I like my Caffé short, no sugar, no milk, and simple. Caffé corretto was not my thing.
However, just recently, while traveling thru the Marche Region, I let myself be tempted in trying “caffè corretto” with this [pictured] anise liqueur “Varnelli,” which, I was told is a specialty of the area.
To my surprise it was very good, as the anise blends very well with the bitterness of the coffe.
Caffè Corretto: Everything you need to know
This way of tasting the espresso is a habit deeply rooted in the Italian costume: the coffee is “corrected“, in the sense that it is added with various types of liqueurs, depending on personal tastes and regional habits. Let’s see which ones.
Correct coffee with grappa
It is in Northern Italy that the correct coffee is born (probably due to the need to reinforce it with the right dose of alcohol during the cold winters): to reinvigorate it was used the symbolic liqueur of those areas, grappa. Even today, the correct coffee with grappa is a great classic (connoisseurs advise against using single-variety grappas, because of their too intense flavor, which would cover the taste of the mixture).
Correct coffee with Sambuca
This variant of the normal espresso is one of the most loved and widespread in all of Italy: the very particular taste of Sambuca (sweet and bitter at the same time, extremely spicy, difficult to describe), according to many it manages to create a perfect union with the aroma of coffee. On the other hand, it will certainly not be by chance if abroad, coffee with sambuca is considered a typical product of Italy.
In Southern Italy, it is the aniseed coffee that is the master, whose fresh and pungent aftertaste, similar to the sambuca, perfectly matches the creaminess and softness of the espresso. In many bars in Salento it is not uncommon for baristas to leave a bottle of aniseed liqueur on the counter, so that patrons can correct their coffee to their liking.
Of course the list of liquors certainly doesn’t stop there! The combinations are practically endless, as many as the tastes of coffee lovers are:
Those who love a full-bodied and mellow coffee, and prefer sweet flavors, can correct it with brandy or Baileys.
Those who prefer more intense and intense flavors can correct it with whiskey or rum.
But how should proper coffee be prepared? Let’s find out together!
Preparing a good correct coffee is not difficult, the important thing is to start from a quality blend: if the base is not good, it can be corrected in a thousand ways, but the result will never be pleasant.
The caffé corretto should never be sweetened, to avoid spoiling the taste (especially when opting for the addition of sweet liqueurs). If you can’t do without it, choose brown sugar, less sweet, and remember to put it and mix it well before adding the liqueur.
Always use liqueur at room temperature: only in this way will it blend perfectly with the coffee, without ruining the taste and lowering its temperature too much.
If it is true that in terms of correct coffee personal tastes are important, it is also true that some liqueurs should be avoided: fruity, like those flavored with orange or lemon, would make the coffee too acidic, while spirits such as vodka or gin would make it too bitter.
There is even a Wikipedia entry!