I am assuming you are one of those energetic guys who wants to stay awake late at night. Well, you have done your homework right as an espresso martini is the perfect drink. It can keep you awake until late at night and keep you chilled until then.

However, not every one of you wants espresso on your coffee. Some people may not have an espresso machine but still need this espresso martini. Here we are with an espresso martini recipe without espresso.

What is a regular espresso martini?

A regular espresso martini is a classic and popular drink among the genz out there. It is a popular coffee-flavoured cocktail known for its smooth texture, bold coffee notes and caffeine kick.

Difference between regular espresso martini & espresso martini without espresso

Reglar espresso martini

  • Uses espresso as the foundation ingredient, which contributes a strong flavour and a frothy layer
  • Requires an espresso machine for brewing
  • Offers a higher caffeine content due to the espresso

Espresso martini without espresso

  • A substitute for espresso is used as the base ingredient such as cold brew concentrate, strong brewed coffee, coffee liqueur etc.
  • It has a less intense coffee flavour depending on the substitute
  • It may contain lower caffeine content (depending on the substitute)
  • Doesn’t require an espresso machine
Feature  Regular espresso martini Espresso martini without espresso
Coffee base Espresso  Cold brew concentrate, strong brewed coffee, coffee liqueur
Intensity of coffee flavour Strong, intense Less intense, varies based on substitute
Caffeine content higher Lower, varies based on the substitute
Equipment needed Espresso machine No espresso machine required
Accessibility  Less accessible More accessible

Benefits of Espresso martini without Espresso

Benefits of Espresso martini without Espresso

Convenient: To brew a regular espresso martini you will need an espresso machine as the base ingredient is espresso. So, if you take out the espresso you won’t need the espresso machine anymore. So, it becomes easier to brew this for the home bartenders.

Offers a smoother flavour: cold brew is less acidic and less bitter than espresso. This is why espresso martini without espresso is lighter and good for the stomach.

Lower caffeine: cold brew generally has less caffeine than espresso, which is suitable for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

Espresso martini recipe without espresso

Let’s start with the ingredients


  • 1/2 oz Blue Mountain Caribbean Coffee Liqueur (or Kahlua): This liqueur adds coffee flavour and sweetness to the drink. Blue Mountain brags a smoother, less bitter taste compared to Kahlua.
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup: Sweetens the drink and balances the bitterness of the coffee and vodka. You can adjust the amount based on your preference.
  • 1 oz Cold Brew: The cold brew provides a smoother and less acidic coffee flavour compared to espresso. However, it contains less caffeine.
  • 2 oz Vodka: This is the alcoholic base of the drink. Try to go for a high-quality vodka for a smoother taste.
  • Coffee or Espresso Beans (Garnish): These add a visual touch and a hint of coffee aroma. Coffee beans might be less intense than espresso beans when eaten.


  • Put all the ingredients in a jar or cup and start to shake. You can see a frothy texture created while shaking.
  • Shake with the ice cubes for at least 30 seconds. It will give you a lighter texture and fuller flavour
  • Pour into a martini glass, remember to filter with a strainer. It will remove the ice chips and ensure smoothness.
  • Drink your espresso martini without espresso

Recipe for simple syrup

Put ½ cup of brown sugar and ½ cup of water and start boiling them. Keep heating them on the stove. The more you keep on the stove the thicker it will get.

Our Suggestion for the best liquor

Using premium vodka is the ultimate recommendation. Try to use the top shelf vodka like Grey Goose or Ketel one. We also suggest Tito’s vodka as a good alternative especially if you are tight on budget.

Experimentation with espresso martini without espresso

  • You can use more simple syrup and adjust to your preference, and if you want a different flavour profile you can use agave nectar or honey.
  • As always if you want a stronger coffee flavour use 1.5 ounces of cold brew. And if you do not like cold brew simply use strong brewed coffee.

Customization with Different Flavourings

Customization with Different Flavourings


Many types of caramel can be added to adjust the flavouring of your favourite coffee martini without espresso.

Salted Caramel: You can add some sea salt to the syrup for a sweet & salty combination.

Caramel Coffee Liqueur: you can use the caramel coffee liquor as an alternative to the coffee liquor for a deeper caramel flavour.


Vanilla extract or bean: Infuse vanilla extract with simple syrup to have the flavour of vanilla on your drink. The same thing can be applied to vanilla liquor. Some people directly use vanilla syrup in place of simple syrup for total vanilla flavour.


Hazelnut can give you a nutty flavour if you add it to the simple syrup. However, you cannot use all the flavourings together. You have to use one flavouring at a time.

Toffee nut

There is toffee nut liqueur, toffee nut syrup and toffee garnish that can be added as alternatives to liqueur and syrup. You can use the toffee nut if you want a rich toffee flavour.

Nutritional elements of espresso martini without espresso

If you are curious to know then this is for you only. Not everyone cares about being curious or knowledgeable. If you are one of those knowledge seekers then congratulations, we have the science & nutrition behind espresso martini.

Nutritional elements of espresso martini without espresso

However, here’s a breakdown of the estimated macros and potential variations of this recipe.

Base Recipe:

  • Calories: Around 200-250mg (without added sugar)
  • Carbohydrates: Around 15-20g (mostly from simple syrup)
  • Fat: Around 0-1g (trace amounts from vodka)
  • Protein: negligible
  • Caffeine: Around 40-80mg (depending on cold brew strength)

Variations and Impact:

  • Stronger coffee (instead of cold brew): Increases caffeine content (70-120mg) and might add minimal calories/carbs.
  • More simple syrup: Raises calories (15-20 per added tbsp) and increases carbs.
  • Coffee liqueur options:
    • Kahlua: Adds ~60 calories, 6g carbs, and 0g fat per ounce.
    • Tia Maria: Adds ~100 calories, 9g carbs, and 2g fat per ounce.
    • Baileys: Adds ~130 calories, 13g carbs, and 4g fat per ounce.
  • Chocolate liqueur: Additional calories and fat (varies by brand).
  • Non-dairy options: Plant-based milk alternatives in a mocktail version add minimal calories and carbs

These are estimations based on various sources like the USDA National Nutrient Database, and different brand websites. So, do not believe these amounts blindly, they are to give you an idea or an estimation of the nutrition present in the espresso martini without espresso. 


Many drinks don’t have espresso in them. Among all of them, espresso martini is special because it is intense and it keeps you awake to party. Try different variations with the recipe and find the perfect one for you. Once you start to experiment with coffee you won’t need a barista to guide you in every step. However, if you are on the beginner’s level and want someone to help you go “coffee blog mart”. You can find a personal barista that will help you brew the best coffee you can ever imagine.


Qs1: Does an espresso martini without espresso taste as good as the classical espresso martini?

While it is different from the classic espresso martini, It is delicious. It might lack the espresso’s intense hit, but it has the coffee cocktail essence.

Qs2: Can I customize the recipe?

Of course, you can. You can use alternatives for the coffee liqueur like tia maria and Baileys. You can use alternatives for simple syrup such as natural sweeteners like stevia or erythritol.

Qs3: Which cold brew concentrate is best?

Choose a strong, smooth concentrate with a good coffee flavour. Avoid overly watery versions of the cold concentrate.

Qs4: Are there other coffee cocktails without espresso?

Definitely! Explore “Iced Mocha,” “Spiced Coffee White Russian,” or “Cold Brew Negroni” variations. You’ll find everything about them on “coffee blog mart.

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