Carajillo

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (38 ratings)

Serve in a

Coupe glass

Garnish:

Float 3 coffee beans on the surface

How to make:

To make a shaken ("shakeado") Carajillo, SHAKE 45ml (1½oz) freshly brewed espresso coffee and 45ml (1½oz) liqueur with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass.

OR, to make a layered ("puesto") Carajillo, POUR 50ml (1 2⁄3oz) liqueur into an ice-filled old-fashioned or stemmed bulbous glass (Copa glass), then carefully float 40ml (1 1⁄3) coffee over the liqueur.

1 1/2 fl oz Licor 43 Original liqueur
1 1/2 fl oz Espresso coffee (freshly brewed & hot)
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Review:

Carajilo, coffee and liquor or spirit is a popular serve in Mexico. Licor 43 is one of the preferred liqueurs in this cocktail due to its delicately spiced rich vanilla notes combining well with coffee. Your choice of espresso coffee will influence how well the bitter coffee balances the sweet liqueur.

History:

The Carajillo is a Spanish cocktail thought to have been created by Spanish troops in Cuba when the country was a Spanish province, who mixed coffee with rum to give them courage. 'Coraje' means courage in Spanish, and its diminutive form is corajillo. ( In Catalan, the Carajillo is called Cigaló.)

The Carajillo is popular in Spain, where its form varies by region, from simply pouring brandy into an espresso to heating brandy with lemon juice/zest, sugar and cinnamon, then adding coffee. It is also popular in its simplest form in Latin American countries, such as Colombia and Venezuela, and in Cuba, where coffee is mixed with rum rather than brandy.

An American version of the Carajillo combines a double measure of espresso coffee with chocolate liqueur in an ice-filled brandy balloon, topped with whipped cream. Another version is served with a caramelised sugar rim with rum, triple sec, coffee and whipped cream.

However, it is in Mexico where (since circa 2015) the Carajillo has exploded in popularity. Here, it is served shaken ("shakeado") or layered ("puesto").

Its popularity in Mexico has been helped by promotions by Licor 43 Liqueur; by far the most popular liqueur used to make a Carajillo. Indeed, this cocktail was added to Difford's Guide in 2019 due to Licor 43 informing us of its popularity and sending us a glass in which to photograph the layered version.

Nutrition:

One serving of Carajillo contains 113 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 0.8 standard drinks
  • 12.5% alc./vol. (25° proof)
  • 11.3 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from Difford’s Guide
Difford's Easy Jigger
£8.72 £8.72 exc VAT
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