Cappuccino from Spain

Learn how to make authentic Spanish coffee at home. Kahlua, rum, orange liqueur, and a caramel sugar rim make up this spectacular digestif.

Spanish coffee

Are you familiar with the revelation that is Spanish coffee? Spanish coffee with flames, to be precise It's a little misleading to call it that. Spiked coffee, or carajillo, originated in Spain. In the United States, the idea was given an American twist. Nonetheless, this beverage is something special. It's rimmed with caramel sugar and filled with Kahlua, rum, and orange liqueur before being topped with a cloud of fluffy whipped cream that was made by hand. It's like a symphony of flavors: burnt caramel, citrus, bitter coffee, and sweet cream. Get on this right now.

Why is it called Spanish coffee

Why is it called Spanish coffee if it comes from the United States? Spiked coffee, however, is not limited to any one culture or type of liquor; it includes, for example, both the classic Irish coffee and the more modern amaretto coffee. Carajillo, the Spanish name for spiked coffee, is a regional favorite in Spain and other Latin American countries like Cuba, Colombia, and Mexico. In Spain, they use brandy, while in Mexico they use Licor 43, a bright yellow vanilla liqueur.

Huber's Bar co-owner James Louie adapted the carajillo in the 1970s and created Spanish coffee in the United States. The sugar rim of the glass is caramelized at the table by lighting high proof rum on fire. After that, you'll pour in coffee, Kahlua, and Triple Sec before topping it off with whipped cream and nutmeg. It's a theatrical production, and we have to say, this drink is deserving of the attention it's getting.

Spanish coffee recipe

Preparation of Spanish coffee requires the proper ingredients and tools.

The necessary tools and materials for preparing a traditional Spanish coffee at home are listed below. There are several ways to make this flaming drink, but we've developed the simplest one for home use. Those who enjoy Spanish coffee will recognize these as essential components:

  • When it comes to the coffee, any method of brewing that produces a strong cup will do.
  • Coffee liqueurs like Kahlua or Tia Maria
  • Try it with Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or any other orange liqueur.
  • Whether you're making a drink at home or in a bar, you should use either aged rum or 151 proof.
  • To create a rim: sugar and a lemon
  • To make whipped cream at home, you'll need heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar, or if you're vegan, vegan whipped cream.
  • Here's a good kitchen torch for the home method, and a lighter for the bar method.

There are two approaches to creating that perfectly caramelized edge.

Making the caramelized glass rim for this Spanish coffee requires setting rum on fire. Here at the house, we're always game for some harmless fireplay. However, when we attempted this with a traditional Irish coffee mug made of thick glass, the mug broke as soon as the coffee was added. Flaming is another technique that requires practice and is impractical for a large group.

This is why we recommend using a kitchen torch, such as the kind used to caramelize crème brulee, for our technique. Find out more about the two approaches here:

  • A kitchen torch is essential for making authentic Spanish coffee at home. That way, your glass won't shatter (like ours did) And the fact that it's safer is a major benefit. More people can be fed in less time and with less effort.
  • Lacking a kitchen torch Our go-to kitchen torch only cost us $15 and is presented here. It's also delicious without the caramelized rim, so don't feel obligated to add it. You could also use the bar technique...
  • 151 rum and a lighter are used in the classic bar method. You can try the old way if you like. It requires 151 proof rum, which is stronger than regular rum, to ignite. For our suggestions, see the recipe below: If you want your glass to caramelize quickly, use a thin one; a thick one will take longer, get hotter, and maybe even break, like ours did.

Be aware that there are numerous applications for a kitchen torch if you decide to purchase one. We recommend using it to caramelize creme brulee or pizza crust to make it look like it was cooked in a wood-burning oven. ), or putting smoked cheese on nachos.


