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A carajillo is a Spanish hot coffee drink to which a hard liquor is added, often brandy, whisky, or anisette. According to folk etymology, its origin dates to the times when Cuba was a Spanish province. The troops combined coffee with rum to give them courage (coraje in Spanish, which becomes corajillo in its diminutive form, and later carajillo, the word carajo being an expletive in Spanish).

There are many different ways of making a carajillo, ranging from black coffee with the spirit simply poured in to heating the spirit with lemon, sugar and cinnamon and adding the coffee last.

In Catalan, the carajillo is called cigaló. A similar Italian drink is known as caffè corretto.

The American version uses a heated sugar-rimmed Spanish coffee mug with 34 oz (21 g) rum and 12 oz (14 g) triple sec. The drink is then flamed to caramelize the sugar. 2 oz (57 g) coffee liqueur is then added which puts out the flame, and then it is topped off with 3–4 oz (85–113 g) of coffee, and whipped cream.

In Mexico carajillos are usually made with espresso (or some other type of strong coffee) and "Licor 43" – a sweet vanilla-citrus flavored liquor – and poured over ice on a short glass. It is commonly drunk as a digestive after meals.

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  • Romaní i Olivé, Joan Maria: Diccionari del vi i del beure. Edicions de La Magrana, col·lecció Pèl i Ploma, núm. 21. Barcelona, desembre del 1998. ISBN 84-8264-131-X, plana 63.
  • Costa, Roger «Quin és l'origen del popular 'carajillo' i del seu nom?». Sàpiens [Barcelona], núm. 71, setembre 2008, p. 5. ISSN 1695-2014.
  • «Rebentats, rasques, brufar» (en ca). RodaMots. [Consulta: 3 agost 2017]. «S’usa «rebentar el cafè», per exemple: «Aquest cafè el podríem rebentar amb un poc de conyac». Un avantatge, per petit que sigui, sobre el castellà, el qual, que jo sàpiga, no pot dir «vamos a carajillar este café».»