Caffè Shakerato (Italian-Style Shaken Iced Coffee) Recipe

A piece of bar gear turns your iced coffee into a velvety, foam-capped treat.

Photograph: Daniel Gritzer
In This Recipe

Why This Recipe Works

  • Using hot coffee helps dissolve the sugar more quickly.
  • By making the coffee fresh and then pouring it onto the ice, its flavors are better preserved (similar to Japanese-style iced coffee).

I've been experimenting with iced coffee methods to get a little reprieve from the summer heat (and to make the isolation imposed on us by coronavirus more entertaining). My go-to is Japanese-style iced coffee, which I learned some years ago was my preferred form of iced coffee (much more so than cold brew), but there's a whole world of iced coffee beverages beyond that, like caffè shakerato.

What is Caffè Shakerato?

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from caffè shakerato, which I've been aware of for years but hadn't tried. Often served in a martini or cocktail glass, the drink struck me more as a gimmick since, on paper at least, it appears to just be basic sweetened iced coffee. Turns out I underestimated it by a lot.

The name clues you in on what's involved here: "Shakerato" is just the English verb "shaken" with an Italian ending. And that's precisely how it's made—a shot of espresso (or another form of concentrated coffee) is shaken with sugar on ice. What comes out isn't just a sweet iced espresso, but one that's been transformed in texture: velvety and capped with a creamy foam, mostly thanks to the vigorous shaking that aerates the coffee. The generous dose of sugar helps, too, increasing the coffee's viscosity and allowing it to hold more fine air bubbles.

Feel free to adjust the sweetness level to your own tastes; this version leans dessert-y, which may not be everyone's cup of tea coffee. And if the whole concept of this iced coffee has you asking whether one might ever mix some booze in, the answer is yes: Some recipes spike the coffee with an ounce or two of a sweet, cream-based liqueur, such as Baileys. Just, you know, maybe don't do that first thing in the morning.

July 2020

Recipe Details

Caffè Shakerato (Italian-Style Shaken Iced Coffee) Recipe

Prep 5 mins
Active 5 mins
Total 5 mins
Makes 1 drink

A piece of bar gear turns your iced coffee into a velvety, foam-capped treat.


  • 4 ounces ice cubes (about 4 to 6 cubes)

  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon; 15g) sugar

  • 2 fluid ounces (60ml) freshly made hot espresso (see note)


  1. Add ice and sugar to a cocktail shaker. Pour hot espresso on top, seal shaker, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled, 10 to 20 seconds.

  2. Strain iced espresso into a cocktail glass, coupe, or other glass vessel and serve right away.

Special Equipment

Cocktail shaker, cocktail strainer


If you can't make an espresso shot at home, you can use other forms of concentrated coffee, such as from a moka pot or Aeropress.

Make-Ahead and Storage

The caffè shakerato is best enjoyed right away.

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
63 Calories
0g Fat
16g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 69mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)