Features, Homemade On The Heights

Campus Cocktails: The Midnight Moonshine Martini

One key aspect of every successful night out is the “getting ready drink.” 

The getting ready drink is the cutesy little drink you sip on while doing your hair or makeup, and ideally, it helps you get the party started and excited for the night ahead. My getting ready drinks typically range from a glass of pinot grigio to a Twisted Tea to a poorly made gin and tonic. 

There is one getting ready drink, however, that reigns supreme over all the others—the espresso martini. 

As a coffee fanatic, I’ve always loved espresso martinis. Not only do they help wake me up so I can stay out late, but the combination of bitter coffee and sweet Kahlúa creates the perfect sippable drink to enjoy at dinner, with dessert, or, you guessed it, getting ready for a night out. 

My recipe is a bit of a twist on the classic espresso martini. I swapped espresso for coffee brewed from my Keurig because I don’t have an espresso machine. Though espresso is a bit darker than regular brewed coffee, the drink’s strong coffee flavor still shines through. And instead of vodka, this recipe calls for vanilla moonshine as the main liquor.

The syrupy vanilla bean moonshine, acidic coffee, and rich Kahlúa create a balanced and delicious drink that any coffee lover is sure to enjoy. 

DRINK: The Midnight Moonshine Martini 

(MC Claverie / Heights Editor)


For one serving 

2 oz of coffee (I used a vanilla Starbucks Keurig pod)

1 ½  oz of vanilla bean moonshine (I used Old Forge Distillery)

½ oz of Kahlúa 


  1. Brew one cup of coffee of your choice. Put it in the fridge to chill for several hours or until cold. 
  2. Add vanilla bean moonshine, Kahlúa, and coffee to a shaker with ice. 
  3. Shake until the outside of the shaker is cold to the touch—about 5 to 10 seconds.
  4. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy.
October 10, 2023