Apple Caramel Espresso Martini

September 22, 2022
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
This Apple Caramel Espresso Martini is the perfect sweetened coffee mocktail that's perfect for apple season and any coffee lover!

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini

This Apple Caramel Espresso Martini is a delicious coffee mocktail that comes rich in bold apple and caramel flavors and entirely smooth. Unlike the traditional version, this recipe is entirely dairy-free, has no Kahlua (instead a nice substitute), and is the perfect balance between sweet, mild, and absolutely toasty for the cooler months! Entirely dairy-free and vegan!

Closeup of an Apple Caramel Espresso Martini in a long-stemmed glass

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love.

There's just something about apples and caramel that has me attesting to this perfect combo! Now that we're officially in Fall, I'm so excited to indulge in all of the comforting foods possible. More importantly, I'm excited to be sharing the same sentiments with mocktails and drinks during this season as well.

This Apple Caramel Espresso Martini is truly the best way to kick off the season and the flavors in this mocktail is out of this world. The best part is that you can totally make this a traditional martini with the addition of alcohol and actual Kahlua. However, if not---you totally won't remember that this is alcohol-free. Plus, this Brown Sugar Peach Mint Julep Mocktail is such a refreshing twist on a classic also!

Much like my original Dairy-Free Espresso Martini, my husband is in love with this version as well. So, if you've been excitingly waiting to put those apples to work from your recent apple picking, then look no further!

Ingredients for Alcohol-Free Kahlua Substitute

The tangy flavor in these drinks comes from a homemade Kahlua substitute. And guess what? You only need two ingredients (plus water) to make it.

  • Brown sugar. I use organic to make sure it’s vegan
  • Instant coffee. Espresso powder also works.

Bowl of spices next to two green apples

Why You'll Love This Apple Caramel Espresso Martini

First and foremost, the flavors in this simple and easy Fall drink is enough to convince anyone, however, here are a few more reasons why you'll love this recipe:

  • It's Very Similar to the real 'feel' of a martini. Yes, while this espresso martini doesn't have actual alcohol, I promise that it's just as smooth, warming, and tasty as the original----obviously with additional bold flavors from the apples and caramel.
  • It's super fun to make! I literally love the creation of the apple syrup and the shaking of all of the ingredients the cocktail shaker. Such a sweet aroma as they boil!
  • You save money! This by far is one of my biggest reasons for making my own coffee at home (minus the last point to come). You definitely save more money purchasing the ingredients and making your own servings at home.
  • It's healthier. Most of all, this is my biggest plus! I love when I am able to know what ingredients I use whenever making drinks, cooking, or baking. Making my own lattes and coffee at home has definitely allowed me to switch to healthier, organic ingredients which is a win, win!

Apple slices and spices floating in a pan of water

How to Make Apple Caramel Espresso Martini 


The main component in this simple homemade Apple Caramel Espresso Martini recipe is the sweet apple flavor, hints of espresso from the Kahlua substitute and the actual coffee. To make your drink, you’ll use:

  • Apple. I love using Granny Smith for a nice tartness. You can also use a firm, sweeter apple like Gala or Honeycrisp for best results.
  • Espresso. You can also use chilled cold brew espresso coffee or actual freshly brewed shots.
  • Almond milk. Make your own! Or use store-bought Almond milk. You can also use other plant-based milk options.
  • Vanilla. to balance the richness of coffee.
  • Crushed or whole ice. The best highlight of this drink to keep things cold. Crush your ice or use a nice ice cub tray.
  • Apple spices. This adds a warming spice profile to this drink. You'll need cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
  • Brown sugar. I use organic to make sure it’s vegan.
  • Water. For boiling and creating of the syrup.
  • Condensed milk. For this recipe, I used dairy-free condensed milk by Let's Do....Organic. Such a nice creamy substitute.
  • Caramel sauce. This is one of the highlights of the entire drink and can be store-bought or homemade.

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini in a long-stemmed glass topped with a sprig of rosemary

Vegan Caramel Ingredients

The other component in this simple homemade espresso martini is the homemade caramel sauce. Here’s what you need to make the sauce:

  • Brown sugar. I use organic to make sure it’s vegan.
  • Vegan butter. I love using the brand Earth balance.
  • Full-fat coconut milk. You can also use the coconut cream version for a creamier texture.

How to Prepare Caramel Sauce for Martini?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing your vegan caramel sauce:

  • Get a medium-sized skillet and toss in some brown sugar.
  • Keep the heat about medium-high and stir the sugar constantly using a rubber spatula or a basting brush.
  • Add vegan butter slice and continue to stir until the mixture has melted.
  • Once the mixture is bubbly, add coconut milk to the skillet.
  • Add salt and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool.
  • You’ve now got your dairy-free, healthier, and delectable caramel sauce ready. Make sure to prepare it in excess so you can make your salted caramel latte on the go later on!

