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Forget sugarplums! If you've got visions of an espresso martini dancing in your head this holiday, you've got to try this peppermint espresso martini for a festive, minty twist!
This is the perfect cocktail to serve if you're hosting girls' (or guys') night in holiday edition, your annual Christmas cookie exchange, or after-work holiday cocktails at your place. Let's be honest, this is the cocktail to enjoy with any fellow coffee lovers during the holidays!
The best part about this peppermint espresso martini is that it comes together in 5 minutes and there are no special bar tools required!
What liquor is best for a peppermint espresso martini?
This peppermint espresso martini recipe is made with vodka and peppermint coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha.
Alternatively, you can use peppermint vodka and coffee liqueur if you can't find one or the other options for peppermint-flavored alcohol in your local stores.
Here's what you'll need to make 2 peppermint espresso martini cocktails:
- Vodka: Include your favorite vodka here, you'll need 2 ounces.
- Peppermint coffee liqueur: Oo baby! This is where things get festive! You'll need 1 ounce of peppermint coffee liqueur to up the coffee flavor and bring a little minty twist to this drink.
- Espresso: You'll need 1 ounce of freshly brewed, then chilled espresso to get a bold coffee flavor and create the foam on top. If you don't have an espresso machine, you can also use cold brew concentrate or strong coffee made in your drip coffee machine or french press.
- Simple syrup: This adds some sweetness to the drink to cut some of the zip from the alcohol and espresso. Simple syrup is made up of 2 parts water and 1 part sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Do let it cool before adding it to your drinks. Alternatively, you can purchase simple syrup to cut down on time.
- Candy canes: The candy canes are optional, however, when crushed and used as a rimmer for your glass it really does make this drink feel extra special!
How to make a peppermint espresso martini
This is a delightfully simple recipe to make! Plus, you don't need any bar tools or even fancy glasses to make it! You could make the whole thing in a glass jar and then pour it into a nice, clean glass. Or, you could pull out your bar tools, shake this up in a martini shaker, and then pour it into a gorgeous martini glass. Either option works!
Here's how you'll make this peppermint espresso martini:
- Candy cane rimmer: If you are going to rim your glass with crushed candy canes (which is highly recommended), set this up now. Crush the candy canes, wet the rim of the glasses you'll be using with simple syrup, and dip away.
- Add all ingredients: Fill your shaker or jar with ice and add all remaining drink ingredients.
- Shake it up: Shake your martini shaker or put the lid on the jar and shake until a nice foam is created.
- Garnish & serve: Add your mini candy canes and enjoy!
Variations to try
To add your own unique twist to this peppermint espresso martini, try one of these variations:
- Use a different alcohol. Instead of vodka, try bourbon or white tequila.
- Make it creamy. Add a splash of cream or Bailey's Irish Cream.
- Turn it into a peppermint mocha espresso martini by adding a tiny bit of cocoa powder or a splash of chocolate liqueur.
What to serve with a peppermint espresso martini
Can I make this a peppermint espresso mocktail?
To make an alcohol-free version of this recipe, you can experiment with using espresso, simple syrup, and peppermint extract. Don't forget to garnish the rim with crushed candy canes!
Can I make a decaf version of a peppermint espresso martini?
Yep – almost. There is a teeny tiny bit of caffeine in Kahlua. But if you use decaf espresso this cocktail will be nearly caffine-free.
How can I turn this into a warm drink?
This is one cocktail that tastes delicious served warm. Simply add the ingredients to a pot (and a splash of cream, if you'd like) and heat until it's steaming. Serve it in small mugs and don't forget to add the candy cane rim!
Do I need to use espresso?
Machine-brewed espresso is what gives this martini its foamy top. If you don't have an espresso machine, you can use regular drip coffee instead. If you want the foamy top, try adding a few drops of cocktail foamer.
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce Peppermint Coffee Liqueur (such as Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha)
- 1 ounce chilled espresso
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Mini candy canes (for the rim and garnish)
- If you'd like to rim your glass, dip the edge of the glass in a little simple syrup and then into a shallow bowl filled with crushed candy canes.
- Fill your cocktail shaker or jar half full with ice. Add the vodka, peppermint coffee liquor, espresso, and simple syrup.2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce Peppermint Coffee Liqueur, 1 ounce chilled espresso, 1 ounce simple syrup
- Secure the lid then shake for about 30 seconds to work up the foam.
- Strain into two martini glasses and garnish the cocktails with a mini candy cane.Mini candy canes
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.