From the secrets behind creating the perfect espresso martini to the best bars in which to enjoy one, join us for a celebratory journey of delicious coffee related treats to mark this month’s UK Coffee Week


 Which cocktail would you most like to try? Cast your vote to be in with the chance of winning a fabulous overnight stay at The Hoxton, Holborn, a stone’s throw from London's fashionable West End. Dinner and cocktails for two at its chic restaurant is included.


Check out our daily celebration of UK Coffee Week

Where to get the best espresso martinis in London and Manchester

Calling all coffee lovers! Our editorial team asked the founder of UK Coffee Week where to find the best espresso martinis. Watch the videos below to see his picks – plus, find out where you can get your selfie printed onto your very own cocktail

There's more to Kahlúa than espresso martini

Whether you want to add a Mexican touch to your iced coffee, indulge in the glory of a frozen mudslide, or upgrade a classic sours with the rich flavour of Kahlúa, add these easy recipes to your cocktail repertoire.




Fill any glass with ice and iced coffee. Then just add kahlúa, mix, and sip at your own pace.




Fill a glass with ice cubes. Add Kahlúa and Absolut Vodka, finish up with a cream layer. Or try it out with milk, skim milk or soya milk.




Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Shake for ten seconds. Then add ice and shake. Strain into a glass.




Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add the ingredients, mix and enjoy your very own Black Russian.




Mix the ingredients and crushed ice in a blender. Pour the mixture into a hurricane glass. 




Shake the Kahlúa, Absolut Vodka and espresso together with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.


There’s more to Kahlúa than meets the eye. From supporting coffee-growing communities around the world and the meticulous bean-harvesting process, to its versatility in cocktails and baking alike – learn more about this delicious liqueur below.

UK Coffee Week: what you need to know


Everything you need to know about UK Coffee Week

Drinking your cup of Joe is now much more than "me time" — you can raise money to help coffee-growing communities around the worldcoffee-growing communities

For a country of tea drinkers, we’ve certainly come to love our coffee. And if you needed another reason to indulge in your caffeine fix, here's one: 16-22 April has been declared UK Coffee Week. The nationwide celebration brings together passionate baristas, coffee-lovers, and anyone who enjoys a cup of Joe, to raise money for communities that grow our coffee. At the heart of good coffee is water, and at the heart of UK Coffee Week is Project Waterfall, a charity bringing clean water and sanitation to places it’s desperately needed. Coffee is one of the largest and most powerful industries in the world. Every year, globally, we drink more than 500 billion cups in so many different ways, so UK Coffee Week decided to turn some of those lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso martinis into the power to change lives.

When 663 million people around the world don't have access to safe, clean water, it’s not just about health and hydration. Research shows that having clean water leads to better access to education and higher incomes. Last year alone, UK Coffee Week raised more than £335,000, giving away 100 per cent of all donations. The money raised funded clean water and sanitation facilities for coffee-growing communities in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, allowing 5,000 people access to much-needed water resources. This April, the challenge is on to do even more, and the project has already had a head start. Kahlúa and Absolut – two of the key components of an espresso martini – will be donating £10,000 to give the fundraising a kick start. It’s a cause that hits particularly close to home, as Kahlúa is made with Arabica coffee beans, grown in Veracruz, Mexico.Espresso Martini

To acknowledge the connection between coffee, liqueur, and clean water, Kahlúa is asking people to cocktail their coffee and donate to Project Waterfall with each espresso martini they buy. Stephen Fry is also backing the cause. He says: “We can’t live healthy lives without fresh water. It is our most precious resource, so I am very proud to be a part of any initiative which extols the virtues of coffee with friends while helping provide fresh water for those who most need it.”

Since 2011, UK Coffee Week has raised more than £800,000, changing in excess of 27,000 lives in Nicaragua, Tanzania, Rwanda, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. So whether you take yours long and milky, short and black, or with the addition of vodka, make sure your drink is doubling up to do good.

To discover more about Kahlúa, visit

What’s in the perfect espresso martini


What makes the perfect espresso martini?

Coffee beans The cocktail is enjoying a resurgence in popularity - and this is all you need to create your own.

As with all great inventions, it's the legend behind them that's often just as intriguing. And the espresso martini is no exception.

In the mid-Eighties, a supermodel asked bartender and London cocktail legend Dick Bradsell to mix her something new. Inspired to create something special, he put two shots of vodka, some sugar syrup, and a fresh espresso into a mixer, then reached for the Kahlúa, added a shot, shook it over ice, and poured it into a cold martini glass. Gradually the drink settled into the iconic black with a café au lait-coloured foam that we know as the espresso martini. At first Bradsell called it a vodka espresso. Later it appeared on the menu of Damien Hirst’s first Pharmacy restaurant in Notting Hill, under a different name. But it was the martini glass it's served in that solidified the drink’s popular name as the espresso martini.

pouring espresso martini Kahlúa might seem like a niche ingredient to have chosen for a cocktail, but in the Eighties, liqueur cocktails were all the rage, and in 1980, it became the number one-selling coffee liqueur in the world. Now, the espresso martini is enjoying a resurgence in popularity in line with our fixation with quality coffee, and the drink is one of the top 10 bestselling cocktails. Baristas and bartenders are the new craftsmen of our age, and the espresso martini is where their mutual obsessions converge.No longer will just any coffee, vodka, or liqueur do. The ingredients have to be spot on to give the drink the robustness of the coffee, the body that comes from the vodka, and the flavour reinforcement of the Kahlúa. “Coffee is now a big trend and the espresso martini is the perfect cocktail to highlight it,” says Daniele Umoette, global ambassador at Absolut Vodka. “Its roasted chestnut and bittersweet coffee aromas complement the character of Absolut vodka perfectly.”

