Vodka-Red Bull is bullshit — opt for the caffeinated cocktail of Spanish sailors

TP is visiting Barcelona this week and just discovered the carajillo, Spain’s espresso/alcoholic shot mix. Oh, carajillo, where have you been all of my life?

As with anything worth putting in your mouth, the carajillo is storied. The word supposedly derives from coraje (“courage”) and the tale goes that Spanish sailors in Cuba drank this rum mixed with coffee for bravery. Or carajillo might also come from carajo, which can refer to a dick but is more usually used as a vulgar intensifier.

Here’s the official Tipsy Pilgrim recipe:

Pour a shot (cognac, brandy, whiskey, rum)

Add a shot of espresso

Add sugar, if you must


Thanks for reading our treatises on cross-cultural boozing and boinking. On rare occasions, this site contains automatically monetized affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. August 26, 2012

    In Catalan is also called cigaló (little cicada = prick), which maybe supports the second hypothesis. Besides, as we Catalans are obsessed with attributing everything to us, here is a post explaining the possible origin of the beverage in the Barcelona docks:

  2. revetller
    August 26, 2012

    Hey! I'm from Mallorca and I got to this blog by chance. I only want to say that the "carajillo" or "reventat" (how we say it in Mallorca) is not a shot that you take when you go out at the night, is a drink you take as a coffee, by the morning or after the lunch. Nobody ask for a "reventat" at a night bar.
    And it's true that is a typical drink of the sailors, farmers or tiring jobs.

Leave a reply


Comments Policy

We read the comments; useful additions and corrections are quite welcome, and articles are frequently updated based on comments from readers. • We do our best to delete ethnocentric, xenophobic, and other useless comments. • Offended? Think we've got your culture all wrong? Nationalism (or regionalism, patriotism, whatever) is an understandable reaction; it’s also boring. Disagree with something? Tell us what you think joking, flirting, drinking, sex, dancing and other debauchery in your culture is really like. If you don't like these things, or want to pretend that your culture doesn't have a unique take on them, you're really in the wrong place. • This site, like any cultural anthropology, deals in generalizations. Of course not each and every person does blah, blah, blah... • And finally, before you go thinking this is all about you, you may want to bounce around the site a bit and learn about the ridiculous ways we screw, drink, and dance in other parts of the world.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.