A carajillo is a Spanish hot coffee drink to which a hard liquor is added, often brandy, whisky, or anisette. According to folk etymology, its origin dates to the times when Cuba was a Spanish province. The troops combined coffee with rum to give them courage (coraje in Spanish, which becomes corajillo in its diminutive form, and later carajillo, the word carajo being an expletive in Spanish).
There are many different ways of making a carajillo, ranging from black coffee with the spirit simply poured in to heating the spirit with lemon, sugar and cinnamon and adding the coffee last.
The American version uses a heated sugar-rimmed Spanish coffee mug with 3⁄4 oz (21 g) rum and 1⁄2 oz (14 g) triple sec. The drink is then flamed to caramelize the sugar. 2 oz (57 g) coffee liqueur is then added which puts out the flame, and then it is topped off with 3–4 oz (85–113 g) of coffee, and whipped cream.
In Mexico carajillos are usually made with espresso (or some other type of strong coffee) and "Licor 43" – a sweet vanilla-citrus flavored liquor – and poured over ice on a short glass. It is commonly drunk as a digestive after meals.
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