For the connoisseur, the liqueur brings that extra level of detail. Made in Veracruz, Mexico, where it was created in 1936, Kahlúa combines the Arabica coffee beans that grow in the region with rum made from the sugarcane that grows alongside it. It takes six years to get the perfect beans – they’re grown in the shade rather than the sun – and once the coffee cherries are harvested and the beans extracted, they’re left to rest for six months before being taken to be roasted and steeped in rum at the distillery. With so much effort going into the coffee liqueur, it would be sacrilege to settle for anything other than a freshly pulled espresso shot. Stale, or heaven forbid, instant, coffee, will absolutely not do. Add good quality vodka into the mix, and it’s a combination that is rich and deceptively simple. To discover more about Kahlúa, visit

Why it all starts with the coffee bean

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Why the coffee bean is an essential part of your espresso martini

coffee cherry There's a science behind the delicious cocktail

The espresso martini is on the rise. When Drinks International asked 108 of the greatest bars in the world what their bestselling cocktails were, the espresso martini was back in the top 20. Forget the saccharine, burnt coffee versions you tried years ago – today’s espresso martini is made with meticulous dedication to perfection, starting with the very beans themselves. Like wine, coffee has terroir. For chocolate or nutty notes you’ll want a Brazilian coffee bean; for something fruitier and more acidic, Guatemala or Kenya’s where you’ll want to look; for a citrusy edge, go Columbian.

Perfect pairing

For many bartenders it’s not as simple as slinging any old shot of espresso into the shaker to make the drink any more. They want to pair the notes that are in the vodka with the notes that are in the bean, to make every espresso martini distinct – it’s a way of making a signature version of a classic. “Flavour formation is a complex process,” explains Edgaras Juska, head of coffee at Catalyst Coffee. “All the steps of preparation of the beans have an impact on their flavour before they even leave their home country for roasting.” coffee process The bean is the seed inside the coffee cherry. The cherries can either be harvested and left to dry naturally in the sun, they can have their skins pierced and be left to ferment for anywhere up to 72 hours before being washed and dried, or they can have their skins ripped off before they’re left to dry. Each process makes a difference to how the core flavours express themselves. “If I want to create an espresso martini with a range of flavours, I can choose from the origin of the beans depending on what flavour I want it to have,” says Juska.

Quality beans

In Veracruz, Mexico, the coffee beans for Kahlúa also go through a very specific process before they’re sent for distilling. The beans are dried, de-husked and aged for a half a year before they’re roasted, ground up and brewed, ready to be introduced to the alcoholic spirit. The flavour profile of the beans and the way they’re prepared in the spirit also has an impact on the final taste. “When I mix the espresso with spirits – the vodka and the Kahlúa – I can create some really interesting combinations,” explains Juska. “The quality of it all matters – the spirits and the coffee itself.” Which is why it’s appropriate that a coffee bean tops off the perfect espresso martini as a garnish – for something so small, it certainly punches above its weight.

To discover more about Kahlúa, visit

Bake Lola’s espresso martini cupcakes

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How to bake espresso martini cupcakes

Lola’s might just have created your new favourite sweet treat – so you better learn how to make them

To celebrate UK Coffee Week, Kahlúa challenged renowned London cupcake connoisseurs Lola’s Bakery to create the ultimate espresso martini treat – and the result is a game-changer. With rich Kahlúa (a tasty blend of Arabica coffee and sugarcane rum), a zing of ground espresso, and a light and fluffy whipped icing (topped with chocolate-coated coffee beans if you’re feeling extravagant), the espresso martini cupcake will delight coffee and cocktail lovers alike.

“The espresso in the base is really light, so in the icing we’ve used double cream,” says Alice Stanley, head of product development at Lola’s Cupcakes and the recipe’s creator. “It makes it a lot lighter than just using cream cheese, which is a bit heavier. The double cream gives it a frothy feel. It’s the perfect accompaniment to tea and coffee with friends.” While undeniably a winner for coffee fans, the espresso flavour is not at all overwhelming, making it a great treat for any sweet tooth. Here’s how you can make your own.

