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  • Writer's pictureNatasha Mahapatro

Black Sesame Espresso Martini


Okay, let's start with the fact that nothing gets me more into the mood for happy hour than a round of espresso martinis.

I mean what's not to love? They are decadent, have a good dose of caffeine (thanks to the shot of espresso), and are very customizable...okay the list goes on, and then some.

I have yet to meet someone who tells me they do not like an espresso martini. It just isn't a thing.

This is sarcasm of course but all to say - the majority of people I've met in my lifetime DO enjoy espresso martinis. Let's go with that.

Okay, now on to what makes this one so special. She really is that girl. You get that extra nuttiness from the addition of the Three Threes black sesame-flavored almond milk and boy, is this milk the best. I use milk from Threes every morning in my coffee so when I decided to build out a series where I use just what is in my fridge/pantry to make fun and approachable happy hour drinks - so it was a no-brainer to make an espresso martini with my go-to milk of choice in my morning coffee! Sweetened with dates, the milk adds a beautiful texture and flavor profile (it's BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL) to the final product!

Then, I added toasted sesame oil (to build on that sesame flavor) and sweetened condensed milk - the addition of which was inspired by some of my favorite black-sesame-flavored treats found at my favorite Asian bakery. The TLDR? The combination of ingredients makes the drink super creamy and results in just the RIGHT amount of froth. And if you know me, there is such a thing as the right amount of froth when it comes to a good espresso martini.

My favorite thing about the recipe is the fact that it can be made with OR without alcohol. If you want to get really fancy and make the mocktini version - you can most definitely add in a shot of non-alcoholic vodka but it isn't needed. It's a great espresso mocktini as is. Yes, it's really that simple. :) More on this below in the notes but here is a 2-for-1 recipe for the perfect happy hour at-home situation for EVERY ONE. Cheers!



  • 1 oz espresso, freshly brewed (I used my Nespresso and specifically the Dolce pod)

  • 2 oz black sesame milk (I used Three Trees)

  • 1 oz sweetened condensed milk (I used Eagle Tree)

  • 2-3 drops of toasted sesame oil

  • 1 oz of vodka (optional)

  • Sesame peanut(s), optional for garnish


  1. Begin by making your espresso.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour in your espresso, black sesame milk, sweetened condensed milk, and 2-3 drops of toasted sesame oil. You can also add in 1 oz of vodka to make it a martini or non-alcoholic vodka to make it a zero-proof mocktail at this point, but that is completely optional.

  3. Add ice to the shaker and then shake extra hard for 25-30 seconds until the cocktail shaker is as frosty as it can be.

  4. Shake some more. Yes, I am serious. More shaking = more froth. :)

  5. Then, in a martini or coupe glass - pour up your drink!

  6. Totally optional, but I've gone ahead and chose to garnish with sesame peanuts to mimic the 3 espresso beans seen on espresso martinis most commonly!

~ Serves 1


  • You can replace the milk in this recipe with flavored milk i.e. Three Trees pistachio milk but I wouldn't recommend using regular milk. The recipe and consistency will not be the same so I highly recommend following this recipe. This recipe was specifically tested and developed to be one in which it could be served as a mocktail OR cocktail hence the ingredient choices. If you are looking for a standard espresso martini recipe, I'd refer you to this one from Mr. Black. It's my favorite and go-to!

  • This goes without saying but we are not adding coffee liquor in this version. I know purists may come from me but I'll reiterate that I really wanted to create a recipe that could be made as a mocktail OR cocktail - as that is something that a lot of you have requested to see. You could up the coffee flavor + liquor quotient with a coffee-flavored liquor like Baileys, Kahlua, or Mr. Black but I don't think it's needed in this recipe. If you do end up making this recipe and add a little something extra, do let me know. :) I'd love to know how it turned out!

  • There are so many different ways to garnish this and you'll see I used sesame peanuts I was able to find at Sprouts Market, but you can also garnish with some black sesame seeds if you have those on hand, some coffee beans, dark chocolate shavings, a single raspberry or strawberry half. The options are endless with this one - but these are my favorite black sesame pairings.

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