Caffe Shakerato

My weather optimism came too soon.

We just got back from a quick trip to Prague where it was a delicious  24 C/ 75 F.  When we left Rome, the city was an unbearable 39 C/ 102 F but it felt cooler when we stepped off the plane Wednesday evening.

I was wrong. It is still hot, with a dose of humidity thrown in for good measure.  Almost too hot for coffee, and I love coffee, which is why I sometimes have to break down and fork over 3 euro for a caffee shakerato.

There are a few English words that Italy has sort of adapted as its own.  When our key got stuck in the lock (ugh, horribly expensive long story) I asked an Italian colleague where I could buy something similar to WD-40.

“Um… WD-40 is like this liquidy stuff that you sort of, um, spray into something that is stuck. How do you say ‘spray’ in Italian so I can ask at the hardware store?”


Ah ha- touche.  “Shake” is another one of those words, so a caffe shakerato is espresso that is poured over ice in a martini tumbler and prepared James Bond style.

I had two friends visiting from home at the time, so we ordered three ‘shakerati.’  The over-heated barista looked at me miserably (it takes a lot of gusto to shake a shakerato) and asked if she could make them all together.

Of course! Are there really people out there that would insist that their shakerato be shaken separately from the shaking of other’s shakerti? Please. I just want cold cold coffee.

Ice + espresso + sugar is given a good, long shake and then poured out into a martini glass.  The enthusiastic mixing process produces a frothy topped iced coffee.

It feels pretty silly to drink coffee out of a martini glass, but don’t make the mistake of ordering a caffe freddo.  What you’ll get is a frozen dessert-like product, not an iced coffee.

3 thoughts on “Caffe Shakerato

  1. Jesse says:

    This is truly one great invention, and one that we make at home. Just buy one of those metal cocktail shakers, and put in your ice, coffee and sugar. It’s so easy. I don’ t know why this hasn’t made it to the U.S. yet. Oh wait, maybe that is the coffee cocktail…

  2. Angela says:

    I continue to live vicariously through you! I miss living in Italy so much! It was almost a year ago that I took a weekend trip to Prague to escape the Sicilian heat – not a bad place to spend my birthday. 🙂 I also miss the cafe shakerati – and I think I will have to pull out my martini shaker and a martini glass tomorrow to make one for myself – a taste of Italy in San Diego, and certainly a more exciting way to enjoy my morning coffee.

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