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Photograph: Courtesy Lekka

Eight great NYC spots for espresso martinis this summer

Need a pick-me-up during your next night out? Try hitting up one of these spots.

Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
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After being shut in for so long, we’re all ready to go out and stay out. The only problem is, well, yeah, you’re craving the comfort of your couch. To prevent the yawns and keep the buzz going, the espresso martini has certainly seen a quick resurgence. But don’t expect the Kahlua-heavy cocktail popular at your parents’ not-so-cool parties. These new espresso martinis are mixologist-designed, well balanced, and provide that much-needed caffeine boost to keep you going all night. Who needs a vodka Red Bull when you have an espresso martini? Here’s where to get some good ones:

Esme

This Greenpoint restaurant and bar serves an excellent meal of New American fare, but stopping in to sip an (off-menu) espresso martini is highly recommended. The cocktail, served up, is balanced and not too alcohol-forward, meaning yes, it’s absolutely suitable for brunch or a nightcap. 

Union Square Cafe

Union Square Cafe’s espresso martini is unparalleled! Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liquor mixes with espresso for a big coffee taste, plus Ketel One, vanilla, and just a touch of syrup make this the chilled coffee drink of dreams. 

Lekka

Plant-based cocktail fiends eager for a sweet treat should pop into Lekka for the signature espresso martini, made with Rise cold brew, Kettle One Vodka, housemade chocolate sauce and topped with espresso powder. 

Chinese Tuxedo

For a foamy rendition of the espresso martini, look no further than Chinese Tuxedo, which uses a dry shake, followed by a wet shake, to achieve the perfect texture. Aquafaba is another not-so-secret ingredient used in the fluffy cocktail, made with La Colombe Cold Brew Concentrate diluted with vodka. You’ll probably want a second round. You’ve been warned. 

The Loyal

Crack is whack but the mezcal-based Crack Rocket at The Loyal is very much not. It’s perfect when you need a boost, with savory notes highlighted by vanilla syrup, coffee liqueur and a fresh shot of espresso.  

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Chef Diego Muñoz’s variation on the classic espresso martini, The Achorado, is made with pisco, a grape-based spirit from Peru, similar to Italy’s grappa. Mix that with vanilla-cardamom syrup and a dust of cinnamon on top, and you’re sipping a complex, bold cocktail.  

 

Hotel Henri

The Pick Me Up, which is perfect for nitro cold brew lovers, adds toasty notes to the typical espresso martini, thanks to Jim Beam Black, a sesame ash bitter chocolate syrup, Angostura bitters, and just your healthy boost of nitrogen dioxide for an extra chill. Sesame ash and cocoa nibs sprinkled on top make this feel extra decadent. 

Stickett Inn

This new, under-the-radar queer bar serves The Wake Up Intelligentsia, designed to keep eyelids from drooping until the next day. Made with cold brew, Old Yorke Cacao Maple vodka and Do Good Beaverkill Bourbon Creme, this chilly drink will keep you happily bar hopping in the newly reopened city!

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