Bacchus Espresso Martini

Traditional Italian drink, the Espresso Martini
Monty Rakusen / Getty Images
  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
132 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 132
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There have been many attempts at an espresso martini over the years, but few recipes can outshine the one created by the now-closed Bacchus Restaurant in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. It really is a spectacular cocktail, yet it's almost ridiculous that it's so easy to make.

What makes this espresso martini recipe stand out is the combination of a very sweet vanilla rum from Cruzan—also from St. Croix—along with a coffee liqueur and strong, freshly brewed coffee. The trio comes together in a most wonderful way, offering a double dose of rich coffee flavor backed by sweet vanilla. It's a wonderful after dinner drink as well as a fun pick-me-up for happy hour!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vanilla rum (Cruzan)
  • 1 3/4 ounces coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
  • 1 1/2 ounces coffee (strong, chilled)
  • Garnish: 3 coffee beans

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

  3. Strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass and garnish with coffee beans.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • This martini is best with the strongest coffee you can make and perfect for a shot of espresso. Rather than your drip machine, try other brewing methods such as a pour-over brewer, moka pot, or French press, to make the richest, darkest coffee possible.
  • Be sure to let your coffee to chill before mixing the cocktail. If the coffee's hot, the ice in the shaker will melt almost instantly. A few minutes in the refrigerator or freezer will get hot coffee to the perfect temperature.
  • Another option is to use cold brew coffee. This brewing method never adds heat but does take about 12 hours to brew, so you have to plan ahead. With freshly ground coffee beans, it produces a wonderfully rich, flavorful cup that's perfect for cold coffee cocktails.
  • Garnishing any espresso martini with three whole coffee beans is a bit of a tradition. It stems from Italy's coffee sambuca drink in which the beans symbolize health, happiness, and prosperity.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer vodka over rum, make this drink with a vanilla-flavored vodka instead. It's a popular flavor and many of the best-known brands produce one so it's not hard to find.
  • You can also try a vanilla whiskey, such as that from Crown Royal or Jim Beam.
  • No matter the base spirit you choose, it's easy to do a DIY vanilla infusion. All you need is a vanilla bean or two and about four days. It's a nice option if your favorite liquor brand doesn't produce a vanilla alternative.
  • While Kahlua may be the most popular coffee liqueur on the market, there are more worth trying. Look for craft coffee liqueurs such as those from Firelit, Leopold Bros., St. George Spirits, or New Deal.
  • Coffee lovers will enjoy homemade coffee liqueur as well. It offers the opportunity to customize the flavor to your exact taste and lets you choose your favorite coffee beans.

How Strong Is a Bacchus Espresso Martini?

Cruzan Vanilla Rum, like most flavored liquors, is bottled at a lower proof than regular rums. Since it weighs in at just 21 percent ABV (42 proof), which is equal to the Kahlua, this is a very low-proof martini perfect for a casual drink. On average, it's alcohol content will be 13 percent ABV (26 proof), making it equivalent to enjoying a glass of wine.