Carajillo Recipe: The Amazing Coffee Cocktail You Will Love!

carajillo recipe favorite mexican cocktail

carajillo recipe prep time

Four years ago, we tried this cocktail recipe for the first time in Mexico. Wow! One of the best coffee drink recipes we've ever tried!

It is sweet, spicy, caffeinated, an excellent digestive, and combats food coma! Created for the first time in Cuba, this coffee cocktail is called Carajillo.
The Carajillo is super easy to prepare, and it's very hard not to like it. We want to tell you how to prepare it.

How do you make a Carajillo?

For this recipe, you will need the following:

  • 2 oz of espresso
    • If you do not have an espresso machine, you can brew a strong coffee cup using twice the amount of coffee you usually use in your drip coffee maker.
  • 1 oz of Licor 43
    • You can find it in liqueur stores in the international liqueur aisle since it is from Spain.
  • Ice cubes
  • Shaker
  • Coffee beans, orange peel, or cinnamon sticks to decorate as a garnish.


  1. Place all the ingredients in the shaker, making sure if you use brewed coffee, it's not too much; initially, 2 ounces worked well for espresso. Still, you can use up to 6oz of brewed coffee without getting a watered-down Carajillo.
  2. Shake for 30 seconds and serve slowly in an old-fashioned glass with ice; let the foam rise to the top.
  3. Decorate with orange peel: twist it to add a citrus hint and coffee beans or cinnamon sticks.
  4. If you don't have a shaker, you can first pour the 43 liqueur into your old-fashioned with ice and pour the coffee at the end, stirring before drinking.


Note: We have tried this Carajillo recipe with other liqueurs such as mezcal, tequila, and gin, and you will get excellent results!

The only thing: you must add ½ ounce of syrup to sweeten the drink since these liquors do not contain sugar, so you would need to add the sweet touch if you substitute Liquor 43.

If you have tried Kahlua, it has a similar flavor, although Licor 43 has a unique touch. Do you want to impress your friends or family at a meeting? If they are coffee lovers, this coffee drink will be the wonder of their palates.

History says that the Cuban military made this drink to take courage or "coraje/corajillo" before going to battle; they initially used brandy, rum, or aguardiente.

 carajillo cocktail recipe

What kind of liquor is Licor 43?

Liquor 43 is of Spanish origin; it has a vanilla touch and infuses 43 ingredients in a secret recipe, of which we know: lemon, orange, vanilla, spices, coriander, and tea.

A carajillo can be served hot or cold over ice; we love the latter version. This liqueur has 31% ABV.

In conclusion, Carajillo is a favorite Mexican After-Dinner Coffee Drink; it is a delicious combination in which all the ingredients complement each other perfectly.