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Try this refreshing twist on a classic cocktail: the frozen espresso martini! This easy recipe blends 4 ingredients into a creamy, frosty puree with rich coffee undertones. It’s a coffee cocktail that hits the spot in any season!

Frozen Espresso Martini in stemmed glass.
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Here’s your signature summer cocktail: the frozen espresso martini! The classic espresso martini has vaulted into one of the most popular cocktails in America. So why not try a frozen spin on the classic?

We created our own spin on this recipe and it is extremely simple to make! Many recipes call for making espresso and freezing it into ice cubes, but who has time for that? You can make our version in just 5 minutes in a blender. The creamy, frosty flavor with rich coffee undertones is absolutely divine. We can’t wait for you to try it!

Ingredients in a frozen espresso martini

As cocktail experts with over 300 cocktail recipes in our library, this one has a special place in our hearts! It came about as a happy accident. Wondering if we could simply use bottled cold brew coffee in a frozen version of the classic Espresso Martini, we whipped out our blender. Turns out, it works perfectly—meaning you can have the frozen version of this cocktail ready in just 5 minutes. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Vodka: The smooth, neutral spirit provides a base for the cocktail, allowing the other flavors to shine.
  • Kahlúa: This coffee liqueur adds sweetness and a hint of rum complexity to the mix.
  • Cold brew coffee (or strong coffee): The strong, concentrated coffee brings the bold, caffeinated essence of espresso to the martini without the need to make espresso. You can also make coffee using your favorite method: make it double strength and chill it before blending.
  • Sugar: Sugar balances the bitterness of the coffee and enhances the overall flavor. If desired, you can substitute with simple syrup, maple syrup, or agave syrup, using ¾ of the sugar specified in the recipe.
  • Ice: Crushed or cubed ice chills the cocktail and creates a frosty, refreshing texture.

How to make a frozen espresso martini: step by step

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, the frozen espresso martini is quick and simple to blend. Here are the basic steps (or scroll down for the recipe):

Frozen espresso Martini ingredients

Step 1: Gather the ingredients: 1 cup cold brew coffee, ¼ cup Kahlua, ¼ cup vodka, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 cups ice.

How to make a frozen espresso martini Step 2

Step 2: Blend the ingredients in a blender.

Frozen Espresso Martini Step 3: Garnish.

Step 3: Pour into glasses and garnish with 3 coffee beans.

What’s an espresso martini?

The Espresso Martini is a vodka martini made with coffee that was invented in 1983. London bartender Dick Bradsell of the Soho Brasserie created the drink for a patron who asked for a drink to wake her up.

Apparently the coffee machine was right next to the drink station, and the Espresso Martini was born. The name came in the 1990’s when flavored martinis were all the rage.

Coffee methods

We like buying purchased cold brew coffee concentrate for a frozen espresso martini because it’s so simple! You can also make homemade cold brew coffee, which is very easy and a much cheaper method. If you have a French press, try French press cold brew.

Or, make strong coffee using a dark roast bean: French press or pour over work well. Another great option is Moka Pot coffee (coffee made with a Bialetti), since its flavor is somewhere between coffee and espresso. Cool the coffee before blending.

More about Kahlua

Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that’s made in Mexico. It’s made with rum, sugar and coffee. It does have some caffeine, but only about 25% as much as the same volume of coffee. The standard Kahlua is dairy-free, vegan and plant-based: it contains only rum, sugar and coffee.

You can also use other types of coffee liqueur in a frozen espresso martini, like Tia Maria or Sheridan’s. Use up leftovers to make Kahlua drinks like the White RussianBlack Russian or Mudslide.

A few more coffee cocktails

If you love a good frozen espresso martini, here are a few more coffee cocktails might enjoy:

Frequently asked questions

How does a frozen espresso martini differ from a regular one?

The main difference is texture. A frozen espresso martini is blended with ice, creating a slushy, refreshing drink, similar to a frozen margarita. The flavor profile is similar to the classic cocktail.

Can I adjust the sweetness level?

Absolutely! If you prefer a sweeter drink, add a bit more sugar. For a less sweet version, reduce the amount. We don’t suggest omitting it.

What kind of garnish should I use?

Coffee beans are the classic choice, but you can also use a sprinkle of cocoa powder or even a dollop of whipped cream.

Can I make a large batch ahead of time?

It’s best to blend right before serving to have the correct slushy texture. If desired, you can mix up the liquids and refrigerate, then blend with ice right before serving. You can also blend and freeze for up to 1 hour, then stir with a fork before serving. 

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Frozen Espresso Martini

Frozen Espresso Martini


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings 1x

Description

Try this refreshing twist on a classic cocktail: the frozen espresso martini! This easy recipe blends 4 ingredients into a creamy, frosty puree with rich coffee undertones. It’s the drink of the summer!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup cold brew (or strong coffee, cooled*)
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ¼ cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur (like Tia Maria)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar**
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • Coffee beans, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until combined.
  2. Pour into glasses and garnish with coffee beans. 

Notes

*We used purchased bottled vanilla cold brew. You can also use homemade cold brew coffee, or make double-strength coffee using your favorite method.

**If desired, you can also use 2 ½ tablespoons simple syrup, maple syrup, or agave syrup as a natural sweetener.

Make ahead notes: It’s best to blend right before serving to have the correct slushy texture. If desired, you can mix up the liquids and refrigerate, then blend with ice right before serving. You can also blend and freeze for up to 1 hour, then stir with a fork before serving. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Kelly Bellinghausen says:

    I love expresso martinis so will definitely try this recipe. Obssessed with the martini glasses – could you share where you purchased them?