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What is a Caffè Shakerato?

With the summer heat coming in hot, cold coffee and drinks are a must! So what is shakerato, and why is it the perfect drink for you this summer? Let’s explore.

What is a Shakerato?


While the name “shakerato” may seem complicated, the drink itself is pretty simple to make. A shakerato, also known as Italian iced coffee, is a chilled espresso drink. As the name implies, espresso is shaken in a tumbler along with ice cubes and simple syrup. The frothed-up and iced espresso is then strained and poured into a glass. The shakerato is usually served in a martini glass, but you can also find it served in a small glass.

While this chilled coffee drink may have simple ingredients, making it can take a bit more effort. The espresso, ice cubes, and sweetener must be shaken in a cocktail shaker for around 15 seconds. This may seem like too much, but it is important to shake it for long enough.

During this time, the drink goes through a transformation. The espresso becomes frothy, sweet, and embedded with small flecks of ice as it is shaken. The froth or thick cream then floats on top of the chilled espresso when poured into a glass. This refreshing espresso served without ice cubes is what makes this drink so unique.

Where Did Shakerato Coffee Come From?


It's not surprising if you have never heard of shakerato before now. The drink is not as common in the United States compared to Europe. In fact, it is a drink invented by the Italians and has been a popular drink in Italy for the past decade. The name “shakerato” comes from the English verb “shake” with an Italian ending.

This beverage was invented as a summer coffee drink and is served in bars all over Italy. Unlike in the U.S., Italians believe that using too much ice in drinks can cause damage to their digestive system. That is why despite the shakerato being a summer drink, it uses a minimal amount of ice when served. Instead, it was created using the idea of shaking to chill rather than adding in iced cubes to chill. This means you don't have to worry about the ice diluting your shakerato, no matter how long it takes you to finish it.

Shakerato vs. Iced Coffee


Iced coffee is such a common and popular drink in the United States, no matter the season. It is a general category that includes any coffee with ice cubes in it. For example, drinks like iced Americano, iced latte, and iced cappuccinos. In its most basic form, iced coffee only requires two ingredients: ice and coffee.

Similarly, shakerato in its most basic form is also a straightforward recipe. Like iced coffee, it only requires a few ingredients. Despite these similarities, shakerato is still more popular in Italy and Europe than in the United States. It has gained popularity in the states through the years but is still not as well-known as its iced coffee counterpart.

The biggest difference between the two cold drinks is that iced coffee contains ice when served. On the other hand, shakerato Italian iced coffee is served without any ice. Additionally, it's important to note that shakerato is usually served in a martini or a tall glass. Iced coffee, however, is often served in plastic cups as they're typically taken to-go.

Another difference between them is the preparation method used. For iced coffee, the ingredients of coffee, milk, sugar, and iced cubes are combined in a cup. After they are mixed, it is then served. On the other hand, a shakerato is made by shaking all the ingredients together using a tumbler. It is then strained and served in a glass without ice. It also has a layer of froth that floats on the top.

How You Can Make Shakerato at Home


With its simple ingredients, you can easily make your own shakerato at home. All you need is a shot of espresso or concentrated coffee, white sugar or simple syrup, and iced cubes. If you do not have a cocktail shaker at home, you can also try using a mason jar with a cap to do your shaking.

First, brew your espresso or coffee. Then place about 1.5 ounces of espresso or 3 ounces of strong coffee into your shaker or jar. Next, add in 1.5 teaspoons of simple syrup and fill the shaker or jar with ice. Then shake the cocktail shaker or jar vigorously for 15 to 30 seconds. Once the coffee is frothy, strain the ice cubes from the mixture while letting smaller ice chips pass through. Finally, pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Due to the shakerato being a very simple drink, you can easily customize it to your taste preferences. Here are three ways you can upgrade your shakerato at home!

Using Milk or Condensed Milk

If you love using milk in your coffee, you can substitute water in the recipe with your preferred type of milk. If you want an even milkier coffee, then you can add in about one tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk before shaking.

Using Instant Coffee

Brewing coffee, especially to make a shakerato, may seem like more work than necessary. You can make your shakerato process easier by using high-quality instant coffee instead. All you need to do is dissolve instant coffee crystals into your preferred amount of water. You can easily make your coffee stronger or lighter depending on how much instant coffee is used.

Give it an Alcoholic Twist

If you love combining alcohol with your favorite summer drinks, then this may be for you! All you need to do is add in Baileys or your preferred type of alcohol into the mixture before shaking. Then, serve as usual. You'll now have the perfect chilled alcoholic coffee drink to relax with.

All in all, shakerato is the perfect summer drink for those who love coffee. It provides a variety of ways to keep your caffeine fix interesting. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and spruce up your coffee game with some shakerato. Enjoy all that the Italian iced coffee has to offer!

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