Best Ways to Use Homemade Caramel Sauce

When it comes to using this vegan caramel sauce (or any leftovers), I've gathered a list of ways that you can best use it:

  • Drizzle creamy caramel over oat milk, almond or coconut ice cream.
  • Add a dollop to vegan brownies (yum!).
  • You can even add homemade caramel sauce to your favorite desserts like vegan cheesecake, cake, cupcakes, etc.
  • Also, add a bit of sweetness to your chia pudding, overnight oats, or french toast for a morning kick!

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini in a long-stemmed glass topped with a sprig of rosemary

Can I Use Other Types of Milk?

Absolutely! If you’d like to switch things up with the type of plant-based milk that you use—–that’s totally fine! The world of plant-based milk is constantly expanding. From the classics like coconut milkcashew milk, soy milk and almond milk, we now have delicious options like oat milk, and even potato and quinoa milk.


Here, I’ve curated a list of drinkware and mocktail essentials that I use to achieve my favorite drinking experiences, especially with this Apple Caramel Espresso Martini. Everything from my fave glassware, cocktail shakers, ice cube trays, and more. SEE THEM HERE!

Best Types of Apples for this Espresso Martini

Even though this Apple Caramel Espresso Martini is based on using Granny Smith apples, you can also switch things up and add a slightly new flare in their flavor profile by adding any of the following apples for a bit more sweetness or tart:

  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Fuji
  • Pink Lady
  • Golden Delicious
  • Braeburn
  • and more!

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini in a long-stemmed glass topped with a sprig of rosemary and apple slices

Need A Pick-Me-Up without Coffee?

I decided to do a bit of research and I found a few great healthy alternatives to coffee. Now, you’ll be surprised to know that these options give you the same added boost that you need along with some other additional benefits, so be sure to give them a try when you get a chance.

Ingredient Swaps and Substitutes for Espresso Martini 

The ingredients to flavor this martini is super simple and can be adjusted based on ingredient or taste preferences. Here’s what you can use to swap or substitute specific ingredients without compromising the great taste:

  • Khalua. You can totally use actual Kahlua if you aren't worried about this drink being alcohol-free.
  • Apple cider. If you don't want to make this simple apple syrup or want to just switch things up, you can use a good quality store-bought apple cider or make your own!
  • Vanilla. to balance the richness of coffee.
  • Cold brew. For a sweeter, milder taste than espresso or strong coffee.
  • Condensed milk. For this recipe, I used dairy-free condensed milk, however, you can totally use actual sweetened condensed milk which adds additional sweetness to everything! Just scale back on the amount to about 2 Tbsps or so.
  • Plant-based milk. Adds a nice smoothness to drink. You can also use coconut, oat, or cashew milk.

Adding Alcohol

If you’d like to serve this as a cocktail, you can add 1 ounce of tequila, vodka or gin to each glass.

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini in a long-stemmed glass


If you make this Apple Caramel Espresso Martini, tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea!

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini in a long-stemmed glass

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini

September 22, 2022
5 from 1 vote
This Apple Caramel Espresso Martini is the perfect sweetened coffee mocktail that's perfect for apple season and any coffee lover!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1 serving



  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 2 Tbsps organic brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder


  • 1 Granny smith apples, sliced
  • ¼ cup organic brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground allspice


  • cup brewed espresso
  • ¼ cup simple apple syrup
  • ¼ cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
  • ¼ cup dairy-free condensed milk (I love using Let's Do...Organic)
  • 2-3 Tbsps vegan caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 Tbsps Kahlua substitute mixture
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Crushed ice
  • Granny smith apple slices
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Vegan caramel sauce drizzle



  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add together all ingredients (stirring them to combine) and bring to a boil, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 1-2 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let cool completely.


  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water and brown sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved completely, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the espresso powder until dissolved. Let cool.


  • Add all of the martini ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with a bit of crushed ice, shaking well until combined.
  • Assemble the martinis: For each martini, fill a good cocktail or martini glass halfway with crushed ice and pour the apple caramel espresso martini mixture in each glass(es) until it's filled ¾ of the way. Top with apple slices, fresh rosemary sprigs, drizzle of caramel, or your favorite garnish.
  • Sip and Enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

  • KAHLUA: Kahlúa coffee liqueur is one of the main ingredients in many of the world's favorite cocktails. Therefore, to make this recipe non-alcoholic----I created a great simple syrup substitute.
  • ALCOHOL: If you'd like to keep this recipe dairy-free, but want to spruce things up with alcohol, feel free to add 1 ounce of rum, vodka, etc.
  • SERVING: To make additional martinis, simply double or triple ingredients, depending on need.


Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Apple Caramel Espresso Martini.

Script text: Xx, Shanika

Love this Post? SHARE!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Love this Recipe?