Cold Brew Coffee Is An Easy Substitute In Your Next Espresso Martini

A classic espresso martini recipe combines espresso, vodka, and coffee liqueur. It's a great, easy-to-remember combination for novice home bartenders since it includes just three ingredients, sometimes in equal parts, shaken with ice. Some folks add simple syrup or cream, but beauty is in the eye (or taste buds) of the beholder.

The balanced, enlivening cocktail is typically made with a fresh espresso shot chilled in the freezer to prevent over-dilution. "But wait," you exclaim, "I don't have an espresso machine!" And why would you? The appliance occupies a massive chunk of countertop space (we see you, apartment-dwelling foodies) and can set you back $500 or more. What's an espresso martini lover on a dime to do? Good news: You don't have to change out of your silk house robe or take that Bette Midler record off the table. All it takes to make this drink at home is a simple espresso martini ingredient swap: Whip out the cold brew concentrate.

Cold brew concentrate packs all the strong, bitter, unsweetened coffee flavor that makes the espresso martini such a sophisticated digestif. Plus, it eliminates the espresso-chilling step, which cuts down on prep time without compromising temperature. Cold brew concentrate can be made at home or found in most grocery stores' refrigerator sections.

Do the brew if it works for you

If you don't have concentrate on hand, you could also use regular cold brew coffee — which would make this recipe a thrifty way to use up that half-finished bevy from earlier this morning that's patiently waiting in your fridge. Just keep in mind that using cold brew coffee versus cold brew concentrate will impart a weaker espresso-like flavor.

For diehard fans, turn the dial up to 11 and pair your cold brew espresso martini with a shot of Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur. This lightly sweetened booze is made from Australian wheat vodka and 100% specialty Arabica beans and packs a 25% ABV. (In fact, we used both a fresh espresso shot and a shot of Mr. Black in our "we tried it" viral Parmesan Espresso Martini experiment.)

Depending on which brand of coffee liqueur you use, the espresso martini clocks in somewhere around 18.82% ABV, the equivalent of roughly 1.2 standard drinks plus an extra boost of caffeine. (Dare we say, the ultimate evening pick-me-up?) Feel free to get creative with your cocktail's flavor profile here. You can also bring out the tasting notes of your particular cold brew by adding complementary spices. Cardamom simple syrup is a wise choice, or you could swap coffee liqueur with crème de cacao for a chocolatey finish.