Midnight Martinis Are A Darker Spin On The Espresso Classic

Move over, espresso martinis — there's a new drink in town that will keep you awake all night long (if you so choose). Dubbed the midnight martini, this coffee-based cocktail is pretty similar to an espresso martini but has a few key differentiators. It's made with coffee liqueur, just like the espresso version, but also incorporates coffee or espresso vodka and a lemon twist to garnish. When the two caffeinated boozes are combined, you get a pretty, deep brown drink, as dark as the midnight sky.

Unlike an espresso martini, which typically has a few extra additives like simple syrup, straight espresso or coffee, and a coffee bean garnish, a classic midnight martini has a comparatively short ingredient list. To make it, all you need to do is pour the three ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, stir thoroughly, and strain into a cold martini glass. Then add a little lemon twist for a classy garnish, and sip until the clock strikes midnight. This drink is perfect for New Year's Eve or any other night when you need a little extra boost to stay up past your bedtime.

Variations on a traditional midnight martini

While you can make the classic version of a midnight martini using only three ingredients, you can also add a few extras to give it a little more pizzazz. The potent coffee flavors pair well with cinnamon, for example, and it's common to add in cinnamon syrup. You can buy a bottle, or make it yourself at home using sugar, water, and a cinnamon stick. And to make this drink into a more dessert-like concoction, feel free to top it with whipped cream, cinnamon, or cocoa powder.

If you can't find coffee or espresso-flavored vodka, you can also make this cocktail using coffee liqueur and a cold brew or cold brew concentrate. To sub for the booze, use another flavored vodka that pairs well with the martini, such as vanilla or chocolate. And if you're not a fan of lemon peels, you can incorporate a slight citrus touch in another way. Try a lemon, orange, or yuzu citrus simple syrup, for example, or top off your martini with orange bitters, an orange twist, or an orange slice.

While the midnight martini is most commonly poured in a traditional martini glass, at some bars, you can order the drink as a shooter. To make it at home, shake the ingredients and strain them into a shot glass to get a quick dose of caffeine and booze.