What Is the Most Popular Cocktail in 2021?(Revealed!)

by Kaia

In 2021, one cocktail stood out from the crowd, captivating the taste buds and imaginations of many around the globe: the Espresso Martini. This delightful blend of coffee and vodka became the go-to drink, earning the title of the most popular cocktail of the year.


The Origins of the Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini’s story begins in the 1980s. London bartender Dick Bradsell is credited with its creation. According to legend, a young model walked into the bar where Bradsell worked and asked for a drink that would “wake me up and then mess me up.” Inspired by this request, Bradsell combined vodka, freshly brewed espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup, giving birth to the Espresso Martini.


Ingredients and Preparation

The simplicity of the Espresso Martini’s ingredients belies the complexity of its flavor. Here’s what you need to make it:


Vodka: The base spirit, providing the alcoholic kick.


Freshly brewed espresso: Adds rich, robust coffee flavor.

Coffee liqueur: Kahlúa is a popular choice, adding sweetness and depth.

Sugar syrup: Balances the bitterness of the coffee.

To prepare an Espresso Martini:

Brew a shot of espresso and let it cool slightly.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

Add 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of coffee liqueur, 1 ounce of fresh espresso, and 1/2 ounce of sugar syrup to the shaker.

Shake vigorously until the mixture is well-chilled.

Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with three coffee beans, traditionally said to represent health, wealth, and happiness.

Why the Espresso Martini Became So Popular

Several factors contributed to the Espresso Martini’s surge in popularity in 2021:

Coffee Culture: The global coffee culture has been booming for years. People love their coffee, and the Espresso Martini brings that beloved flavor into the realm of cocktails.

Instagrammable Appeal: The Espresso Martini is visually appealing. Its rich, dark color and frothy top, often garnished with coffee beans, make it perfect for social media posts.

Versatility: This cocktail is versatile enough to be enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, a late-night pick-me-up, or even a brunch option. Its balance of bitterness and sweetness appeals to a wide range of palates.

Lockdown Creativity: The COVID-19 pandemic saw many people experimenting with cocktails at home. The Espresso Martini, with its simple ingredients and easy preparation, became a favorite among home bartenders.

See Also: What is the Most Popular Cocktail in 2024?

Variations of the Espresso Martini

While the classic Espresso Martini is beloved, bartenders and enthusiasts have created many variations to suit different tastes:

Vanilla Espresso Martini: Adds a touch of vanilla extract or vanilla vodka for a sweeter, aromatic twist.

Caramel Espresso Martini: Incorporates caramel syrup or caramel-flavored vodka for a richer, dessert-like experience.

Spiced Espresso Martini: A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg adds warmth and complexity to the drink.

Mint Espresso Martini: Fresh mint leaves or mint syrup can provide a refreshing, cool contrast to the coffee.

How to Enjoy an Espresso Martini

An Espresso Martini can be enjoyed in various settings:

At Home: Perfect for a cozy night in or to impress guests with your bartending skills.

In Bars: Many bars and restaurants have added the Espresso Martini to their menus due to its popularity.

Special Occasions: This cocktail makes a great choice for celebrations, providing both sophistication and a caffeine boost to keep the party going.

The Future of the Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini shows no signs of fading from the spotlight. As coffee culture continues to thrive and cocktail enthusiasts seek new and exciting drinks, the Espresso Martini’s popularity is likely to endure. Its versatility allows for endless experimentation, ensuring that it remains a favorite for years to come.


In 2021, the Espresso Martini was the star of the cocktail world. Its perfect blend of vodka, coffee, and sweetness, along with its visual appeal and versatility, made it the drink of choice for many. Whether you’re a coffee lover or a cocktail enthusiast, the Espresso Martini offers a delightful and invigorating experience that is sure to please. So, why not shake one up and join the Espresso Martini craze? Cheers!



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