Growing up as an Italian American boy on the periphery of New York City, iced espresso or Caffe Shakerato was a rite of passage, at least for the Italian natives on our New Jersey block. My mother, specifically, would prepare a large carafe of sugary espresso and place it in the freezer to develop a slushy consistency. Thereafter, the fancy glasses would come out and with 2-3 violent shakes my mother would pour rich and perfectly cold espresso for her guests. The iced espresso was refreshing and a great pick me up during the hot and humid months from June through August.
When I became of age and was allowed to consume espresso it was the iced variety I favored and craved. And while my preference for an expertly crafted hot espresso is my clear favorite these days, cold espresso jump starts my hippocampus and brings me back to my lovely Italian American childhood.
How to Make Iced Espresso or Caffe Shakerato Process and Recipe:
- Brew a large pot of stove top espresso and poor the contents into a glass container, add plenty of sugar, and stir well.
- Place the container in the fridge and cool for an hour or two.
- Move the cold espresso into a plastic shaker with a top (think of a metal shaker but only plastic; this model looks nice) and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours or just until the solution is semi solid. Give the solution a good shake.
- Serve the coffee in aperitif glasses.
Note: Some folks add milk, syrups, etc. to their iced espresso and this is not iced espresso, rather it’s some other concoction that does not resembles an elegant and simple summer time drink. Remember, keep it simple. Note on video: I don’t like the idea of adding hot coffee to ice because it will create too much water, but I wanted to show an alternative to making caffe shakerato in a mixer with ice.