When I was a little girl, I would lurk around the breakfast table in the mornings, pestering my parents or my aunt to let me dunk my pan de sal (Filipino rolls) in their coffee. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to drink it, which made me want it even more. However, once in a while, my mom would nod her head and allow me to dip my bread in one of the cups and watch it soak up the coffee like a sponge. I would quickly put the soggy bread in my mouth so the coffee wouldn’t drip down my arm and all over the table. I particularly coveted my aunt’s coffee, which was a couple shades lighter in color than my dad’s, as she preferred her coffee with a generous amount of milk (and sugar, for that matter).
I don’t dunk bread in my coffee anymore since I’m free to drink as much as I want, (and I drink a lot of it!) but I do prefer to drink it just the way my aunt did. Since I love the taste of coffee, I prefer stronger, bolder brews to retain the coffee flavor after adding cream and sugar. However, I never drink it black, nor do I drink shots of espresso because it always tastes bitter to me, even the “good” beans. Plus, if you don’t already know, I prefer most everything I eat and drink to be rich, sweet, and creamy. That is….until I discovered the Caffè Shakerato!
Pronounced kah-FE shake-er-Ah-to, it is espresso, sweetened with simple syrup, and shaken over ice to form a frothy, ice-cold beverage. It is the perfect afternoon refreshment during the long, hot days of summer. The basic recipe is incredibly simple, yet the result is a bold, yet smooth drink, not some insipid coffee, watered down with ice cubes. On the contrary, a caffè shakerato is quite elegant and fancy! Martini glass fancy and very Italian!
Of course, you can fancy it up even more by adding chocolate syrup or any number of liqueurs, but on its own, it is simply sublime. So next time you’re wanting an iced coffee, make like James Bond instead, and order your coffee, shaken, not stirred.
Yields 1 serving
2 shots freshly brewed espresso, slightly cooled (If you don’t have an espresso maker, substitute with two ounces of strong, freshly brewed coffee)
1 tablespoon simple syrup, or to taste
4 or 5 ice cubes
Orange peel, for garnish, optional
Chocolate syrup, as needed, optional
1/2 to 1 shot of Baileys, Frangelico, Sambuca or other liqueur, optional
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add espresso or brewed coffee and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Pour into a martini glass or champagne flute. Garnish with orange peel.
To make it extra fancy, add a 1/2 or 1 shot of Bailey’s, Frangelico, or other liqueur to the cocktail shaker and pour into a martini glass brushed with a little bit of chocolate syrup.
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