Swap In Cold Brew For An Extra Smooth Twist On Espresso Martinis

Espresso martinis have been having a bit of a moment over the past couple of years, and for good reason. With its intoxicating aroma and bold, unmistakable java taste, an espresso martini is the perfect blend of indulgence and sophistication. And let's be honest — the jolt of caffeine is a nice addition, too. As more and more people discover the joys of an espresso martini, it's clear why there would be an influx of creative upgrades to the classic recipe of vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso. There are plenty of ingredients that can elevate an espresso martini, such as a dash of vanilla or a pinch of salt. But one transformation goes a step further by taking out the espresso altogether and replacing it with cold brew.


Cold brew, which is made by steeping coffee over a long period of time, is generally considered to have a more accessible taste than traditional espresso. Espresso can be bitter and acidic — not to mention, rather potent — making it a very acquired taste. If you want to hop on the espresso martini train but aren't the biggest fan of the strong flavor, or you're simply looking for a smoother, less caffeinated option, swapping in cold brew might be the way to go.

How to make a cold brew martini

All you need for a cold brew martini is a coffee liqueur like Kahlúa, vodka, and a bottle of your preferred brand of cold brew concentrate. For an extra personal touch, you could even blend up a quick cold brew concentrate at home; just make sure you make it at least 12 hours in advance so it has time to steep. It's important to use concentrate instead of regular diluted cold brew so that the flavor is strong enough to stand up to the intense notes in the vodka and coffee liqueur. After gathering your ingredients, add about 2 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce each of coffee liqueur and cold brew to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass, top with a few espresso beans as a garnish, and enjoy.


Exchanging espresso for cold brew in your martini will lead to a much smoother and more approachable drink. And since no espresso machine is required, cold brew martinis are very accessible and can easily be whipped at home when entertaining guests. Not to mention, a bottle or two of cold brew concentrate will be far less expensive than all the tools needed to brew a shot of espresso. Typical espresso martinis have undoubtedly earned their place in the cocktail hall of fame, but on the days that you need a less intense beverage, change it up with a shot of cold brew instead.