24th May 2023 @ 5:09 pm

All you need to know about how to make the Canarian Barraquito.

The barraquito is a Canarian speciality – you won’t have any luck ordering one in Barcelona or Madrid, but on the islands, you should be able to find one everywhere from La Graciosa to El Hierro.

The barraquito originated in Tenerife, and is said to have been invented by Don Sebastinn Rubio, a regular customer at the Bar Imperial in Santa Cruz who was nicknamed “Barraquito”. His regular order was a “cafe cortado with condensed milk, a glass of Licor 43, lemon peel and cinnamon.”

These elements are the basis of the modern barraquito, which is now a drink in itself and one of the showpieces of any Canarian bartender. That’s because the presentation of the drink is all important, with separate layers carefully created by pouring the ingredients in order of density, using a cocktail spoon or teaspoon to ensure gentle pouring.


Sweetened condensed milk: Always a popular ingredient in hot climates for its long-lasting qualities and energy content, sweetened condensed milk is the dense, gloopy basis of a barraquito. You’ll also find it in a leche y leche, the Canarian word for a cafe cortado with condensed milk.

Liqueur: Alcohol and coffee are a popular combination in Spain, where the carajillo (a shot of espresso with rum or another spirit) is a national institution. The liqueur usually used in a barraquito is Licor 43, a potent Spanish blend of forty-three herbs and spices, but Tía María, the coffee and vanilla liqueur, is also popular.

Coffee: The next layer provides your caffeine hit, and varies depending on where and how you order your barraquito. Some bars serve a layer of cafe cortado (coffee “cut” with a little hot milk), others use a cafe solo (the basic shot of black coffee similar to espresso), and some will use a layer of both.

Foamed milk: A snowy white layer of frothed milk is the final layer, and the most difficult one for those who want to try and make one at home.

Cinnamon and/or lemon peel: A little powdered cinnamon or a twist of lemon peel is the preferred topping, although some bars will provide a huge slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick.

Serving: Each bar will have its own way of serving a barraquito. At its most basic, it’ll be in the straight glass that’s used for a café cortado, but many establishments on the Canaries have run with the idea and will present fantastically presented goblets and tumblers.

A barraquito will also come on a saucer with a teaspoon – you’re supposed to stir up the layers before you drink it.

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