Packed with espresso, Kahlua, cream and mint, these Peppermint Espresso Martinis are the perfect festive drink to enjoy all winter long! Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering, celebrating a special occasion, or simply indulging in a nightcap, this sophisticated cocktail is sure to elevate your evening.

peppermint espresso martini with a candy cane rim with a Christmas tree in the background surrounded by ornaments

What Makes This Recipe Great

Peppermint mocha coffee is my favorite flavor, so I get super excited whenever this holiday season rolls around and it’s back at Starbucks! Espresso martinis also happen to be my favorite cocktail, so I figured…what could be better than a combo of the two?! The peppermint extract adds the perfect festive twist to this classic cocktail. It is the perfect after-dinner drink for this time of year!

These peppermint espresso martinis are so easy to make and they are so incredibly delicious! This sophisticated and invigorating cocktail combines the richness of espresso with the cool, refreshing taste of peppermint, resulting in a drink that is not only visually appealing but also a treat for the taste buds. They have a fun candy cane chocolate rim and are the perfect drink to serve at all of your holiday gatherings. They are sure to be a hit and will get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Recipe Highlights

  • Delicious festive cocktail
  • Easy to make using a handful of simple ingredients
  • Fool-proof recipe
  • Fun twist on a traditional espresso martini
  • Great for holiday parties or Christmas Eve
  • Perfect cocktail for coffee lovers
  • Gluten free with dairy free option
ingredients for peppermint espresso martinis

Ingredient Notes

Vodka: Make sure to look for gluten free vodka if you have Celiac or a gluten intolerance. My favorite is Tito’s Vodka, which is distilled from corn, or Ciroc, which is made from grapes! Smirnoff Peppermint Vodka would also be a great minty option and happens to be gluten free and Kosher!

Kahlua: Any coffee liqueur will work here.

Espresso: I personally don’t have an espresso maker or an espresso machine, so I buy strong cold brew coffee to use in this recipe. If you do brew fresh espresso, make sure to hot espresso cool to room temperature. Each cocktail has exactly one shot of espresso (1.5 oz espresso).

Half & Half: If you need a dairy free option, use Nutpods creamer or Califia Farms Peppermint Mocha creamer (which is almond milk based)! Bailey’s Irish Cream would also be a fun addition to use instead of half & half!

Peppermint extract: A little goes a long way with this stuff – you only need a couple of drops!

Chocolate syrup: I like to use Hershey’s Simply 5 syrup which has minimal ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup. It is also gluten free. Any chocolate sauce will work.

Candy Canes: Yum Earth makes great allergen-friendly candy canes without the use of artificial colorings or dyes! Really any peppermint candies will work here. I added the candy canes to a plastic bag and crushed them using a meat mallet.

How To Make The Best Peppermint Espresso Martinis

the first two steps for making peppermint espresso martinis

Step 1: Dip the rim of 2 martini glasses in some chocolate syrup to coat.

Step 2: Add the mini candy cane pieces to a small place. Dip the rim of your martini glass in the crushed candy to coat the rim and set aside. Repeat dipping the 2nd rim of your glass in the crushed candy canes.

steps 3 and 4 for making peppermint espresso martinis

Step 3: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.

Step 4: Add the vodka.

steps 5 and 6 for making peppermint espresso martinis

Step 5: Next, add the Kahlua.

Step 6: Add the espresso.

Steps 7 and 8 for making espresso martinis with peppermint

Step 7: Lastly, add the half & half and peppermint extract. Shake well for 60 seconds.

Step 8: Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 martini glasses (or a coupe glass will work, too) and top with 3 coffee beans or espresso beans. Cheers!

peppermint espresso martinis surrounded by light and ornaments

Mary’s Tips & Tricks

Making a large batch: If you’re hosting a party and want to make a pitcher of this festive martini, simply hit “print recipe” on the recipe card below and change the quantity to 12!

Dairy Free: These can easily be made dairy free by omitting the half & half and using dairy free creamer instead.

Sweetness: If you prefer for these to be on the sweeter side, feel free to add 1 oz simple syrup or 1 oz maple syrup before shaking. I personally think they have the perfect amount of sweetness as-is.

Mocha flavor: To turn this into a peppermint mocha espresso martini, simply add 2 tsp chocolate syrup to the shaker with everything else.

Frothy top: If you want a frothy top on your martini, shake it for 60-90 seconds! The longer you shake, the more froth it will have.

a closeup of an espresso martini with 3 coffee beans

Recipe FAQ’s

How do you spruce up a peppermint espresso martini?

Feel free to switch up the type of alcohol used – this would also be delicious with a flavored vodka or dark rum or tequila! You can also switch up the candy cane rim and use fun Christmas sprinkles instead.

Is vodka gluten free?

Some will say that all distilled liquor is gluten free – even those made from wheat, barely and rye. I, however, tend to stick to GF vodka like Titos, or rum or tequila! As of right now, some other gluten free brands of vodka (in addition to Tito’s) are: Ciroc, Grey Goose, Chopin, Absolut, Stoli, Belvedere, and Deep Eddy.

More Gluten Free Cocktails

Mistletoe Martini

Dairy Free Eggnog

Pomegranate Paloma

Skinny Spicy Margarita

Blackberry Mojito

Pina Colada

Classic Espresso Martini

Fall Margaritas

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section. Or, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram today!

Peppermint Espresso Martinis

This delicious peppermint espresso martini recipe is the perfect festive cocktail to serve for all of your holiday gatherings! It is made with a few simple ingredients and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
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  • 4 oz vodka, can use vanilla vodka if desired – make sure to look for gluten free if needed.
  • 2 oz Kahlua , or coffee liquor
  • 3 oz fresh brewed espresso, cooled, or strong cold brew coffee
  • 2 oz half & half, use Nutpods or Califia Farms Peppermint Mocha creamer for dairy free
  • ¼ tsp peppermint extract

Chocolate Peppermint Rims & Garnish

  • Chocolate syrup
  • Candy canes, crushed
  • 6 espresso beans


  • Dip the rim of 2 martini glasses in some chocolate syrup to coat, then dip them in the crushed candy canes. 
  • Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add the vodka, kahlua, espresso, cream, and peppermint extract. Shake well for 60 seconds.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 glasses and top with 3 espresso beans. Cheers!



Mocha: To add mocha flavor, add 2 tsp chocolate syrup to the shaker with everything else. 
Nutrition facts do not include the chocolate peppermint rim.
Dairy Free: To make these dairy free, use original or peppermint mocha flavored Nutpods creamer, or the Califia Farms Peppermint Mocha creamer. 


Serving: 1martini, Calories: 295kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 27mg, Potassium: 103mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 100IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 0.2mg