Beverage trends can be seen across a bar. Matching glasses, colorful liquids, and a particular toast have everyone unified in a particular libation. The food might satisfy a hunger, but people thirst for the next must have beverage. For people ready to swap that espresso martini, the classic carajillo will satisfy in the most sensational way.
When some people reference a Mexican cocktail, they might think of a margarita, paloma, or even an agua fresca. Even though all those options are refreshing, those choices are just a small sampling of beverages. From Nixta to the artisan mezcal, there are a multitude of options to fill the glass.
Looking at recent cocktail trends, the espresso martini is and continues to have a moment. While the classic combination of espresso, vodka, and a coffee liqueur can be modified in many ways, one aspect always remains, it is a strong sipper.
Still, many people enjoy a coffee cocktail. But, that drink does not have to be mixed with a heaping spoonful of sugar or served with a heavy pour of cream. Sometimes simplicity is well appreciated.
The carajillo cocktail is a simple yet delightful cocktail. According to legend, the troops believed that the coffee and liquor combination would give them courage in battle. The word stems from the Spanish word for courage (coraje).
While there are many variations, the basic concept is espresso and Licor 43. The liqueur is vital to this cocktail. Although some people enjoy it on its own, the flavor pairs well with coffee.
Licor 43 has an inherent vanilla flavor. While there are 43 ingredients that combine to make this Spanish liqueur, it is that sweetness which makes it work so well in a carajillo. In addition, there is a slight warmth with the underlying spices. The complexity is why it works well when it is served simply or with just one additional ingredient.
Within the carajillo, the Licor 43 adds a creaminess without bringing any dairy to the coffee forward cocktail. It makes for a luscious mouth feel yet does not feel heavy. It is a lovely way to end a meal or pair with a simple biscotti.
One note of caution with this beverage, the Licor 43 is strong. Like many liqueurs, it might be a sweet sipper but it packs a punch.
Recently, mixologists have been experimenting with the classic carajillo. For example, La Barca Cantina created a Toasted Marshmallow Carajillo for its winter menu.
In addition, other liquor brands are embracing this cocktail trend. Cazadores Café is a tequila based coffee liqueur. This offering has a slight chocolate note that enhances the coffee flavor.
For a more potent cocktail, Cazadores recommends combining the Cazadores Cafe, Liqor 43 and espresso (or cold brew) for its version of the cocktail. This option is slightly sweeter, But, consider serving it with a lemon or orange twist to bring out the fruity notes of the Licor 43.
Even though the espresso martini will not necessarily disappear entirely, it might be time to try a new twist on that coffee cocktail. Being on top of food and beverage trends is always a good way to start the year.