Why Ordering a Decaf Carajillo Is the Ultimate After-Dinner Move — and How to Make One at Home

I’ve been on a quest for the last few years to find my perfect post-meal drink. The drink must tick two boxes: first, it needs to be bitter to aid digestion. Second, you should enjoy it, enjoying the last bits of conversation as the condensation on the glass forms. Now that I’m over a certain age, it has to be caffeine-free. (I value sleep!) After rotating through a few amari, I quickly realized that a brandy after dinner was not for me. Espresso Martinis are delicious but can be difficult to make. Also, I wouldn’t say I like clunky glasses. What is the solution? The decaf carajillo.


  • Three tablespoons of decaffeinated cold-brew coffee
  • Three tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) Licor 43
  • Two teaspoons (1/3 ounce) vodka (such as Haku)
  • Roasted coffee beans (optional)


  1. Mix vodka, Licor 43, and cold brew in a cocktail mixer with ice. Cover and shake for about 20 seconds until the cocktail is well chilled. Pour twice through a cocktail strainer followed by a fine-mesh wire strainer into a rock glass over a large cube of ice. If desired, garnish with coffee beans.

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