This simple peppermint espresso martini is a festive twist on the classic espresso martini. Using peppermint vodka as a base, this 3 ingredient creamy cocktail takes under five minutes to make. Enjoy sipping on this drink during the holiday season with loved ones.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Festive Cocktail Recipe. This coffee martini drink is so festive with its candy cane rim! It will truly get everyone in the holiday spirit. Drink around the fireplace after a day of ice skating or if you need a pick me up after holiday shopping.
- Easy to customize! You can easily adjust the caffeine level based on your preference. This recipe calls for a full shot of espresso, but you can use coffee, cold brew or even caffeine free coffee!
- Impressive yet simple. Impress any guest or loved one at any holiday party. The fancy rim and unique flavors will make anyone think a bartender made this Christmas espresso martini.
- No difficult assembly. While most cocktails require juicing, blending, muddling and so much more, this holiday cocktail does not. All you need is to shake this drink in a shaker or mason jar, and it is done.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Peppermint Vodka. Peppermint vodka gives this drink its flavor! There are many brands that sell peppermint vodka, such as Smirnoff or 99. You can also make your own peppermint vodka by infusing 3-4 candy canes with 1.5 cups of plain vodka and allow it sit for 2-3 days. You can also swap it for peppermint schnapps at a 1-1 ratio or use regular vodka with a ⅛ tsp of peppermint extract.
- Espresso. Much like a traditional espresso martini, fresh espresso is the base of this cocktail and gives it its caffeine kick. I recommend using a high quality espresso for best results. If you prefer a lighter cocktail, you may use strong brewed coffee, cold brew concentrate or even decaf coffee for this holiday martini.
- Coffee Liqueur. Coffee liquor allows more coffee flavor into the drink. I used Kahlua for my delicious cocktail, but if you are vegan, Mr. Black is a great alternative that I also use.
You can also drizzle chocolate syrup into the glass or the cocktail itself for a peppermint mocha martini.
Add a splash of cream for a lighter cocktail. I like to use vegan heavy cream, but dairy heavy cream will also work.
Step by Step Instructions
- First, crush your candy canes. Remove 1-2 full sized candy canes from the plastic and place them into a bag, Gently crush them with a rolling pin by rolling back and forth on the plastic bag. Continue to do so until the candy canes are completely crushed and become small pieces, almost as small as thick sand.
- Add the simple syrup into a shallow bowl or small plate with edges and the smashed candy canes into another bowl or plate.
- Dip the rim of your martini glass or martini glasses into the simple syrup, ensuring it is completely submerged. Slightly twist the glass and remove it, allowing any excess simple syrup to drip off.
- Dip the rim of your glass coated with simple syrup into the crushed candy canes and move it around, gently, to ensure all the candy cane pieces stick onto the simple syrup.
- Brew the espresso using an espresso machine or stovetop espresso maker. Add all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake.
- Strain into your glass! Cheers.
While this is best served fresh, the cocktail will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours. To ensure it does not become water down, do not add any ice before storing.
Time Saving Hacks
Pre-rim the glasses and place them on the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. This will cut down on time spent preparing.
When you are ready to drink your espresso martini with Kahlua, simply take the glasses out of the refrigerator and pour the drink into them! The chilled glass also will allow the cocktails to stay cooled.
Save time by buying a store bought simple syrup. While simple syrup is extremely simple to make, it does take 15-20 minutes to make. Using store bought will cut down on time.
Yes, you can add 1 oz ml of baileys to this cocktail. If you are dairy free or vegan, be sure to use Bailey's almande, as the original Bailey's does contain dairy.
This could be due to the espresso or coffee you used. If you espresso does not have crema on top, it is likely your espresso martini will not either. If you are using cold brew (like I did) or coffee, it will not be foamy.
This cocktail contains 1 oz of espresso, which is 60 mg of caffeine. That is less than the average amount in a cup of coffee.
Tips for Success
- Less is more when it comes to simple syrup. Sometimes when there is too much simple syrup added to the rim, it drips and causes the entire glass to become sticky. Always go with the "less is more" approach and allow the drip off the rim before adding the crushed candy canes.
- Crush the candy canes into small pieces. If the candy canes pieces are too thick or large, they will not stick to the simple syrup, or worse, they will slide down the glass. Aim to crush the candy cane into large sand-like size for this chistmas drink. See the photograph below for reference.
If you make this recipe, I would absolutely love for you to leave a rating and review. I absolutely love connecting with you!
Simple Peppermint Espresso Martini
- Shaker Glass
- 3 oz peppermint vodka
- .75 oz coffee liquor
- 1.5 oz espresso or cold brew
Candy Cane Rim (optional)
- 1-2 candy canes
- 2 tbsp simple syrup
- Add the peppermint vodka, espresso, coffee liquor and ½ cup of ice into a cocktail shaker and shake.
- Pour into your martini glass
Candy Cane Rim (optional)
- Remove the candy canes from the plastic and place them in a plastic bag. Using a roll pin, gently roll the candy canes until they crush and begin to resemble a thick sand.
- Add the simple syrup into a shallow bowl, and add the candy cane pieces into another shallow bowl.
- Dip the top of the rim of the martini glass into the simple syrup, then gently twist it upward and sideways, allowing any excess simple syrup to drip off.
- Dip the rim with the simple syrup into the crushed candy canes, gently moving it to ensure the candy cane pieces are well stuck onto the rim.
- Pour your cocktail in!