Ever wonder if you’re doing your coffee break correctly? According to the Italians, you’re probably doing it wrong — but they also have the fix. It’s called caffè corretto and means literally a corrected coffee. And it’s the best coffee break we’ve ever heard of.
Caffè corretto is one way Italians get a daily dose of espresso and one of hard liquor in the same fix. First and foremost, caffè in Italy is not the extra-grande cup of joe you find here in the States. Caffè for Italians is a potent little shot of espresso, served up in one of those cute little shot glass/mug hybrid-looking vessels. Caffè corretto is prepared by adding a few drops of liquor into the shot of espresso. Some bartenders serve the liquor separately, either in a shot glass or just by bringing you the entire bottle, so you can prepare the perfect coffee-to-liquor ratio. Common liquors used in caffè corretto are grappa, sambuca, or brandy. When ordering in Italy, simply order a “corretto alla ____” and specify your liquor of choice.
It’s not just in Italy. The carajillo in Spain is a similar type of coffee-liquor drink, as well as the kaffekask and kaffepunch in Scandinavia.
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We’ve obviously been doing coffee breaks all wrong. We recommend replacing your afternoon coffee with your new European tradition. See? Italians really do do it better — when it comes to coffee, at least.