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Perks of a Coffee Cocktail at Amsterdam's In-House Coffee Bar

"We can't make enough of our espresso martini."


When the Amsterdam Lounge took over the Main Street Bistro space at 609 W. Main St. in May 2015, it offered not only a chill, modern spot to sip on drinks and see and be seen, but also opened its own coffee bar--21&Cup.

With a classic silver espresso machine and a wide variety of flavors and hot drinks, the lounge opened at 8 a.m. every weekday morning to provide downtown commuters another option for their morning cup of Joe.

That is, until early February--when Ted Challenger, owner of Amsterdam, decided to kill the morning hours.

"It just didn't pencil out," Challenger said. "I'm surrounded by coffee shops and business people don't like to look like they're coming out of a bar during the day with a coffee cup."

Now, the bar opens at 4 p.m. every weekday and 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for 32-ounce Bloody Marys and mimosas.

Despite the daytime lull, Challenger has only seen business at the coffee bar grow in the evenings. The bar has several coffee cocktails on the menu, including its most popular, the chilled espresso martini--a concoction of Kahlua, Five Wives Heavenly Vodka and a shot of espresso ($9).

"We can't make enough of our espresso martini," Challenger said. "When the bistro died, I started studying millennials and thinking, 'What are people into?' They're so caffeine-oriented."

He said he also wanted to give customers another option if they're not looking to drink alcohol, such as a mocha or Americano.

For those who like shots of both, Challenger doesn't worry much about mixing alcohol and caffeine.

"You are putting an upper and a downer into one glass," he said, "but it doesn't really put you over the top. People are afraid they'll be up all night, but the depressant of the alcohol balances the caffeine out."

That might depend on the person, however. After recently ordering a coffee cocktail at 21&Cup, Boise Weekly asked the barista/bartender whether the drink would keep us up all night.

"Yep!" she said, then stirred it up, plastered whip cream on top, drizzled on the caramel and slid it over.

It was the best night of sleep we never had.