The Cappuccino Martini

Those of us who opt for the delicious combination that is coffee and booze, know exactly what we’re doing. Although it most often shows up in the form of an Irish Coffee (I’ll eventually straighten out the misconceptions about that one), there are plenty of other ways to both imbibe, keep oneself awake, and look damned good doing it.

NOTE: if you’re over 25, quit drinking retarded Jager Bombs and Vodka-Redbulls. Those drinks belong only at frat parties… they’re bro drinks. There are a handful of cocktails that scream ghetto classless. Anything with Redbull is on that deafening list.

So what the hell is this yummyness we see before us? Well, most of us are familiar with the Espresso Martini, right? This is a far more tasty (and pretty) twist on it. Don’t cha like milk with your coffee? I certainly do. I also heart me some White Russians (made correctly), B-52s, Nutty Irishmen, Nutty Monks, blaa blaa blaa. If you can’t tell from my last couple of recipe posts, I’m on a serious cream kick lately. Don’t freak out. I won’t sit there and have five 2,000 calorie milkshakes or a half-a-dozen Creamsicles – and neither should you lest your ass begin to grow to Kardashian proportions. I limit myself to one or two of these bad-boys once in a blue moon.

There’s nothing in the rule book that says a Cappucino Martini (or similar) can only be had as a Digestif. It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy one of these in the early evening – just hangin’ out – at the onset of your outing.

For the last few years, I’ve had a regular – let’s call him “Tellman,” who usually met up with  one of his best friends Andre. They’d stop in once or twice a week to catch up, grab a few drinks, congregate and kick some stories between them and often with me. These are good fellas – Service Industry lifers. Tellman is a chef and Andre is a server. Anyway, Andre is a typical beer aficionado while Tellman is more of an “experimenter.” He’s also somewhat of a Gypsy Nomad, hopping from city to city, never really staying in one place more than a few months. He’s spent a considerable amount of time in the Seattle area where he became a die-hard fan of Espresso Martinis.

One evening while kicking back, Tellman gave me ballpark idea of flavors he enjoys and, like many other customers frequently do, asked me to concoct something new and fresh. I glanced down for a few seconds, smiled and told him I’d cook something up stat. The Cappucino Martini is what I came up with. Tellman had another name for it (Playboy Martini) but that’s a crap name.

So, without further ado, here it is:

Cappucino Martini


  • 1oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1oz Kahlua
  • 1oz Chilled Espresso
  • Splash of Simple Syrup (optional)
  • 3 – 4oz Heavy Cream


  • Cinnamon Powder and/or Orange Twist


In your Boston Shaker, mix your Vodka, Kahlua, and Espresso (and Simple if desired). Shake vigorously 10 – 15 times. You don’t need to kill it as it’s fine chilled as opposed to ice-cold. Make sure you leave 1/4 to 1/2″ space from the rim. Strain into a cocktail glass (Martini glass).

Few things aggravate me more than noobs (there are many) who insist on filling cocktails with ice and liquid over the rim – to the point everything is overflowing or impossible for a cocktail server to deliver without losing content. 

In a clean Boston Shaker, pour 3 – 4 oz of Heavy cream (yes folks, the fatty stuff). Do not use Milk; it won’t work and it will taste like shit. You can get away with Half-n-Half but it won’t be the same – taking the cocktail down a notch or two. Add a few ice cubes and shake well. You’re looking to froth it up pretty well. Strain slowly on the top of your mixture. Garnish with a hint of cinnamon. Don’t freak out, you’re not pouring 4oz of Heavy Cream on top and sucking down the equivalent of a Chicken-Friend Steak. Most of it will stick the shaker and the ice. Stay calm and authoritative and your customers will follow suit.

This is an extremely smooth drink with nary a hint of alcohol on the tongue. It goes down way the easy. It’s slightly on the sweet side so don’t overdo it with Kahlua or Simple. It’s also very impressive to prepare at the bar – a visual treat (which is huge part of why your guests are there to begin with). It will have many of your other customers in awe – mouths agape. It’s an easy sell once you’ve made just one.


  • Do not cheap out and use well coffee liqueur, cheap-ass vodka, or American coffee. The whole concoction will be a different experience and will not have the produce the cocktail love you’re trying to elicit from your guest.
  • Do not swirl it or mix everything together. The effects on the taste and texture will be completely different. You’re looking for the combination to come together on th Dulce de Leche swirls. There’s a reason it’s made the way it is.
  • Forget those recipes that call for Godiva (which would make it a bastardized Chocolate Martini) or Baileys Irish Cream (which would make it a bastardized Cafe au Lait). Those are quite simply, different cocktails.

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2 thoughts on “The Cappuccino Martini

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I make mine the same way…only without the cream. I am going to experiment with this. I also like the idea of ground cinnamon over the top.

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