The Carajillo


If I can’t decide between two dishes, or two cocktails at a restaurant or bar, I always ask the waiter to surprise me.  (It’s the small thrills in life, people.)  So when I was in Tulum (Remember that trip I mentioned awhile back?  Where I discovered the jicama, coconut slaw?) I was overwhelmed by the ornate garnishes piled on the bar top, the hand squeezed tropical juices,  and local liquors, so I asked the bartender to surprise me.  What’s a gal to do!?

With a big warm smile, the bartender handed me a Carajillo.  It’s a cocktail made from liquor and coffee.  Sometimes it’s served hot, but mine was cold.  And damn was it good.  He served my girlfriend and me two of them in the prettiest hand-cut glass wine goblets.  I loved the glasses so much I asked if I could buy two, and he just gave them to me.

(Traveler’s tip:  If you see anything you love at a restaurant—mini salt/pepper shakers, a decorative butter knife—always ask if you can buy it from them!  They make for the best dinner party stories). 


This recipe is made with Licor 43 which is a Mexican made liquor that tastes like a combination of vanilla and citrus (but you can substitute with brandy or whisky).

Food La La Recipe:  The Carajillo


Serves: 1



  • 2 ounces cold brew

  • 2 ounces Licor 43

  • 1 orange, organic (WHY? #1)

  • To garnish: 1/4 tsp cacao nibs, chopped (or dash of cinnamon cinnamon)



  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel two long strips of orange zest. Weave one onto a long, decorative toothpick and set aside. Reserve the other strip.

  2. Combine the cold brew and Licor 43 in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then pour into a cocktail glass.

  3. Rub remaining orange zest strip around the rim of glass, then twist to release orange essence into the cocktail. Discard.

  4. Garnish with the toothpick and a small sprinkling of cacao.

Silver Spoon.png



Psst!  A few recipe notes:

  • Note: I couldn’t find Licor 43 the grocery store, but Bevmo had it! If you can’t find it, substitute with brandy or whisky.

  • Why? #1: When using the peel of a fruit or vegetable, it’s best to choose organic as pesticides can