Ingredients (makes 12 regular cupcakes)

For the sponge
400g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground espresso
275g caster sugar
120ml sunflower oil
150ml Plain yoghurt
150ml milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
3 tbsp Kahlúa

For the Kahlúa espresso icing
300ml double cream
35g icing sugar
175g mascarpone cheese
¼ tsp espresso powder
55ml Kahlúa

espresso martini cupcakes ingredients
Method making espresso martini cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4.
  2. Make the sponge by sifting together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground espresso in a mixing bowl.
  3. Put the sugar, oil, yoghurt, milk, eggs and Kahlúa in another bowl and mix well with a whisk.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the sifted dry ingredients and fold gently using a large metal spoon. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases and smooth the tops with a spatula.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. They should be well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
  8. While the cupcakes are cooling make the espresso whip. Place the cream, sugar and half of the ground espresso in a bowl and whisk with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Do not over-whisk otherwise the cream will split.
  9. In a separate bowl put the mascarpone, Kahlúa and remaining ground espresso and whisk with a hand mixer until smooth.
  10. Transfer a little of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture and fold in to loosen. Then add all the mascarpone mixture to the whipped cream and fold in gently until well mixed.
  11. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to pipe.
  12. Spoon mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe it on top of the cupcakes. Decorate the top of the cupcakes with 3 chocolate-coated coffee balls to finish.

The UK’s best espresso martini spots

From Liverpool and Sheffield to London and Reading, head to one of these pubs or bars and celebrate UK Coffee Week


1. Be At One, Nationwide

When, in 1998, three friends who worked in the same restaurant together decided to set up their own cocktail bar in Battersea, they had no idea that two decades later there’d be 33 across the UK. Be At One is a stylish cocktail chain with branches from Bath to Sheffield – a great place to stop off for an espresso martini to celebrate UK Coffee Week.


2. Chamber 36, Liverpool

45-49 Berry Street, Liverpool L1 9DF  
In the heart of Liverpool, next to Europe’s oldest Chinatown, is Chamber 36, an ambient oriental-inspired street food restaurant and bar serving up a host of carefully-crafted cocktails. With live bands and film screenings happening regularly, Chamber 36 is a perfect spot to enjoy a delicious espresso martini.


3. Tequila Mockingbird, London

12 High Street, Putney SW15 1SL
46 Battersea Rise, Clapham SW11 1EE

Whether you’re after a casual drink or a proper night out, Tequila Mockingbird’s two award-winning South London bars in Clapham Junction and Putney can cater to your needs. During the week, make the most of the two-for-one offer from 5pm-9pm and enjoy an espresso martini for date night. For a night out with friends, visit on the weekend, when a DJ plays tunes until 2am. 


4. The Elephant, Liverpool

1 Woolton Street, Liverpool L25 5NH
The Elephant on Liverpool’s Woolton Street is best known for its executive chef, Sunday Brunch’s Simon Rimmer, but it’s well worth the visit for the cocktail menu. With a chilled and unpretentious vibe and traditional pub food on offer, it’s a great place to start off an evening with friends or family.   


5. Rock & Rose, London

106-108 Kew Road, Richmond TW9 2PQ 
Glamour is at the heart of Richmond’s flamboyantly colourful restaurant and cocktail bar, Rock & Rose. Notable for its funky décor, chilled atmosphere and international food menu, it’s a must visit for West Londoners. Happy hour is 5pm-7pm, Monday to Friday – and make sure you take a seat in the lovely green outside area on warmer evenings.


6. The Maven Bar, Leeds

1 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7DH 
Go back in time at Leeds’ prohibition-themed nightspot, The Maven Bar. Located down the city’s bustling Call Lane, the entrance isn’t at all conspicuous, so keep an eye out for the un-signed way in and follow the hidden staircase until you reach a door labelled ‘M’. Order an espresso martini from one of the bar’s expert mixologists and you’ll soon feel like you’ve entered a clandestine speakeasy.


7. Alvinos, Newcastle 

88 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6SG
There’s plenty to do at Alvinos Bar in Newcastle, where comics line the walls and the cocktail menu comes via a catalogue. Have a game of table football to get your competitive juices flowing, or catch a live set from one the bar’s DJs. The retro-style spot also boasts a heated roof terrace – a wonderful place to sip on an espresso martini on a sunny day.  


8. The Blue Stoops, Sheffield

If you’re after a more casual environment to enjoy an espresso martini, try The Blue Stoops in Sheffield. A traditional pub with a rich history in a Grade II-listed building dating back to 1596, The Blue Stoops serves British food and has a cosy open fire. High Street, Dronfield, Sheffield S18 1PX 


9. Bunk, Nottingham and Derby

19 Stoney Street NG1 1LP
32 Lower Parliament Street NG1 3DA
8 Saddler Gate, Derby DE1 3NF 

With two branches in the city, Bunk – serving up primarily wings and cocktails – is one of Nottingham’s trendiest hotspots. The neon-lit bar and restaurant is an ideal location to start an evening with friends, and you can even regularly grab half-price wings before 10pm to graze on alongside your espresso martini. There’s also one in Derby, too. 


10. Caffeine and Cocktails, Reading

Unit 5, The Walk, Reading RG1 2HG  
If you want to try a twist on the espresso martini, head to Caffeine and Cocktails in Reading where you can swap the vodka for tequila, rum or whiskey. Of course, they make a great traditional version, too! Transforming from a coffee spot in the day to a cocktail hub in the evening, caffeine-infused cocktails are something of a speciality for the charming restaurant and bar.