Espresso Martini with Coffee Tequila & Cardamom Bitters

This Espresso Martini with Coffee Tequila and Cardamom Bitters is probably my favourite version of all the coffee martinis out there. It’s a rich, creamy and indulgent cocktail with hints of bitter that will give you a spring in your step!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Espresson Martini with Patron XO Cafe
Espresson Martini with Patron XO Cafe and Cardamom Bitters

How do you make an Espresso Martini

Espresso martini is a classic cold coffee cocktail that’s traditionally made with vodka, Kahlua and a shot of espresso, with or without a little sugar syrup. It’s strong, it’s creamy, with deliciously bitter coffee notes, and will keep the party going!

There are many recipes out there for this coffee cocktail, with equal part ingredients or more or less of this and that. Basically, as long as you stick to the 3 ingredients, you can pretty much please yourself.

However, I’m making my espresso martini with coffee tequila.

Patrón XO Cafe
Patrón XO Cafe, Coffee Tequila

What is Patrón XO Cafe?

UPDATE Dec 2022: I published this article in early 2021. Since then, Patrón has discontinued it coffee tequila. Colour me terribly disappointed.
But don’t fret. There are other coffee tequilas out there, and my current favourite is by Cascabel. Here’s my global affiliate link for it on Amazon.

I got a bottle of Patrón XO Cafe from Ocado to review sometime in December. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even know that coffee tequila was a thing!

I mean coffee flavoured tequila? Yes, please, already!

Patrón XO Cafe is a delicious bottle of Patrón tequila with essence of arabica beans. It has become my go-to coffee liqueur because unlike every other coffee liqueur I’ve tried, it’s not sickly sweet. It’s dry, bold yet smooth, with a light syrupy feel and flavour and way too easy to drink on its own.

Perfect in shot glasses, but also delicious on ice. And so hard to resist!

LinsFood’s Espresso Martini

So, as mentioned above, our recipe today, uses Patrón XO Cafe coffee tequila. A few weeks after discovering it, I came across Cardamom Bitters.

Cue lightbulb moment!

I just knew I was making an Espresso Martini with these 2 spirits. Because cardamom and coffee is a match made in heaven, I use it in qahwa (coffee in Arabic) and cakes.

Since I was using coffee tequila, I thought that I’d try the coffee cocktail with tequila blanco too, instead of the customary vodka. So I suffered for my craft and made 2 versions. There was a lot of sipping martini, then water, then martini again. And repeat.

While still walking a straight line, I decided that the vodka version allowed the coffee liqueur to shine through better. Not to mention the cardamom flavour.

So our Espresso Martini is made of:

  • Coffee Tequila
  • vodka
  • espresso
  • cardamom bitters
  • optional sugar syrup (I’m not using it, I’ve got a sugar rim instead)

No Cardamom Bitters? No sweat. Crack open a cardamom and drop it into your hot espresso. Leave to infuse and shake along with everything else when making the espresso martini.

Espresson Martini with Patron XO Cafe
the crema is an important part of the cocktail

What makes an Espresso Martini Frothy?

Quite possibly, the most important part of the espresso martini is that crema (froth) at the top of the cocktail. Not only does it enhance the look of the cocktail, but it adds a creamy layer of flavour.

Called crema, to many, this froth is the most prized part of a good cup of freshly brewed espresso. If you didn’t know already, the crema is in fact a stable collection of tiny little bubbles caused by the pressure created by coffee machines.

To achieve this crema in our espresso martini, all we need to do is to give it a good shake in a cocktail shaker. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, a milk frother will work, or place it in a jar with a lid and shake it up.

Hot Espresso or Cold?

Some suggest making espresso martini with hot, freshly brewed coffee to maintain this crema, but I’m not a hundred percent convinced that this is the way to go. It’s true that the actual espresso crema does disappear once the coffee is cold, but since shaking it creates the foam, I don’t think it matters too much.

I think starting with hot espresso dilutes the cocktail far too much. I’ll let you decide that for yourself, let me know what you think.

And on that note, shall we get our aprons on?

If you enjoy the recipe, drop me a comment and let me know. And if you are feeling like a star, don’t forget that 5-star rating!😉

If you make this recipe, post it on Instagram and tag me @azlinbloor and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

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Espresso Martini with Patrón XO Cafe & Cardamom Bitters

Espresso Martini with Coffee Tequila and Cardamom Bitters

Delicious Espresso Martini recipe with coffee tequila, vodka and aromatic cardamom bitters.
5 from 15 votes
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: International
Keyword: tequila
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • espresso maker (moka pot or machine)
  • cocktail shaker
  • glass


  • 30 ml coffee tequila I use Cascabel
  • 30 ml vodka
  • 30 ml cool espresso to be made at least 1 hour before and chilled
  • 3 dashes cardamom bitters sub with an actual cardamom, see Notes below
  • 3 ice cubes



Make your espresso AT LEAST 1 hour before and place it in the fridge.

  • Place the tequila, vodka, espresso and ice cubes in a shaker and shake for 10 seconds to mix and create that froth you see.
  • Strain into your cocktail glass.

Optional sugar rim

  • Place the demerara sugar in a saucer.
  • Dip your clean for finger and thumb in your cold espresso and run it around your glass.
  • Dip or twirl the edge of your glass to coat with the sugar and proceed with the instructions above for making the espresso martini.

Fancy another cool drink?


No cardamom bitters?
No sweat. Just crack open a cardamom and drop into your espresso while it’s still hot. Leave it in there and shake in the cocktail shaker with the other ingredients.


Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 35mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

9 thoughts on “Espresso Martini with Coffee Tequila & Cardamom Bitters”

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks to you, I’ve discovered coffee tequila! I tried this Patron brand and it’s really good, you’re right. Made the martini too, seriously the best I’ve had. And plenty of foam. I agree with you about the hot coffee, much better cool.

  2. The reason that the espresso martini pictured isn’t as foamy as most, is because you cooled the coffee first. Traditionally, when making an espresso martini you use a hot espresso shot and pour it over the ice in the shaker to quickly cool it down. This is what gives the martini the foamy head. In the past I have tried using cooled coffee and it doesn’t get the same effect as with fresh, hot espresso

    1. Thanks James, but I’ve tried both methods and using hot espresso dilutes the drink far too much as far as I’m concerned, as I explained in the post. Also, plenty foam in this martini, methinks! 😉

  3. 5 stars
    Azlin you make them all and Mayuri and I will love to test them out. I love coffee, tequila not necessarily in the order but okay you get the idea. I definitely want to check the crema definitely needs to be tested out . 😀
    Love the espresso martini want to try it out maybe I can convince the bartender of my favorite restaurant to let me make it. He gets a free new drink recipe get mine.

  4. 5 stars
    Azlin, if we ever meet up, I’m going to demand that I want to taste cocktails only! Being a coffee lover am sure Espresso Martini will go down very well and that too cardamom flavored. Till we meet, directing this recipe to my nephew who loves trying out different cocktails.

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