Espresso Sambuca Martini Cocktail Recipe

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Espresso Sambuca Martini Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:~20%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Espresso Sambuca Martini is a modern twist on the classic martini, infusing the bold flavors of coffee and the anise-like notes of Sambuca into a sophisticated cocktail. It's a favorite among coffee enthusiasts and those who appreciate a cocktail with a kick. The addition of Sambuca pays homage to Italian after-dinner traditions, while the espresso element caters to the contemporary love for coffee-based cocktails.

  • Originated in the cocktail boom of the 21st century
  • Combines traditional Italian liqueur with modern mixology
  • Perfect for a post-dinner conversation starter or a pick-me-up

How Espresso Sambuca Martini Tastes?

The Espresso Sambuca Martini is a complex, multi-layered drink. It's robust and rich, with the deep, roasted flavors of espresso complemented by the sweet, syrupy texture of the coffee liqueur. The Sambuca adds a subtle anise flavor that lingers on the palate, while the vodka provides a clean, strong backbone. It's a cocktail that's both invigorating and indulgent.

Interesting facts about Espresso Sambuca Martini

  • The Espresso Sambuca Martini is often enjoyed as a digestif, aiding in digestion after a meal.
  • It's a popular choice in the craft cocktail scene, especially in upscale bars and restaurants.
  • The garnish of three espresso beans is said to represent health, wealth, and happiness.


A few good options for Espresso Sambuca Martini are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

Reyka Vodka

Reyka Vodka, coming from Iceland, is known for its clean and crisp flavor, which creates a smooth base for our cocktail without overpowering the other ingredients. The 1.5 oz is just enough to bring the buzz we're after without turning our sprint into a marathon. Without it, the cocktail would lose its backbone and become a mere coffee-flavored mocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Coffee Liqueur

The 0.75 oz of Coffee Liqueur enhances the espresso's rich notes, adding a touch of sweetness and depth. It's like a secret whisper in a roaring crowd, subtle but essential. If you skip it, you'll be missing that sweet undertone that plays so well with the bitter espresso. A substitute could be a chocolate liqueur for a different twist.

Emma Rose


1 oz Espresso because without it, an Espresso Martini is like a pool without water - utterly pointless. It delivers the signature coffee punch and should be freshly brewed for the best taste. Too much could overpower the cocktail; too little and it's a whisper lost in the wind.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

0.75 oz of Simple Syrup to sweeten the deal without stealing the show. It’s there to balance the bitterness of the espresso, not to make a cameo as the star. If you forget it, you might find yourself puckering up more than you'd like. No syrup? Try a dash of agave nectar.

Mary Mitkina

Romana Sambuca Liquore Classico

A modest 0.25 oz of Sambuca because it's the secret handshake between all the ingredients. It adds a hint of anise that sneaks up on you, giving depth and a surprise element to the martini. Overdo it, and you’ll feel like you're sipping licorice; without it, that special something will be sorely missed.

Emma Rose

Espresso Beans

3 Espresso Beans, because good things come in threes, and they're more than a pretty face - they hint at the coffee essence within. Plus, they're a crunchy snack for anyone brave enough to dive in after the last sip!

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Espresso Sambuca Martini Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add the vodka, coffee liqueur, freshly brewed espresso, simple syrup, and Sambuca.
  3. Shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  5. Garnish with three espresso beans, floating them on the surface of the drink.

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly brewed espresso for the best flavor.
  • Chill the martini glass before serving to keep the drink colder for longer.
  • When garnishing with espresso beans, try to use beans that have been lightly crushed to release more aroma.

Perfect Pairings

Sweet Desserts

Rich and sweet desserts such as tiramisu or chocolate fondant pair beautifully with the Espresso Sambuca Martini, as the chocolate notes complement the coffee flavors in the cocktail.

Savory Snacks

Italian antipasti like olives, cheese, and cured meats can balance the drink's sweetness and work well with its bold flavors.

Coffee-Flavored Treats

A piece of coffee-flavored cheesecake or coffee walnut cake would enhance the espresso components and provide a delightful taste experience.

After-Dinner Drink

This cocktail also serves as a perfect standalone after-dinner drink, akin to having your coffee and dessert in one.

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What you could change in Espresso Sambuca Martini

  • Vodka: Any high-quality vodka can be used in place of Reyka.
  • Coffee Liqueur: Kahlúa or Tia Maria are suitable substitutes.
  • Sambuca: Any anise-flavored liqueur can be used, though it may alter the flavor profile slightly.

Explore all drinks starting with E here

And of course - twists🍹

Caramel Espresso Martini

  • Swap simple syrup for caramel syrup
  • Optional: add a dash of salt for a salted caramel twist Make the cocktail as usual, but with a sweet, buttery caramel twist that gives it a comforting, dessert-like quality. It’ll feel like receiving a warm hug from your favorite sweater.

White Russian Sambuca Martini

  • Use cream instead of simple syrup
  • Add Kahlúa in place of coffee liqueur Imagine the creaminess of a White Russian colliding with the intense flavors of our Espresso Sambuca Martini. It's like a battle of the bands, but everyone's a winner.

Sambuca Mocha Martini

  • Replace coffee liqueur with chocolate liqueur
  • Add a touch of chocolate syrup along with the simple syrup It’s like your cocktail dressed up for Halloween as a mocha latte. The chocolate addition makes it a decadent indulgence, perfect for when you want dessert in a glass.

In case you forgot basics how to make Espresso Sambuca Martini

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Espresso Sambuca Martini

What glassware is recommended for serving an Espresso Sambuca Martini?

A chilled martini glass is the traditional choice for this cocktail to maintain the temperature and present the drink elegantly.

Can I prepare the Espresso Sambuca Martini in advance?

It's best served fresh, but you can pre-mix the ingredients without the espresso and store in the fridge. Add the espresso when you're ready to serve and shake with ice.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail?

You can create a mocktail version by omitting the alcoholic components and using decaffeinated espresso, non-alcoholic coffee flavoring, and anise extract.

How can I make a creamier Espresso Sambuca Martini?

You can add a splash of heavy cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to the shaker for a richer texture.

Can I use regular coffee instead of espresso?

Espresso is preferred for its concentrated flavor, but a strong brew of regular coffee can be used as a last resort.

What's the best time to serve an Espresso Sambuca Martini?

This cocktail is versatile and can be enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, a brunch cocktail, or a pick-me-up during a night out.

How do I properly store Sambuca?

Sambuca should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. It doesn't need to be refrigerated but should be kept at a stable temperature.

Can I make Espresso Sambuca Martini for a large party?

Yes, you can batch the ingredients except for the espresso. Brew the espresso fresh and combine with the pre-mixed batch when ready to serve.

What are the origins of Sambuca?

Sambuca is an Italian anise-flavored liqueur that dates back to the early 19th century and is traditionally served with coffee beans, called 'con la mosca,' which means 'with the fly.'

Are there different types of Sambuca?

Yes, there are white (clear), black (dark), and red Sambuca, each with its unique flavor profile and coloring.

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