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Carajillo – The Spanish Coffee Recipe

A few cocktails can be drunk at any time of the day, and people won’t give you a side-eye. Thankfully, this Spanish coffee drink is one of them.

If you are wondering what’s in a Spanish coffee, well in this case that’s easy to answer. This Spanish coffee recipe called Carajillo only has two main ingredients; coffee and alcohol. 

Keep reading this article, because here you’ll learn how to make Spanish coffee, a little bit about its role in culture and history, and how to customize this recipe.

Carajillo - The Spanish Coffee Recipe
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Background of the Dish

coffee drinks with alcohol

Carajillo is a drink whose main ingredients are coffee and some type of alcohol, such as liquor, brandy, whiskey, or cognac. 

It was created in Andalusia and is usually made with Licor 43, which is authentic Spanish liquor.

Its origin is a matter of debate for historians and there are two versions of how the Spanish coffee recipe was introduced in our society.

The first version says it was created by Spanish colonizers in Cuba and the combatants in the War of Independence who used to combine coffee with rum for courage before the battle. 

The second version associates the Spanish coffee recipe with Catalonia and the workers who would order coffee ‘que ara guillo’, roughly translated as ‘in a hurry’.

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Are you looking for a Spanish Coffee Recipe? Indulge yourself in this Spanish cocktail called Carajillo. This coffee with alcohol is a famous Spanish drink that is being served in every bar and restaurant in Spain. The Spanish liqueur pairs with the strong taste of coffee, offering you a Spanish coffee cocktail with sweet and aromatic notes. Try and enjoy the Carajillo recipe for its delicious and strong flavor. #carajillo #spanishcoffee #coffeerecipe #spanishcarajillo #spanishcoffeerecipe
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Things You’ll Need for The Spanish Coffee Recipe

To make this coffee alcohol drink, you won’t need any weird ingredients or equipment. If you have a coffee maker then that’s better, but you can also use instant coffee powder to make this Carajillo.

You can take ideas from other coffee drinks with alcohol if you can’t find Licor43, and use any alcohol shot that you have available.

If you want to make Andalusian recipes, but you don’t like coffee liqueur drinks, I recommend you try Andalusian savory recipes such as Spanish finger food or traditional Spanish paella.

spanish cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 shot (60ml) espresso coffee
  • 1 small shot (20ml) of Licor 43
  • Sweetener to taste (sugar, artificial sweetener, etc.)
  • Optional 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

How to Make The Spanish Coffee Recipe – Step by Step Guide

coffee liqueur recipes
  1. To start with this Spanish coffee, make one shot of espresso coffee. You can make it in an Italian coffee maker, a capsule coffee maker, or the one that you regularly use.  
  1. The most usual thing is to put the coffee in a shot glass made out of glass and not in a regular cup or mug. Make sure you don’t fill it to the top because you need room for the liquor.
  1. Now grab a Caballito glass (The smallest shot, about 20ml) and fill it with Licor 43 for an authentic Spanish Carajillo. You can change the amount according to how much you like the alcohol taste in your coffee.
  1. To finish this Spanish cocktail, add sugar or any other type of sweetener. Stir to dissolve, and as an optional step, you can put some cinnamon powder on top. Now enjoy your Carajillo.

Substitution of Ingredients

coffee liqueur drinks

This drink is basically coffee with alcohol, which thankfully gives you a lot of room to be creative and make changes in the coffee ingredients.

You can copy other alcoholic coffee drinks, and replace Licor 43 with any other of your choice.

For example, you can use chocolate or dulce de leche liqueurs, which are a great choice if you don’t like the strong alcohol flavor. 

Besides that, you can add some whipped cream on top of your Carajillo, which is perfect for you if you were looking for a more creamy coffee recipe.

Tips on Serving The Spanish Coffee Recipe

spanish coffee drink

This Spanish liqueur drink can be drunk at any time of the day. You can have it after dinner and be ready to go to bed, or in the middle of the morning to heat your body.

My favorite way of having this drink is to have it as an afternoon snack alongside some authentic churros, or a piece of Spanish almond cake.

Despite that, you can copy other coffee liqueur recipes and turn this into a cold coffee drink. 

Just add some ice cubes and refrigerate your coffee ahead to make an iced coffee, and I assure you this will be your new favorite summer Spanish Cocktail.

How to Store The Spanish Coffee Recipe

How to Store The Spanish Coffee Recipe

As it happens with other coffee mixed drinks, it’s made for you to drink right away. 

It does not make much sense to store it in the fridge because if you have to heat it in the microwave later, the taste is affected. 

You shouldn’t heat it on a stove either, because the amount of alcohol it has is dangerous. 

Despite that, you can make the Spanish coffee ahead of time and store it as you would regularly do, and prepare your Spanish drink later.

Recipe Card: The Spanish Coffee Recipe

Yield: 1

Spanish Coffee Recipe

alcoholic coffee drinks

A few cocktails can be drunk at any time of the day, and people won't give you a side-eye.

Thankfully, this Spanish coffee drink is one of them.

If you are wondering what's in a Spanish coffee, well in this case that's easy to answer.

This Spanish coffee recipe called Carajillo only has two main ingredients; coffee and alcohol.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 shot (60ml) espresso coffee
  • 1 small shot (20ml) of Licor 43
  • Sweetener to taste (sugar, artificial sweetener, etc.)
  • Optional 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powde

Instructions

  1. For the first step, make one shot of espresso coffee. You can make it in any way, just use your favorite technique.
  2. The most usual thing is to put the coffee in a shot glass made out of glass and not in a regular cup. Make sure you don't fill it to the top because you need room for the liquor.
  3. Now grab a Caballito glass (smallest shot, about 20ml) and fill it with Licor 43 for an authentic Spanish Carajillo. You can change the amount according to how much you like the alcohol taste in your coffee.
  4. Finally, add sugar or any other type of sweetener. Stir to dissolve and as an optional step, you can put some cinnamon powder on top. Now enjoy your Carajillo.

Notes

This is the easiest and safest way to make this Spanish coffee since the original recipe calls for burning the alcohol.

I don't recommend doing this at home if you don't have experience, because it's not safe and you can end up with a large ball of fire.

If you can find Spanish coffee brands, then I recommend brands such as Alipende or Bonka, since those are my personal favorites. But you can use any brand that you like.

Nutrition Information

Yield

1

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 180Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 1gSodium 15mgCarbohydrates 19gSugar 18gProtein 1g

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