May we introduce you to your new favorite coffee drink? It’s the Caffe Shakerato or a classic Italian iced coffee recipe.
The irony, of course, is that it’s practically unknown here in the United States but it’s actually ubiquitous in Italy.
What Is A Caffe Shakerato?
There are a few things you should know about the Italian drink, Caffe Shakerato: first, it’s pronounced “shake” with a “-rate” then an “o” at the end. (You know, it’s one of those bastardizations of an English word that makes for an awesome word in a foreign language.)
It’s a drink that sort of shows up out of nowhere once the weather gets warm. You’ll be in a cafe and all of a sudden cold coffee starts showing up in Martini (sometimes wine or champagne) glasses as if they hibernate at anything less than 80°F.
I first tried Caffe Shakerato during the dog days of Italian summer. Florence was in the triple digits and the only way I could walk outside was if I jumped from shadow to shadow. I took refuge in the chichi hotel bar of the Hotel Savoy and, before I could order, the waiter asked me if I wanted a Caffe Shakerato. Truth be told, I said yes because the name sounded cool though I had no idea what it actually was.
What arrived was an espresso shot shaken with sugar and ice and served strained, which resulted in this sweet, thick espresso foam that I couldn’t get enough of. The genius of the shakerato is that it’s so simple but well-executed, like so many other good Italian recipes. My only complaint is that it’s usually served super sugary so I always ask for it with minimal or no sugar.
Caffe Shakerato | Classic Italian Iced Espresso Recipe
- 2 shots freshly brewed espresso
- 1 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar
- Chill The Glass: Fill a wine glass halfway with ice and water and set aside to chill while you make the shakerato.
- Shake The Coffee: Meanwhile, in the base of a cocktail shaker, mix together espresso and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Fill shaker with ice, close, and shake seriously hard until shaker is frosted and mixture has created a sort of espresso foam, about 20 seconds. Strain into the chilled wine glass and serve.