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Coffee around the World: Carajillo


According to folklore the Carajillo dates back to the Spanish occupation of Cuba, with soldiers and naval troops given coffee fused with rum to give them courage (coraje in Spanish, and hence the moniker “corajillo” or more frequently “carajillo”).

We don’t mind where this ‘after-hours’ coffee drink originated, because it combines our love for coffee with our love for fine spirits!

If you’re looking for a taste of both Latin-America and Spain itself, then the Carajillo is bound to be right up your street.

Incredibly popular in both Spain,  Cuban-Florida and Mexico, the Carajillo is more of a DIY drink on the continent. Servers tend to provide customers with brandy, rum, whiskey or any other spirit preferred (or to hand).

The point is not usually the alcohol, as it all does the same job.

What actually makes a Carajillo?


A photo posted by Cova Morales (@comoju) on

Fresh lemon peel provides a sharp, fruity taste which compliments the bitter coffee and warming spirit incredibly well. No wonder this is such a popular drink in many Spanish speaking countries.

You’ll need

  • 1 shot espresso or 30 ml hot coffee
  • lemon peel
  • 60ml of whiskey, brandy or rum
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)

Simply pour the alcohol into a wide-necked glass and top with the lemon peel. Flambe the mix for around 15 seconds and add the espresso or coffee to the glass.

At this point, add the sugar if desired.

The coffee will sit atop the alcohol and look superb.

Stir if you wish before drinking, but most importantly, enjoy!

Much like the Italian hangover innovation, the Caffè corretto, this is the perfect hangover cure for those times when last night seems to have spilled over into the next morning!

Just try not to overdo it on the Carajillos! They can be very moreish…