Carajillo cocktail recipe©Grand Brulot
Recipe Alert

The Carajillo steals hearts as the trendiest cocktail of 2024

A food report revealed searches for this coffee drink are on the rise

If you’re a fan of espresso martinis, be sure to try a Carajillo on your next night out! This drink is set to steal the spotlight as the hottest coffee cocktail of 2024. According to Yelp’s food trend report, this caffeinated alcoholic beverage is gaining massive popularity, with searches skyrocketing by 118% this year.

This incredibly simple and straightforward two-ingredient coffee concoction has an intriguing history dating back to the 19th century. One theory traces its origins to the Spanish occupation of Cuba. During this time, Spanish soldiers stationed in Cuba mixed local rum with their coffee as a way to energize themselves before battle. This unique blend provided them with a warming boost, enhancing morale and courage on the battlefield. Over time, the tradition of spiking coffee with spirits returned to Spain, where it evolved into the Carajillo we know today.

Furthermore, the term “Carajillo” originates from Spanish slang, with different regional connotations. Some speculate it stems from the word “coraje,” translating to courage, symbolizing the drink’s historical link to bravery and soldiers. Others argue it originates from “que arde,” meaning “that burns,” emphasizing the fiery essence of this coffee blend.

A Spanish classic Carajillo recipe with a unique twist©Grand Brulot
A Spanish classic Carajillo recipe with a unique twist

What is a carajillo?

The Carajillo is a simple yet delightful coffee cocktail that has gained popularity in Spain and various parts of the world. It typically consists of hot black coffee mixed with a shot of liquor, which can be a variation of brandy, whiskey, rum, Bailey’s, or a Spanish liqueur like Licor 43. It is often enjoyed as a digestif or a delightful pick-me-up during social gatherings.

The precise recipes can vary based on personal preferences and regional traditions. Some even add sugar, spices, or citrus zest to enhance the flavor. HOLA! I received a recipe tip from Xiomara Fonseca, the Beverage Director of Portosole, an authentic Miami-based Italian restaurant in Coral Gables.

Miami-based Italian restaurant shared a Carajillo recipe with HOLA!©Portosole
Miami-based Italian restaurant shared a Carajillo recipe with HOLA!

Fonseca shared what makes their recipe unique. “Our Carajillo cocktail recipe is something special. We’ve taken the Spanish classic and given it a unique twist with Grand Brulot French liquor. The bitterness from the coffee in Grand Brulot perfectly counterbalances the sweetness of the orange liqueur, creating a light, refreshing and delicious cocktail. This is the perfect drink to round off a meal.”

Grand Brulot Carajillo


  • 1.5 oz Grand Brulot
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1.5 oz orange liqueur
  • .5 oz vanilla syrup
  • Orange twist


  1. Mix ingredients and shake together in a circular motion to create foam.
  2. Pour in a coupe glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Try making this cocktail at home, or if you are based in sunny South Florida, head over there and order one.

Sign up to our newsletter to stay in touch with your cultura. Get the latest on your favorite celebrities, royals, and the best beauty, fashion, and lifestyle news delivered right to your inbox!