The Carajillo is just like Lazy Woman’s Espresso Martini – solely higher

I attempted my first carajillo in Mexico Metropolis in 2021 and instantly drank a ridiculous quantity. For java lovers, this coffee-infused cocktail is inconceivable to withstand, and with the ability to order one at nearly any bar or restaurant feels too good to be true. I might get pleasure from one on the finish of brunch, throughout blissful hour on a Sunday afternoon with pals, or as an after-dinner bar. I did not know precisely what was within the drink – some obscure liqueur referred to as Licor 43 – nevertheless it shortly turned a brand new favorite.

“Carajillo is a Spanish beverage that mixes espresso with brandy, rum or comparable spirits,” says James Pergola, Espresso Ambassador for Nestlé Nespresso USA. It’s typical of Spain, and has its origins within the Spanish occupation of Cuba. Troops blended espresso with rum to provide them braveness (the phrase ‘coraje’ in Spanish, therefore ‘corajillo’ and extra just lately ‘carajillo’).

Today, many carajillos are made with Licor 43, “a candy Spanish liqueur with notes of citrus and vanilla,” says Pergola. “The title is a reference to the 43 spices and botanicals utilized in his recipe.”

In direction of the tip of 2021 and into 2022, as we emerge from COVID funk, espresso martinis have gotten the most well liked cocktail order (to the dismay of bartenders in every single place). Now, some TikTokers are realizing that, with the common-or-garden Carajillo, they will get the form of sneaky espresso martini that will not make restaurant workers fully depressing — and so they may even make it at dwelling with no mixing expertise.

Personally, I did not anticipate making carajillo to be so easy. If in case you have a approach to make recent espresso, whether or not with a Nespresso machine, a barista-style espresso machine, or a easy espresso maker, you can also make a Carajillo. All you want is equal elements espresso and Licor 43, Pergola says, and in contrast to an espresso martini, you’ll be able to get pleasure from it sizzling or chilly. (For those who’re on the lookout for a stronger drink, some individuals select so as to add tequila or mezcal.) That is it; It is a lazy woman’s espresso cocktail dream come true.

Nonetheless, if you wish to add slightly spice and get just a few additional components, devices, and subtleties, Pergola additionally gives a constant variation within the recipe: “The Nespresso Carajillo Macchiato is a playful twist with the addition of milk foam, a touch of cinnamon, and an expensive fringe of sugar.”

Since I want to drink my espresso black (and likewise do not personal a cocktail shaker or milk frother), I selected to make the traditional model from Carajillo. It turned out scrumptious, and I used to be nonetheless in a position to preserve that good layer of espresso foam on prime regardless of working so quick and shedding observe of measurements and instructions. (You gotta love a recipe that can style nice regardless of how a lot you serve it.) Licor 43 has a heat vanilla style that jogs my memory of a sweeter model of spiced rum and pairs completely with espresso. Nonetheless, I discover the Caragello to be much less candy than the Espresso Martini, which frequently comprises kohlrabi and sugar syrup to cowl up the style of the vodka. The one factor I’d do in another way subsequent time is use bigger ice cubes so the drink would not warmth up so shortly. If in case you have a tray to make big whiskey ice cubes or pellets, that is the best way to go.

Whether or not you need to get pleasure from a easy and traditional carajillo or attempt your hand at a Pergola model, there is a carajillo recipe right here for you. Both manner, I guess you may find it irresistible as a lot as I do.


For those who’re utilizing a Nespresso machine, Pergola recommends utilizing both one Vertuo pod to supply a double espresso, or two Authentic pods, which yield about 2.7 ounces of espresso. For one of the best outcomes, “you may desire a espresso with a deeper or woodier/roasted look to face as much as the alcohol within the brew,” he says, particularly calling out Grasp Origin Mexico (Vertuo) or Rio de Janeiro (Authentic).


  1. Traditional Carajillo:
    1 1/2 to 2 ounces brewed espresso
    1 1/2 to 2 ounces Licor 43
  1. Macchiato Caragello:
    2.7 ounces espresso
    1 1/2 ounces Liquor 43
    2 ounces of milk
    a plate of uncooked sugar, about 1/4 cup


Traditional Carajillo:

  1. Make an espresso. sit apart.
  2. Fill ½ cup of rocks with ice.
  3. Pour Licor 43 over ice and stir.
  4. Pour the espresso over the ice and pour within the liqueur.
  5. If foam stays within the espresso cup, spoon it over the floor of the cocktail.
  6. Take pleasure in!

Nespresso Macchiato Caragello:

  1. Milk froth (on chilly setting, if attainable).
  2. Put together the glass by wetting the rim with a moist paper towel.
  3. Dip the rim of the glass into the sugar and swirl it to coat it. sit apart.
  4. In the meantime, mix the brewed espresso and sugar in a shaker.
  5. Fill a shaker with ice and canopy it. Shake to chill, and pressure into the ready glass with recent ice.
  6. Pour the froth on the floor of the drink.
  7. Put a sprinkle of cinnamon on prime. Take pleasure in!

Picture credit score: POPSUGAR Images/Lauren Mazzo

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