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.
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.