How to Make a Shaken Espresso Just Like the Ones at Starbucks

Updated: Jun. 28, 2023

When the weather warms and you're looking for a chilled spin on your favorite drink, look no further than a shaken espresso.

two Starbucks shaken espresso in clear glasses with metal strawsTMB studio

That shaker on your bar cart might need a new, permanent location at your coffee station. Why? Because it’s the main tool you’ll use to make a perfectly chilled, light espresso drink all summer long: the shaken espresso.

If you’ve seen or tried the brown sugar shaken espresso or the toasted vanilla oat milk shaken espresso at Starbucks, you’ve probably wondered how you can make it home. We’re here to say that making this drink is way easier than you think! All you need is an espresso machine (this Breville Bambino Plus is one of our favorites) and a shaker or mason jar with a lid.

What Is a Shaken Espresso?

Shaken espresso is a spin on the Italian shakerato that was popularized by Starbucks. Traditionally, a shakerato is chilled espresso. It is made by shaking ice cubs and espresso together until it’s chilled and frothed at the top. Sometimes sugar or simple syrup is added for sweetness. Starbucks took this drink one step further and added milk.

Shaken Espresso vs. Latte

An iced latte is a mixture of milk and espresso that is stirred and then poured over ice. A shaken espresso uses the same ingredients but is prepared differently. Espresso and ice are shaken together until frothed, then poured over ice and topped with milk. The milk will swirl and settle with the espresso as you sip, giving you a varied tasting experience.

Shaken Espresso vs. Cold Brew

Cold brew is coffee made from beans that are steeped for up to 24 hours to create a very rich chilled coffee. Shaken espresso uses espresso instead of coffee and can be made in about five minutes rather than 24 hours. We have tested and found the best coffee brands.

How to Make a Shaken Espresso

top view of two Starbucks shaken espresso in clear glasses with metal strawsTMB studio

Pull your espresso and get your biceps ready. This recipe makes one serving.


  • 2 ounces hot brewed espresso
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk


Step 1: Fill the shaker

Fill a shaker or a jar with a tight-fitting lid three-fourths full with ice. Add the espresso and syrup.

Step 2: Shake the ingredients

Cover the shaker or jar tightly, and shake for 10-15 seconds or until condensation forms on the outside of the shaker.

Step 3: Add milk

Strain the shaken espresso into an ice-filled glass and top with milk.

Shaken Espresso Variations

  • Oat milk shaken espresso: If you prefer non-dairy milks, you’re in luck! Oat milk can make this drink super rich and creamy. Simply swap for the 2% milk.
  • Chocolate almond shaken espresso: Need a little extra sweetness? Drizzle chocolate syrup around the inside of your glass before adding ice, and then swap almond milk for the 2% milk.
  • Vanilla shaken espresso: Use a pump or two of vanilla syrup instead of simple syrup.
  • Brown sugar cinnamon shaken espresso: You definitely don’t have to be a barista to make this fancy-sounding drink. Use some brown sugar cinnamon syrup instead of simple syrup—no extra mixing or making ingredients required.
  • Espresso martini: Adding vodka and coffee liqueur is never a bad idea when you need a post-dinner drink with a little extra pizzazz. Here’s our espresso martini recipe.