This gingerbread espresso martini is the perfect festive cocktail recipe for the holidays! Made with Bailey's, vodka, & Kahlua, it's creamy, sweet and a delicious after dinner drink.
I am team gingerbread all the way during the holidays.
While I do enjoy peppermint and eggnog, gingerbread will always be my favorite holiday flavor.
Gingerbread cookies, muffins, coffee...you name it, I LOVE it.
Usually around this time of year, Dunkin' (a coffee chain in New England), comes out with their gingerbread flavored coffee drinks but for whatever reason, this year they do not have it.
You can imagine my devastation being 8 months pregnant with a 1 year old at home just craving my yearly gingerbread coffee!
So I googled how to make my own which led me to a delicious and super easy homemade gingerbread syrup.
While I was making the syrup for my coffee, I had the epiphany that it would be absolutely delicious in a Christmas cocktail.
So low and behold, I present to you, my friends, this gingerbread espresso martini recipe!
Perfectly sweet, creamy, with rich notes of gingerbread and espresso, it's sure to be a crowd pleaser even amongst those non-gingerbread lovers (AKA my husband, who was my taste tester and almost put down two of these babies!).
Gingerbread Espresso Martini Ingredients:
- homemade gingerbread syrup: (molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole allspice berries, whole cloves, fresh ginger)
- vodka of choice
- Irish cream liqueur (such as Bailey's)
- coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
- fresh brewed espresso coffee
The gingerbread syrup (recipe adapted from Happy Foods Tube) makes about 2 cups so you can store the leftovers in a mason jar or airtight container.
It's great in coffee, on waffles, pancakes or even drizzled on ice cream!
What are espresso martinis made of?
A traditional espresso martini is made of vodka, espresso coffee and coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua, Tia Maria or Kapali)
This gingerbread espresso martini is also made with Bailey's Irish cream liqueur making it slightly creamy and oh so delicious.
You can usually find holiday flavors of Bailey's and Kahlua like vanilla cinnamon which would be delicious in this espresso martini recipe!
There's also a brand called Granny's Gingerbread Cream Liqueur which would go great instead of the Bailey's if you can find it where you live :).
If you want a dairy-free version of this gingerbread martini, you can use the Bailey's Almande which is an almond milk based liqueur.
What makes espresso martinis frothy?
If you use freshly brewed espresso, you'll notice it already has a slight foaminess to it.
In addition, by shaking the espresso martini in a cocktail shaker, you get that delicious foam layer when you pour it into your martini glass.
If you don't have an espresso maker, you could substitute strong brewed coffee.
Don't be afraid to shake, shake, shake!
Tips for the perfect gingerbread espresso martini:
- Be sure to use good quality vodka!
- To really get that delicious, authentic espresso flavor, use fresh brewed espresso coffee or strong brewed coffee.
- Make sure to cool the espresso coffee before adding it to your cocktail. You can stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes if you're short on time.
- The gingerbread syrup can be made well a head of time, but I suggest making the cocktails right before serving for best results.
How to garnish your holiday cocktail:
- Dip the edges of your martini glass in gingerbread syrup, then roll it in finely crushed gingerbread cookie crumbs (you can also use gingersnaps or graham crackers).
- Sometimes during the holidays, you can find cute cookie mug hangers that are made to sit on the edge of a hot chocolate mug (or in this case a martini glass)!
- Drizzle the bottom of the glass with some of the gingerbread syrup for a cool design.
- Simply garnish with some espresso beans and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
For more holiday recipes try:
Don't forget to leave me a comment or star review below if you give this recipe a try! I love to hear your feedback :).
Gingerbread Syrup (makes 2 cups):
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar works too)
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 cups water
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks (or 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon)
- 8 whole allspice berries (or ½ teaspoon ground allspice)
- 6 whole cloves (or a pinch of ground clove)
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (*see recipe notes)
Gingerbread Espresso Martini:
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey's (*see recipe notes)
- 1 ounce coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
- 1 ounce gingerbread syrup
- 2 ounces espresso coffee, cooled
- gingerbread cookies for garnish, optional
- In a medium saucepan whisk together brown sugar, molasses and water. Bring to a boil. whisking occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the cinnamon stick, allspice, clove, ginger and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture should be slightly thickened.
- If using whole spices, strain syrup through fine mesh strainer. Let cool to room temperature then transfer to air tight container or mason jar.
Gingerbread Espresso Martini:
- In a cocktail shaker with ice, add vodka, Irish cream, coffee liqueur, gingerbread syrup and cooled espresso coffee.
- Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
- Pour into martini glass, serve and enjoy! (*see recipe notes for garnish options!)
*Fresh ginger is recommended in the gingerbread syrup recipe for that authentic, warm gingerbread flavor. However, you could use 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger if needed.
*If you can find a gingerbread flavored cream liqueur feel free to use that instead of the Bailey's or you can use RumChata for extra cinnamon flavor.
*For a dairy free/vegan version you can substitute the Bailey's Irish cream for their Almande product which is an almond milk based liqueur.
*For the garnish: dip the martini glasses in the gingerbread syrup, then in finely crushed gingerbread (or gingersnap/graham cracker) crumbs. You can also garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, espresso beans or a cute mug hanger (see products below!)
*Gingerbread syrup recipe adapted from Happy Food Tubes.