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This easy and creamy espresso martini is so delicious, it could pass for dessert!
Made with simple ingredients and naturally dairy free, it’s the perfect drink to end to your evening or sweet treat when the craving hits.
Ideal for coffee lovers and martini lovers alike, this classic espresso martini is so much fun to make at home. And you won’t need any special equipment to make it!
Ingredients for this Dairy Free Espresso Martini
Here’s what you’ll need to create this classic cocktail:
- Brewed espresso. Don’t worry if you don’t have an espresso machine. You can make espresso using instant espresso powder mixed with boiling water.
- Vodka. Because vodka is a prominent ingredient in this coffee cocktail, use a quality brand that won’t overpower the other flavors.
- Kahlua. Go for Original Kahlua or Kahlua Midnight to stick with the dairy free theme. The ready-to-drink Kahlua beverages contain dairy.
- Vanilla syrup. Simple syrup flavored with the essence of vanilla is available at most grocery stores and on Amazon. I love to use the sugar free version to reduce the calories in this cocktail.
Is Kahlua Dairy Free?
Original Kahlua is dairy free. It does not contain any milk, cream or milk-derived ingredients.
It is not, however, vegan. There is something in the way the sugar in this liqueur is processed that is not okay for a vegan diet.
If you’re looking for a coffee liqueur that is dairy free and also vegan, opt for Tia Maria instead. Using Tia Maria in place of Kahlua will yield a totally vegan espresso martini.
How to Make an Espresso Martini
This espresso martini is one of the easiest cocktails to make!
First, brew your espresso. If you have time, let it cool to room temperature. If not, it’s okay. We’ll get it nice and cold in the shaker.
Now, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. (If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, use a mason jar with a lid.)
Pour in the espresso, your choice of vodka, Kahlua and vanilla syrup. Shake it vigorously for at least 20 seconds. The shaking is what will create that creamy foam at the top of your martini that looks like dairy but isn’t.
Then, pour the martini into a glass. For an extra frosty cocktail, use a chilled martini glass. Garnish it with a couple of espresso beans for a picture perfect finish.
What if you don’t have an espresso maker?
Is this espresso martini strong?
At a 50/50 ratio of alcohol to mixers, this espresso martini isn’t for the meek.
A nice way to mellow it out while also keeping things dairy free is to add a little almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk or coconut milk to the mix.
The addition of plant-based milk not only complements the espresso flavor in this cocktail but also helps to dilute the alcohol content.
What if you can’t find vanilla syrup?
If you can’t find vanilla syrup at the grocery store or if you just want to make your own, follow this simple recipe:
1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 2 Tbsp. of pure vanilla extract.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
3. Reduce the heat and let it simmer another 7-10 minutes.
4. Let the vanilla syrup cool to room temperature.
Use homemade vanilla syrup to make this traditional espresso martini, mix it with Irish cream liqueur and black coffee to create a delicious drink or stir it into your morning coffee for an elevated experience.
Variations on this Espresso Martini recipe
- Coconut Espresso Martini: Replace the vanilla syrup with coconut-flavored simple syrup for a tropical twist.
- Hazelnut Espresso Martini: Use hazelnut syrup in place of vanilla syrup for a nutty flavor.
- Chocolate Espresso Martini: Add a splash of dairy-free chocolate syrup or chocolate-flavored liqueur to create a delicious chocolate martini. Sprinkle with cocoa powder for a pretty finish. The perfect cocktail for chocolate lovers!
When you make this espresso martini, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Cheers!
For more easy cocktail recipes, try these:
Easy Espresso Martini Recipe (Dairy Free and Delish!)
- 3 oz. brewed espresso
- 3 oz. vodka
- 1.5 oz. Kahlua
- 1.5 oz. vanilla syrup
- Brew fresh espresso using your method of choice. Allow hot espresso to cool to room temperature.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Pour all ingredients into the cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
- Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a few espresso beans or coffee beans.