A coffee-forward cocktail is the perfect drink to kick off the night! This chocolate espresso martini combines the classic espresso martini with decadent chocolate to create a wonderfully smooth libation suited for any occasion. Made with a homemade dairy-free chocolate kahlúa!
What is a chocolate espresso martini?
This boozy drink is a mixture of two classic cocktails - an espresso martini and a chocolate martini. Both are fabulous on their own! But why not combine them to make an exquisite after-dinner treat!? Or even a fancy valentine’s day treat.
There is one key difference between the two though. Espresso martinis typically use kahlúa, a coffee liqueur, while chocolate martinis are commonly made with baileys, an irish cream liqueur. Again, WHY NOT COMBINE THEM and make a coffee chocolate liqueur aka the best flavor for a martini? Which is exactly what we do in this recipe!
But we don't stop there, we take the homemade kahlúa and baileys a step farther and make it dairy-free and vegan. It is truly a work of art but so easy to make! I'm sure this will be one of your go-to cocktails!
If you're a fan of chocolate but want to keep things PG, check out my swoon-worthy hot chocolate recipe!
Homemade Kahlúa Ingredient Notes
For this recipe, we'll make an easy chocolate flavored kahlúa with almond milk. It's dairy-free and vegan and oh so good!
- Almond milk - This is the base of the kahlúa. Any nut milk will work in this recipe. You can even use coconut milk for a really creamy kahlúa!
- Cold brew - To add a subtle coffee flavoring. If you don't have cold brew on hand, substitute for iced coffee.
- Cacao powder - For a rich dark chocolate taste! Substitute with dutch cocoa powder if needed.
- Maple syrup - Instead of simple syrup, this is used to add a touch of sweetness to the liqueur. You can easily swap this for honey if not vegan.
- Dark rum - This is what is typically used in kahlúa. The rum taste pairs perfectly with the chocolate and espresso, however, you can use any liquor you wish. Bailey's is made with Irish whiskey which is also a great choice!
How to make homemade kahlúa
The dairy-free kahlúa is a breeze to make. This recipe makes more than you'll need for two cocktails so save the rest for another chocolate espresso martini night!
Mix all ingredients
This can be done in a blender or in an air-tight container. Simply add all the kahlúa ingredients to a container and mix until the cacao powder is dissolved and the liquid is frothy.
If using a an air-tight container, shake generously for about 30 seconds. Make sure you have a finger on the lid just in case.
Shake well and set aside while you gather the remaining cocktail ingredients.
Once you've made the kahlúa, it's time to prepare the rest of the chocolate espresso martini!
- Homemade kahlúa : This is what we made above. The mixture may separate as it sits so be sure to give it a couple big shakes before using it in the cocktail.
- Espresso : Make sure your espresso is chilled and not pipping hot. Simply pop it in the fridge for a few minutes once you make it to allow it to cool down. If you don't have an espresso maker, you can substitute for strong coffee or instant espresso powder mixed with some hot water if needed.
- Vodka : This is what is typically used in an espresso martini.
Preparing the martini is easy and simple. All you need is ice and a cocktail shaker.
Shake martini ingredients
Add the martini ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake really well for at least 30 seconds. This is the key to to the frothiness. The more you shake, the more froth on top of your martini!
Then pour into two cocktail glasses and garnish with chocolate shavings and a few coffee beans and enjoy!
- Drizzle some chocolate sauce around the rim of your martini glass to add a chocolate rim to the drink.
- If you want to make this more of a "dessert cocktail", use a larger glass and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on to make a chocolate espresso ice cream float.
- If you're a chocolate lover, drizzle chocolate syrup into the bottom of the glass so there is some extra sweet stuff when you get to the bottom of the drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
They key to a frothy espresso martini is to really shake the cocktail well with lots of ice. I mean really shake for at least 30 seconds. This longer you shake the more froth your martini will have!
Yes! This recipe calls for our homemade dairy-free kahlúa but feel free to use store-bought kahlúa or baileys instead!
The kahlúa is best stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. Separation will naturally occur so be sure to give the jar a few shakes before use. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
For more dinner drinks, check out my:
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Chocolate Espresso Martini
For the homemade kahlúa
- ½ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup cold brew
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1.5 oz rum
For the martini
- ½ cup homemade kahlúa
- double shot espresso - chilled (substitute ¼ cup strong coffee)
- 3 oz vodka
- Toppings - optional (chocolate shavings, espresso beans, etc.)
For the homemade kahlúa
- In a blender or in an air-tight container, add all the kahlúa ingredients. Shake or blend well until the cacao powder is dissolved and the mixture is frothy. If using a jar, make sure to keep a finger on the lid when shaking.
For the martini
- Add the homemade kahlúa, espresso, and vodka to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well for at least 30 seconds. This is they key to the froth. The more you shake, the more froth your martini will have.
- Pour into two martini glasses and garnish with toppings if desired like chocolate shavings and/or espresso beans and enjoy!