This Is the Secret to Enjoying an Evening Espresso Martini

We love espresso martinis, but certainly don’t enjoy the after-effects. Here’s how you can get that espresso martini taste, sans caffeine buzz or hangover.

If you love drinking coffee in the mornings and sipping on your favorite cocktail after 5 o’clock, an espresso martini might sound like a dream combination. But when you look into the effects of caffeine and alcohol, the two work against each other and can create the illusion that you’re not actually as tipsy or as drunk as you really are. You should be aware of this potentially dangerous combination, to say the least, but what if we told you there’s a way you can enjoy an espresso martini without having to worry about that caffeine/alcohol blend?

Espresso martini at bar

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What Happens When You Mix Coffee and Alcohol 

Unlike what most movies and TV shows want you to believe, sipping on coffee when you’re intoxicated doesn’t actually help sober you up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, it can actually make you feel worse, since drinking caffeine plus alcohol shoots a double dose of dehydration throughout your body. That means it can potentially make your post-espresso martini hangover even worse. The only way to truly “sober up” is to wait it out and drink plenty of water to restore your body’s hydration.

If you have a heart condition or are concerned with your heart health, you should reconsider any caffeine/alcohol combo. According to a 2019 study conducted by the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAMA), caffeine and alcohol can both contribute to atrial fibrillation, aka an irregular heartbeat.

You should alway remember that everyone processes both alcohol and caffeine differently, so make sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about drinking caffeine or alcohol.

How to Enjoy an Espresso Martini, Sans Caffeine

If you’re craving coffee at night or after you’ve already had two cups, what do you do? Reach for caffeine-free options, of course. Did you know you can make the same swap when you order espresso martinis? All you need to do to make caffeine-free espresso is to grind up caffeine-free espresso beans. Any cafe, bar, or restaurant should have this on-hand, so all you need to do is ask for the swap, and they’re likely to be more than happy to do it.

Does Caffeine-Free Espresso Taste Different?

The best part about making this caffeine-free espresso swap is that there’s virtually no difference in taste once the espresso martini lands at your table. That’s because decaf and caffeinated beans are both still very similar in composition, even when the caffeine has been removed.

It’s important to note that it’s impossible to remove all of the caffeine from coffee beans in the decaffeination process, but using decaf beans does significantly strip the amount of caffeine that’s found in a single espresso shot or cup of coffee. For example, a typical cup of coffee can have up to 100 mg of caffeine, whereas a decaf cup has around 2 to 5 mg.

The next time you want to enjoy an espresso martini as a post-dinner treat, ask for this simple swap to make sure you can enjoy your cocktail without the extra buzz and dehydration, and to otherwise alleviate that inevitable hangover. 

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  1. "Dangers of mixing alcohol with caffeine and energy drinks." Centers for Disease Control.

  2. Bodar V, Chen J, Gaziano JM, Albert C, Djoussé L. "Coffee consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation in the physicians’ health study." Journal of the American Heart Association. doi:10.1161/JAHA.118.011346

  3. Poole R, Kennedy OJ, Roderick P, Fallowfield JA, Hayes PC, Parkes J. "Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes." BMJ. doi:10.1136/bmj.j5024

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