The ultimate fall cocktail... pumpkin espresso martini! The best cocktail for this time of the year for halloween parties, festive nights, or a fall happy hour. This strong yet simple cocktail has pumpkin spice syrup from pumpkin puree and freshly brewed espresso!
This espresso martini is the epitome of fall. It screams October! It has all the fall flavours: pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice seasonings, and coffee flavor from both Kahlua and freshly brewed espresso. Perfect for this time of year!
I love espresso martinis for so many reasons! They are literally one of my favorite things. They're strong, caffeinated, and taste like coffee! It is like drinking coffee at any time of the day or night. If you're a coffee drinker, this new cocktail will change your life!
This espresso pumpkin spice martini has been on repeat in my house since September! Yes I am one of those people where fall time starts in August. I just can't help it. When the weather starts to get a little cooler, I decorate my house in fall vibes, watch Gilmore Girls, and drink this pumpkin martini! Now we are in the midst of October and this pumpkin espresso martini is calling your name! Grab your cocktail shaker and let's get to making this fall cocktail!
pumpkin spice syrup
Brown sugar: You will need 1 cup of brown sugar for the sweetness in this simple syrup. It also adds a caramely flavor
Spices: Instead of simply using pumpkin pie spice, we create our own for this syrup. A blend of nutmeg, clove, and whole cinnamon makes for the perfect warming spices. I like using whole cinnamon stick to really infuse the cinnamon flavor, but you can also use ground cinnamon.
Pumpkin: Not all pumpkin puree is created equal. Sounds silly, but really, some cans of pumpkin are better than others. Since this pumpkin syrup uses such minimal ingredients, it's important to use the right stuff in this recipe. I always reccomend Libbys pumpkin puree which is most likely at your local grocery store, however I also recommend the organic pumpkin puree from Trader Joes. You will need ½ cup for this recipe.
Water: 1 cup of water acts as the base of this syrup. You can use whatever whatever you like best.
pumpkin espresso martini
Vodka: Vodka! Despite this being like a liquid dessert, it is still a martini! The choice of vodka is important. Choose whatever vodka you like best. I would recommend a high quality vodka like grey goose or even Titos. Using a well vodka in this cocktail will really impact the flavor and strength, therefore I suggest using a good one. You can use plain vodka or vanilla vodka. You will need 1 ½ ounces vodka.
Kahlua: You will need 1 ½ ounces Kahlua. Kahlua intensifies the coffee flavor of this espresso martini.
Pumpkin spice syrup: Of course, the final cocktail will need 1 ½ ounces of your homemade pumpkin spice syrup.
Espresso: I can not emphasize how important it is to use an espresso you like! The espresso in this espresso martini is the main ingredient. I typically freshly brew my double shot of espresso using my Breville espresso maker, but any espresso that you really like will work. I even have had friends who go buy however many shots of espresso they need from a local coffee shop and have it already prepared and cold by the time they want to make the cocktails! You will need 1 ½ ounces of freshly brewed espresso which is about a double shot.
Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!
variations & substitutions 📖
Keep this martini black or make it creamy! Some like their espresso martinis creamy and some like it black. This pumpkin espresso martini is made black but you can add a little things if you prefer a creamy cocktail. You can add 1 ½ ounces of heavy cream or your favorite milk. Or if you want to make it more boozy and creamy, you can add 1 ½ ounces of creamy baileys or your favorite irish cream liqueur. You can even try adding a creamy pumpkin spice liqueur for more added pumpkin flavor! The creamy version of this resembles a pumpkin spice latte martini!
Use your favorite coffee liqueur. I use whatever I have on hand, which is typically Kahlua but there are many amazing coffee liqueurs out there. If you are wanting to switch it up, try Mr.Black, St. George NOLA, or Patron XO Cafe.
tips & tricks 👩🏻🍳
Rim the martini glasses with a sugar pumpkin spice mix. On a small plate, mix together some brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Dip the rim of the glass in the pumpkin spice syrup and then the sugar mixture. Rimming the glass adds an extra touch of sweetness, spice, and flavor.
This is my super secret tip that, of course, I have to share with you all. But for a little more depth of flavor, add a couple drops of chocolate bitters on top! Chocolate bitters add a savory depth to this sweet drink and make the top of the drink look so fancy! I like to do 2-3 drops on top and swirl them with a toothpick.
step by step instructions 🔪
Step #1 - Add the ingredients for pumpkin spice syrup to a pot. In a small pot on low-medium heat, add the brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, ground nutmeg, ground clove, pumpkin puree, and water. Whisk to combine.
Step #2 - Simmer and cool the pumpkin spice syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer on low for 10-15 minutes until the syrup begins to thicken. Then remove it from the heat and let it cool down.
Step #3 - Strain the pumpkin spice syrup. Once cool, strain the mixture into a mason jar using a mesh sieve. If you want to ensure your syrup is free of any puree, you can double strain the syrup through a cheese cloth.
Step #4 - Chill the pumpkin spice syrup. Once strained, place the jar of pumpkin spice syrup to cool for at least 30 minutes. The syrup will thicken as it cools.
Step #5 - Mix the cocktail. This espresso martini is pretty simple since it is equal parts vodka, Kahlua, pumpkin spice syrup, and espresso. So in your cocktail shaker add all of your components: the vodka, pumpkin syrup, double espresso shot, and Kahlua. Add in ice and vigorously shake. The shaking of the espresso with ice forms little micro bubbles that resemble froth! This is what that creamy layer on top is made of. Pour into your favorite martini glass and enjoy!
The pumpkin spice syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Use leftover pumpkin spice syrup as a coffee sweetener or even in other cocktails!
serving suggestions 🍽️
Serve this shaken cocktail in your favorite martini glass with a couple coffee beans on top.
For the ultimate frothy espresso martini, really shake your cocktail shaker with the cocktail ingredients and ice. The ice creates micro bubbles in the espresso when shaken which creates that iconic frothy top. When I say vigorously shake, I mean vigorously! About 15-30 seconds of vigorous shaking should do the trick!
A classic espresso martini is served in a stemmed martini glass, however a new age presentation of an espresso martini is served in a coupe glass. For these pumpkin espresso martinis, I used these fun abstract pumpkin coupe glasses.
Although in a perfect world, we would always prepare for our espresso martini craving the day before, that is not always the case! If I am planning this cocktail for a party or gathering, I will make the espresso the night before for however many cocktails I can anticipate making and chill it in the fridge overnight. However, if I am craving an espresso martini randomly after dinner, I will not chill my espresso. The latter makes for a more diluted cocktail as some of the ice will melt when shaken. Although, both versions are delicious and strong!
other fall recipes
It warms me up to see you make my recipes! Tag me on instagram @essenceeats so I can see your remakes. If you made this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, please leave a star rating while you're there ☆