The barraquito is a coffee cocktail unique to the Canary Islands that adds layers of sweetness and alcohol to the traditional morning drink. Local lore suggests it’s named after a man who first started ordering the mixture with his meals at the Imperial Bar on the island of Tenerife. His name was Sebastian Rubio, but he was also apparently nicknamed Barraco, meaning “shed” in Portuguese.
There are several types of barraquito found on the Canary Islands, but the traditional drink is composed of a layer of condensed milk, followed by Licor 43 (a liqueur containing citrus, vanilla, and various herbs and spices), espresso, milk (preferably frothy), and a garnish of cinnamon and lemon peel. Most recipes stress that the layers be added in that order to achieve the appropriate balance of flavors and colors. Sometimes, it is served with whipped cream depending on the area of the Canary Islands where you order it.
The drink is generally enjoyed as a dessert after a good meal. If you want to sip something sweet without the alcohol, ask for a barraquito sin licor.
Need to Know
If you're trying to make your own barraquito and can't find Licor 43, recipes recommend Tia Maria, a coffee liqueur.
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