Carajillo: history and how to prepare it

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Carajillo: history and how to prepare it


Coffee is a product that can be consumed in a wide variety of presentations, ranging from hot drinks to cold desserts. In addition, many of these recipes have cultural significance for those who prepare them and for those who consume them. This is why Carajillo is one of the best-known coffee drinks in Latin America, and there are too many theories about its origin.

At Café 1820 we tell you a little about the history of this drink from colonial times and how to prepare it without complications.

Where does Carajillo come from and why is it so well known in Latin America?

Until now, the precise origin of this well-known coffee drink is uncertain. However, it is known that it was originally created by the Spanish at the time of the conquest. Some researchers establish that it occurred in Cuba and others point to the fact that it occurred in Catalonia.

In the same way, a fairly accepted theory follows the story that the Spanish soldiers in their stages prior to the battles with the Cuban indigenous people drank coffee with brandy to give themselves courage (corajillo), which could explain a little its particular name.

Another theory has its origin in the northwest of Spain, where the Catalan carriers of the early nineteenth century combined coffee and some strong liquor to obtain more energy. Well, it is believed that the term carajillo is a linguistic deformation of when this drink was ordered by saying out loud «I’m leaving«, this in old Catalan.

For its part, the Encyclopedia of Barcelona documents that this drink originated thanks to the Spaniards who returned from the Americas from their colonial expeditions. And they had the custom of giving the slaves a fuck every morning before the start of the work day. So, that shit would be coffee with rum, one of the variants of the modern carajillo.

Regardless of the origin of the name, carajillo has successfully passed the test of time and its fame is very much alive as part of today’s Latin American cocktails.

How do you prepare a Carajillo?

If you want to prepare a carajillo, it is a fairly simple drink, with few ingredients and technique. So the secret is to choose the best coffee and the best liquor.

  • Shot of espresso coffee.
  • One ounce of liquor (choose between amaretto, brandy, rum or whiskey)
  • Ice cubes.
  • A whiskey glass or a Martini glass.

Start by preparing the expresso coffee, we recommend a specialty coffee to ensure a good flavor. Then, in the cup or glass, add the ice cubes along with your favorite liquor. Finally, add the espresso mixing it together with the liquor with a spoon.

Another option is to leave a delicate separation between both components, which is also a common way of consuming carajillo.

Did you like this recipe? Enjoy the flavor of coffee in different presentations. At Café 1820 we show you everything you can prepare with a good coffee as a base.

Take us home!

Whenever you go to the supermarket, choose Café 1820. You can also find us in our digital store You receive your coffee at home! Or if you want to order from the USA you can do it through Amazon.

Start the morning with a good cup of coffee, prepared with the favorite coffee of Costa Ricans. Enjoy its flavor and every moment and find delicious and varied recipes that you can easily prepare at

Café 1820 is always with you.