Quick Note: Caffè Shakerato

Quick Note: Caffè Shakerato

In beverage, summer by Frank Fariello13 Comments

I had my first caffè shakerato on the beach at Rimini way back sometime in the mid-90s. The black richness of espresso served cold and frothy was a relevation, and I was instantly hooked. It is by far my favorite way to drink iced coffee.

The recipe is incredibly simple: fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, add a cupful of strong, freshly brewed espresso coffee and some simple syrup to taste. (For me, a tablespoon is plenty.) Shake energetically for about 30 seconds or so, to cool the coffee and develop some froth. Serve in a martini glass or champagne flute.NOTES: As explained in this post, simple syrup is nothing more than equal parts sugar and water boiled together and cooled. Its most common use in an Italian kitchen is for making sorbetto, and I always have some on hand during the hot months of the year. But if you don’t happen have any on hand and don’t feel like making some, you can simply use sugar, preferably the ‘superfine’ variety that melts quickly. It’s a perfectly acceptable substitute, but the result will not be quite as fine—besides lending some sweetness, the syrup lends a nice silky mouth feel to the drink that sugar will not. It may or may not be orthodox, but I sometimes replace the syrup with Sambuca, which adds sweetness while ‘correcting’ the coffee, as they say in Italian. :)

Needless to say, the quality of your caffè shakerato will depend on the quality of the espresso. I hope to blog on making espresso at home in the near future. In the meanwhile, here are three key tips: find the best coffee you can, grind it fresh and brew it strong.

The ‘scene of the crime’
Frank FarielloQuick Note: Caffè Shakerato


  1. Frank

    @Anders, Thanks for stopping by! The deconstructed version sounds intriguing… but hard to accomplish at home, I suppose!

  2. Anders

    just came across this. I just had my first shakerato a few days ago. The coffee shop on the corner next door started making them, but they have a slightly different approach. They call it a reconstructed shakerato, and what they do is to shake just the espresso with some ice in a cocktailshaker to cool it, pour it in a martini glass and then top it off with some pre made sweet coffee foam from a foam dispenser.
    I guess they do it this way to preserve the intigrity of the espresso or something. This place is pretty serious about their coffee ;)

  3. Lauren @CoffeeMuffins

    I've seen many frozen coffee type drinks recently and they are always full of cream or milk – which puts me off slightly. However this looks perfect it really just is iced coffee! (And I think the shot of sambuca sounds wonderful…)

  4. Foodessa

    Way back in the 80s is when our family used to vacation in Rimini…a real coastal hot spot for the trendy. I may have been too young then to be allowed to have coffee…however now I can make my own ;o)
    Frank…I also make this with my ginger simple syrup…it's got that something that has to be experienced to understand…we love mixing things up a little around here.

    Thanks for bringing back some great memories from my youth.

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,

  5. Spicie Foodie

    Looks so good and fantastic photo. I was just in Rimini and I loved it , it was so beautiful and I wish I could live there. I'm not really a coffee drinker so I missed this, wine and cold water were my drinks there. Great post :)

  6. Cristina

    Good to know about what to do when needing to sub simple sugar quickly! This sounds like a fantastic picker-upper drink!

  7. Drick

    I dunno, coffee, even iced and sitting on the beach down here is kind of out of place – what would my bubba friends think? Bud in hand is more like it…LOL….I'll enjoy this on on my patio.

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