The Espresso Martini is ubiquitous, that’s for sure. You can find it on probably every menu of every bar in the world. Finding a great one might be tricky depending on where you live. In London, the birthplace of the Espresso Martini, I am happy to report that the majority are not only good, they are great.
Don’t expect to always find Dick Bradsell’s exact recipe. The Espresso Martini creator’s list of ingredients was super simple: vodka, coffee liqueur, sugar syrup and, of course, espresso. This is London – the home to some of the best bars in the world. Bartenders were always bound to put their twist on it and they do!
When TheBottleClub.com sponsored me to write about my top 10 best Espresso Martinis in London, how could I choose when this city holds some of the best bars in the world? So count this list as 10 of some of my favorites, don’t forget to try the fantastic Espresso Martinis at places like The Connaught Bar, Lyaness, Satan’s Whiskers, and so many others!
Here is my list of 10 of the Best Espresso Martinis in London (in alphabetical order)
With only three ingredients, there is no place to hide. The team at Amaro might make it look easy, but getting the classic Espresso Martini right is not a walk in the park, or should I say Hyde Park. Amaro sits adjacent to Hyde Park off of High Street Kensington and is one not to miss in London. Elon Soddu, a co-owner of Amaro, had a stint at the American Bar at The Savoy under his belt, so he knows a thing or two about cocktails.Amaro’s Espresso Martini is an exercise in precision, plus it tastes fabulous!
- Amaro, 15 Kensington High St, London W8 5NP
American Bar at Stafford Hotel
You can’t help but feel special drinking any cocktail while sitting at the American Bar at Stafford Hotel. Not only is it one of the best hotels in London, The American Bar at the Stafford was a finalist for the Best International Hotel Bar this year.
Their singular Espresso Martini is served in one of the most luxurious coupe glasses in the city. But this magnificent Espresso Martini is definitely not only about the gorgeous glassware. Made with the classic ingredients, it’s as smooth and sophisticated as the hotel itself.
- American Bar at Stafford Hotel, 16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ
Cocktail Trading Company
Have you ever had an Espresso Martini that has tea in its recipe? It’s just one of many unusual ingredients that makes the Cocktail Trading Company’s Espresso Martini so fantastic. Of course, there is coffee in the recipe, but that’s about the only ingredient pulled from the classic recipe. Rooibos Tea adds another dimension, as does a dose of golden syrup and sea salt.
The pièce-de-résistance is a dash or two of Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters.This well-thought out addition goes to enhance the chocolate and cinnamon notes of the coffee. It’s a triumph.
- Cocktail Trading Company, 68 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GQ
Unfortunately, DIck’s Bar, where the Espresso Martini was born, no longer exists. Fortunately, there is El Camion on Brewer Street in London’s Soho and you can’t begin any Espresso Martini list without honoring this hallowed bar. El Camion was Dick Bradsell’s last stint behind the bar before he retired.
Here you can try the cocktail the way Dick meant it to be made. They keep to his exact specifications and one sip and you understand why it’s one of the most popular cocktails in the world.
- El Camion, 25-27 Brewer St, London W1F 0RR
The Homeboy Espresso Martini is full of surprises. First of all, it’s called the Vodka Espresso, not the Espresso Martini. Second, they use a hint of salted caramel syrup to enhance the flavor of the coffee. Next is that they use instant espresso. This is not your 1970’s instant.
It’s one of the best on the market and most importantly you would never know if I didn’t tell you. The last surprise is that they spritz the top of the cocktail with vodka to take away the bubbles, so it looks silky smooth. One thing that isn’t a surprise is how delicious this Vodka Espresso tastes.
- Homeboy Battersea, Unit 6, Embassy Gardens, New Union Square, Nine Elms, London SW11 7DN
The cocktails at Nightjar are works of art. Each a little jewel and their Espresso Martini is no exception. One of the prettiest Espresso Martinis in London, this classic is served in the 1930’s style Nick and Nora glass.They add a hint of maple syrup to deepen the flavor and their own rum blend as a base spirit. Atop the cocktail lies a gorgeous geometric design made with pink raspberry powder.
