How can you pass on this carajillo?

Humans are fascinating creatures. If we find two or more things we like, our instinct is to try and combine them. This can result in some pretty strange concoctions, but often the outcome can be excellent. The carajillo is one such example. It’s a tasty blend of liquor and coffee. The most accepted hypothesis about its name comes from the time when Spanish soldiers occupying Cuba added some kind of liquor to their coffee to instill a bit of liquid courage (coraje) leading to the drink being called corajillo (little courage).

Photo: © ERNESTO CHI via

Another version says that transport workers in Barcelona weren’t given enough time to drink their morning coffee in peace so they mixed it into their afternoon cocktail and said “que ara quillo”, which is Catalan for “I’m off” meaning done for the day. Whatever the origin, it’s our good fortune that this drink exists.

Naturally, there are many ways to prepare this rich digestif: hot or cold, shaken or stirred. Our favorite carajillo is served cold, shaken, with ice, a shot of espresso, and a shot of Licor 43 (so named because it contains 43 natural ingredients including herbs and citrus fruit).

We leave you with this carajillo recipe where, as dutiful members of the human species, we mix not just two, but three good things together for an excellent result.

Chocolate bunny carajillo

Photo: Madre Café


  • 60 ml of hot espresso
  • 30 ml of Licor 43
  • 7 ml of chocolate sauce
  • 1 Turin bunny


  1. Pour the chocolate sauce into the glass, add ice to taste, add the Licor 43 and the espresso.
  2. The coffee will melt the chocolate, blending everything together to create an explosion of flavor.
  3. Let it cool before placing the bunny on top, then enjoy!

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