Whipping cream at home: a few pointers

Yes, Cool Whip is available for purchase. Homemade whipped cream is optional, but it really elevates a Spanish coffee recipe to the next level. A little sugar and heavy cream will do the trick. Just a minute or two of hand-whisking is all it takes to make. Also, if you're looking for a dairy-free alternative, try coconut cream or coconut milk. What follows is a list of the various approaches:

  • A traditional whipped topping, made with this recipe. The best whipping results and creamiest texture can be achieved with the most recent cream. (Stale cream is too thick.) Just the right consistency for resting atop a cocktail when whipped to soft peaks. If you want it to stay put, sprinkle it on over the back of a spoon.
  • Cream that doesn't contain any milk products can be made with this Dairy Free Whipped Cream recipe. One can of coconut milk must be refrigerated overnight before use. Instead of heavy cream, you can use coconut cream, which doesn't need to be refrigerated.
Spanish coffee

The Proper Way to Brew a Cup of Spanish Coffee

With your new kitchen torch and preferred whipped cream technique in hand, whipping up a batch of Spanish coffee is a breeze. Here's a high-level breakdown of the procedure (or just scroll down for the recipe):

  • Prepare some caffeine.
  • Prepare the whipped topping, paying special attention to achieving soft peaks in the whipping.
  • Put a 1/2-inch sugar rim around the glass. This maximizes the smoky, caramel flavor. It's optional; the drink will still be tasty without it.
  • Caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch. It ought to take no more than a few moments.
  • Mix in some rum, coffee, Kahlua, and Triple Sec.
  • To finish, dollop on some whipped cream. A similar trick, using the back of a spoon, ensures that it rises to the top. Enjoy

Another simple variant is the Carajillo.

A Carajillo made in Mexico would be a great match for those who enjoy this Spanish coffee recipe. Spanish coffee, as we've established, is an American take on a Spanish invention. However, in Mexico, where the Carajillo is equally well-liked, the coffee is spiked with Licor 43 rather than brandy.

There are 43 different herbs and spices that go into making the bright yellow vanilla liqueur known as "Licor 43." When added to coffee, it adds a layer of complexity and depth. Adding whipped cream to your American coffee makes it taste like Spanish coffee. If the caramelized rim of this recipe is putting you off, we urge you to try this one instead. Visit a Carajillo (Mexican Spiked Coffee) bar.

Spanish coffee recipe

A few more drinks to end the meal

You don't have to stick to Spanish coffee for dessert; there are plenty of other delicious options. Some of the best are these:

When to Serve Coffee in Spain

After dinner, treat yourself with a glass of elegant Spanish coffee. Put it to use as a

  • A beverage consumed after supper
  • Beverage consumed during the happy hour
  • Drink with special significance
  • Cocktails with the guys/gals
  • Drink of the Happy Hour
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Make your own Spanish coffee with this recipe. Kahlua, rum, orange liqueur, and a caramel sugar rim make up this spectacular digestif.

  • 3 ounces * coffee
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • ½ ounce A bottle of Triple Sec (or your preferred orange liqueur)
  • ½ ounce whiskey, brandy, aged rum, or rum of any color
  • Coarse sugar, for dunking the spoon
  • Wedge of lemon
  • 1 Add a heaping spoonful of sweetened whipped cream (or vegan whipped cream), whipped until soft peaks form.
  • For the finishing touch, you can use grated chocolate or freshly grated or ground nutmeg.
  1. Get the coffee going. Set it aside to cool while you make the drink.
  2. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and serve it as homemade whipped cream.
  3. The rim of the glass should be wetted with a lemon wedge for half an inch before being dipped in sugar.  
  4. Caramelize the sugar around the glass with a kitchen torch until it turns brown.  
  5. Mix the rum, triple sec, coffee, and Kahlua together.  
  6. Use the back of a spoon to gently float the whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs or nutmeg for a sweet finish.

*1 ounce = 2 tablespoons if converting to tablespoons

**The standard procedure calls for first pouring 3/4 ounce of 151 rum into the glass, setting it ablaze, and then tilting the glass to allow the sugar to caramelize. While a torch isn't necessary for this technique, we learned the hard way that using a thick glass, like an Irish coffee mug, can cause it to shatter. ) In addition to being a more secure method, using a torch to prepare this drink allows for quicker and more efficient serving of large groups. If you don't like sugar on your rim, the drink will still taste delicious without it. Alternately, if you're feeling adventurous, you can try making it the old-fashioned way by first adding the 151 rum, caramelizing the edge, and then adding the coffee, Kahlua, and Triple Sec (leaving out the aged rum).

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Sonja and Alex Overhiser, a married couple, Specialists in the kitchen Creators of mouthwatering dishes you'll want to make again and again

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