Instant Coffee Is Your Cheat For Faster Espresso Martinis At Home

The espresso martini has become the darling cocktail of the 2020 decade, even though some might say it's bad for you. As popular as it has become, many people may be hesitant to make one themselves because, compared to other drinks, it takes some work to prepare. For example, you need to make espresso first, and not everyone has a way to make it at home. The great news is that you really don't need any special equipment — not an espresso maker, moka pot, French press, etc. — to make a great espresso martini. All you need is some instant coffee. Sold in granular form, instant coffee and instant espresso simply need to be combined with hot water and stirred to make a decent shot that will taste great in martini form.


Coffee connoisseurs may tell you that there is simply no substitute for a freshly pulled shot of espresso, but when the coffee is mixed with vodka, coffee liqueur, and a bit of simple syrup, we think instant coffee is a smart, quick, and tasty way to pull off this drink. And when it's served up ice cold in a sexy coupe glass and garnished with a few coffee beans, it's doubtful anyone would notice a difference.

A quick and easy caffeinated cocktail

To be clear, you will still need to properly prepare the instant coffee to use it in an espresso martini. It would be great if you could simply spoon the granules into the shaker and mix them up with the other ingredients, but that's not ideal. However, combining a little hot water with some instant coffee and stirring is much faster (and less complicated) than operating a fancy espresso machine or scalding your fingers on a blazing moka pot. Plus, since instant coffee is basically very concentrated dehydrated coffee, it dissolves almost instantly in hot water so there's no need to strain any solid grounds out, furthering its swift prep time.


Once you've made your coffee and let it cool, just pour it into a shaker with vodka, coffee liqueur, and some sweetener, then shake everything vigorously with ice. Strain the mixture into a glass and you should have a very tasty martini that will both wake you up and give you a fantastic java flavor. Espresso martinis are great with brunch, after dinner, or even as an afternoon treat.

There are lots of instant coffee brands to choose from

Instant coffee doesn't exactly have the glowing reputation that traditionally pulled espresso has amongst coffee enthusiasts, and, as mentioned, some may scoff at using it in something like an espresso martini. But it's important to note that there are dozens of brands of the instant stuff, and their reputation for tasting like stale, hours-old breakroom coffee is generally outdated. Intelligentsia, Verve, and Swift brands are favorites among those who've tried them; Starbucks, Folgers, and Medaglia D'Oro are generally easy to find. And many brands have shifted away from jars to individually-sized packets of instant coffee, taking out the need to scoop and measure. With the packets, just empty one into a cup, add your hot water, and stir.


To make the best espresso martini from instant coffee, you might want to try a few different instant brands first and go with whichever you like best, whether that's a dark, richly flavored one like Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso, or something a little fruitier, like Verve Street Level.

Whether you're making espresso martinis with it or not, instant coffee is a good ingredient to have around. You never know when you'll find yourself with a broken coffee carafe or a busted French press pot, or you may just be in need of the perfect cup of afternoon coffee without the hassle.