The coffee flavor in each sip is accented by a hint of raspberry, which goes so well with coffee. It’s as gorgeous to drink as it is to look at!
- Nightjar Carnaby, Kingly Court, 49-51 Carnaby St, London W1F 9PY
This is definitely the most contemporary Espresso Martini on the list. There was no way that this was going to be a standard Espresso Martini with Greg Almeida at the helm. Using freshly brewed espresso coffee that changes seasonally, Greg’s Espresso Martini might taste slightly different each time you return.
Did I mention he also adds a combination of Mount Gay Black Barrel, Remy Martin VSOP cognac, plus his own homemade Tonka Syrup? No wonder his creative cocktails have been the talk of London since he opened Publiq during the pandemic.
- Publiq, 1 Palace Gate, South Kensington, London W8 5LS
Once Chris Tanner, Bar Manager of the über-chic East London bar, Silverleaf, discovered Climpson & Sons’ Midnight Oil, he knew their Espresso Martini would never be the same. This coffee liqueur not only uses the best beans found worldwide and roasts them in their Lincoln Fields cafe, but it tastes great.
The spirit which turns their coffee into coffee liqueur comes from the East London Liquor Company – another neighbor. You couldn’t get an Espresso Martini which demonstrates the innovation happening in the City of London more than this.
- Silverleaf, 3rd Floor, Devonshire House, 3 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4JX
Do you like your cocktails on the larger size? Then Sophie’s Espresso Martinis are for you. Quantity does not always equate to quality, but here it most definitely does. Although they use fresh espresso, classic Kahlùa coffee liqueur, and vanilla sugar to add that touch of sweetness, the real star of the cocktail is Element 29 vodka.
This premium British artisan vodka is produced by The Sustainable Spirit Co. I love that it arrives at Sophie’s in an eco-pouch and the precise liquid is poured back into a clean Element 29 bottle. Cool to know you are making a difference when sipping your Espresso Martinis.
- Sophie’s Chelsea, 311-313 Fulham Rd., London SW10 9QH
Right off one of Soho’s busiest streets sits Swift. Bringing contemporary know-how to cocktail cocktails, they single-handedly revived the Irish Coffee in London. So they know their coffee cocktails and their Espresso Martini is just as iconic.
Using super smooth and ultra premium Grey Goose Vodka as a base, combined with their own signature spiced rum blend, and Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, a little sugar syrup and, of course, coffee, their Espresso Martini never disappoints!
- Swift Soho, 12 Old Compton St, London W1D 4TQ
Bottle Proof – Espresso Martini
If you don’t live in London and can’t get to one of these ten great bars, then I can highly recommend Bottle Proof’s Espresso Martini. All you have to do is pour 100ml into a shaker, jam jar or water bottle, add ice and then shake, shake, shake. Strain it into a glass – I love a coupe glass if you have one – and there you have it. A perfect Espresso Martini every time, a combination of vodka, coffee, and coffee liqueur, all made right here in the UK. Great Espresso Martinis have never been so easy!
Where to find more Martini recipes
You can find loads of other martini recipes to try! Here are a few of my favorites:
- The classic of classics: The Classic Gin Martini
- James Bond’s go-to Martini: The Vodka Martini
- The Citrus Martini in a Shot: The Lemon Drop Martini Shot
- Try the Vesper Martini if you love Vermouth
- The Naughty Porn Star Martini
- The Martini of the Moment: The Gibson Martini
- My absolute fave: The Dirty Martini
Espresso Martini is one of the most popular cocktails in the world, that is for sure. Making it is so easy - just mix espresso and vodka with coffee liqueur, and it's yours!
- 2 oz Vodka
- 1/2 oz Coffee liqueur
- 1/4 oz Simple syrup
- 1 oz Freshly brewed espresso
- Coffee beans
Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime! As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 882mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 10gSugar: 29gProtein: 12g
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.