This insanely popular cocktail is ruining your sleep and heart health – New York Post

This insanely popular cocktail is ruining your sleep and heart health – New York Post

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On a recent night at Union Square Cafe, an older man was downing espresso martinis with his buddies. As he got up to leave, he turned to the bartender and said, “I’m the designated driver. That’s a good driving cocktail, isn’t it? It’ll keep you up!”
You’re half-right, Mr. Likely DWI Recipient! He’s one of many victims who are under the spell of the espresso martini — the trendy beverage that’s ubiquitous, perky, delicious . . . and a menace to society and personal health.
Over the past year, the drink has proliferated like rats under outdoor dining sheds. It’s everywhere you go — high and low, dusty and upper crusty, football and RuPaul. 
The caffeinated concoction is one of three “modern classics” on the menu at two-Michelin-starred the Modern ($19) — nestled next to the real martini and Manhattan like somebody shoved Andrew Johnson onto Mount Rushmore — and at the more casual Southern-themed Hold Fast on 46th Street ($15). Most bartenders will make you one, so long as they have some stale Folgers and a dusty bottle of Kahlúa lying around.
One dive’s bartender, whose business doesn’t have a coffee machine, told me: “I get at least one request a night for an espresso martini. A year ago, it was once a week.” 
Everybody loves ’em. They’re over-the-counter crack for faux-sophisticates. Yet has there ever been a worse moment to end your night mixing concentrated java and vodka — plus coffee liqueur and simple syrup?
The pandemic had led to terrible sleep habits: Melatonin sales reportedly soared 42.6% in 2020 and, during the first half of that year, there were 2.77 million Google searches for “insomnia.”
Amy Stephens, sports dietitian for Empire Elite Track Club, warned that caffeine tends to remain in your body for about four hours and that booze also makes it harder to fall asleep. A dozing-off double whammy.
“I would say you should stop [drinking caffeine] by 3 p.m.,” she recommended. “And alcohol is a depressant, but once it’s metabolized through your liver, it can affect your sleep.”
Finding a doctor in NYC who has something nice to say about the espresso martini is harder than securing a reasonable two-bedroom apartment with in-unit laundry in the West Village.
Consuming multiple shots of espresso a day can “increase your heart rate, and at times can be the culprit for atrial fibrillation, anxiety and depression,” Dr. Johanna Contreras, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai hospital told The Post. “Also, coffee can improve the taste of alcohol, and sometimes people may not realize how much they may be consuming, and as a result, they end up drinking more alcohol than they would if they would order a glass of wine.”
And even that red wine will give your heart a beating. A downer study, published in March in JAMA Network Open, found that any amount of drinking increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
You want more downsides? You got ’em! The sweeteners in espresso martinis, such as Kahlúa or simple syrup, make it much more fattening than a normal martini or basic vodka soda. “You’re looking at probably a 200- to 300-calorie drink,” Stephens said.
In the name of scientific research — like Ben Franklin and Marie Curie before me — I ordered two this week at Union Square Cafe. After only a few sips, I discovered what Frankenstein’s monster must have felt like after the doc flipped the electricity switch. “I’M ALIVE!”  
That late-night shot of espresso makes you feel like you can do anything . . . except you can’t, because you’re also drunk. One part Jim Carrey in “The Mask,” another part Barney Gumble from “The Simpsons.”
They are also perversely tasty, but you still get the masculine thrill of saying the word “martini.” Unlike its non-coffee’d cousins, the EM goes down smooth like a cold Frappuccino. 
And after a few rounds, you’ll go down hard at the club, be carried home by your furious friend and then wake up fully clothed with all the lights on feeling like a disgusting, polluted puddle on a street corner.  
But, as the angelic Kate Moss — or possibly Naomi Campbell — once allegedly said, the drink exists “to wake me up, then f – – k me up.”
Heart attack? Meh!
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