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Cheers!

Espresso cocktails come in all sorts. Frozen, warm, sweet, or complex, these cocktails work as after-dinner drinks, brunch treats, and everything else.

Do you have a favorite espresso cocktail? We’d love to hear about it.

Leave a comment below and tell us what it is.

Espresso Martini cocktails garnished with coffee beans

12 Espresso Cocktail Recipes

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Instructions

    1. Pick your favorite recipe
    2. Gather all the needed ingredients
    3. Prep a tasty cocktail in less than 5 minutes

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

    Written by Paul Kushner

    I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

    In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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