The Story Behind The Tequila Espresso Martini

Love it or hate it, the Espresso Martini has made a comeback in recent times. As tequila also experiences a global uptick in popularity, it only makes sense that these two would combine in one harmonious cocktail.

The original vodka-based version was developed in the early 1980s by the legendary Dick Bradsell at London’s Soho Brasserie. As the story goes, a supermodel once strutted into the club and called for a drink that would “wake her up, then f*ck her up.” Before eventually making its way to the United States, the caffeinated drink was big in U.K. and Australian bars and nightclubs.

In this updated version, blanco tequila combines with freshly pulled espresso, simple syrup, and coffee liqueur to create a sweet liquid dessert. A generous shake provides a plush, pillowy foam, upon which lies its signature coffee bean garnish.

Fresh espresso is non-negotiable in either iteration of the cocktail. Crema — the head on top of recently-brewed espresso — contains fatty oils that help create a thick foam when shaken.

As for the build itself, all ingredients should be added to a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice. The shake should be vigorous enough to produce the cocktail’s signature foam, without adding too much dilution.

Follow the recipe below to shake up this ‘90s throwback.


  • 1 ounce blanco tequila
  • ¾ ounce coffee liqueur
  • 1 ¼ ounces fresh espresso
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
  • Garnish: 3 coffee beans


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake vigorously with ice.
  2. Strain into a coupette glass.
  3. Garnish with three coffee beans.

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(376 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 175
Updated: 2022-11-23

Tequila Espresso Martini Recipe Video