Barraquito Coffee Recipe - Authentic Canary Islands coffee drink

barraquito recipe canary islands
Barraquito Coffee - Look at all those layers of goodness

Barraquito - the most famous coffee in Tenerife, with a taste that will always bring back memories of a sunny holiday! Barraquito is a type of multi-layered coffee that is specific to the Canary Islands and it can easily be found at most local coffee shops, or you can make it at home following our easy recipe. 

What is Barraquito Coffee?

Is it true that it's an alcoholic coffee drink?

Yes. Barraquito is a Liqueur coffee that is so delicious and sweet that it should be served as dessert.

With a mix of sweetness and alcohol, barraquito is a special coffee served mostly in Tenerife, but you can easily find it in the rest of the Canary Islands as well.

Traditionally prepared with Licor 43, Spain's no. 1 liquor, Barraquito can be served at all times of the day and it goes especially well after a tasty meal, replacing dessert.

If you don't consume alcohol, then you can ask for a barraquito without alcohol. Or should we call it a Virgin Barraquito?

How to make a Barraquito coffee at home

how to make barraquito recipe
Learn how to prepare your own Barraquito (we always add cinnamon on top)

Want to recreate that typical aroma of a holiday in Tenerife?

It's easy to recreate this tasty drink at home with just a few simple ingredients. Remember to buy Licor 43 or Tia Maria while you are in Spain and bring it back home with you. Or, if you don't have those exact brands, you can substitute with another vanilla liquor to replicate that same aroma.

Barraquito recipe

Learn how to make a delicious barraquito at home. 

Don't forget to buy your bottle of Licor 43 before you return home from holiday.


  • ~ 1 tbsp. condensed milk
  • 1 espresso coffee
  • frothed milk (use whole milk, not skimmed)
  • Licor 43, Tia Maria or another vanilla flavored liquor
  • lemon zest

Barrquito is usually served in a tall clear glass.

Pour the condensed milk (approx. 1 tablespoon) on the bottom of the glass, taking care not to smear the sides of the glass.

Then pour the Licor 43, followed by the espresso coffee and then the frothy milk at the end, in order to achieve all the layers in the correct order. 

Tips for a good barraquito at home - how to keep the layers intact

In order to make an authentic barraquito you need to have 5 layers of colors.

If you add the frothed milk before you add the coffee, you will only achieve 4 layers and it won't look as impressive.

So in order to keep the layers intact, you should pour the frothed milk gently on top of the coffee, so that the milk sinks in and creates a chocolaty layer where it mixes with the coffee and the foam stays firm on top. 

The final step when you make a barraquito is to decorate it with a lemon wedge and dust some cinnamon on top. 

It's easy to adapt this recipe to your own taste - if you feel that it's too sweet just add less condensed milk or if you want to make it a long drink, just add more warm milk.

Funny story about Barraquito and its alcoholic vitamin

I don't remember the exact location, it was probably somewhere in Villaflor or Guia de Isora, when I asked for a barraquito. Let's say it was 11 in the morning and so the man behind the bar asked me: "Barraquito con vitamina?" ("Barrquito with vitamin?")

While I was still trying to process the question and to guess what he meant, the man took the bottle of Licor 43 and asked if I wanted alcohol in my coffee or not. So yes... you can say that Barraquito is some sort of Vitamin Coffee, not just an alcoholic one.

As for my answer in regards to the coffee I wanted at 11 o'clock in the morning... well, I was on holiday, so... un Barraquito con vitamina por favor!

Where to find a good Barraquito in Tenerife

I'm not a big coffee lover, but I do enjoy a good barraquito after a meal. Due to its sweetness, for me, it's really a dessert, and I usually have it after lunch.

I really like the barraquito at Restaurant Las Goteras in Guia de Isora; actually, I really like that restaurant and we go there often, so after have a big lunch there I always ask for a barraquito con vitamina.

I also like the one at Cafeteria La Paz in Villaflor, which goes well with the almond cake they do there.

Actually, I can't say I've ever had a bad barraquito - even the one I had in a shopping mall in Santa Cruz de Tenerife was ok (not fantastic, but still good).

Prices for a barraquito range between 2,5 Euros and 4 Euros, maybe even 5 in a fancy location, but I don't personally remember seeing it cost that much.

Barraquito vs. Zaperoco coffee - What's the difference?

barraquito coffee
Practice makes perfect - don't get discouraged if you don't achieve the perfect barraquito from your first attempt

In some places in the north of Tenerife they call this type of coffee a Zaperoco instead of a Barraquito, so keep that in mind when you're looking through their menu, or just ask the waiter.

Some restaurants serve their barraquito with cinnamon or powdered cocoa on top, so there are many variations to this drink and you can find them in their menu as Barraquito de la casa.

If it's too early in the day for alcohol, or if you don't consume alcohol in general but you still want to try this tasty coffee drink while in Tenerife, just ask for a barraquito sin licor.

Now that you know all the secrets and ingredients you can try to make your own drink at home, but if you feel that something is still missing, you can always come back to Tenerife for a Barraquito with an authentic Canarian flavor.

Barraquito song

It seems that this popular Canarian coffee has many fans around the world and there's even a song dedicated to it, which you can listen below. The song belongs to the band La Galeria.

FAQ about Barraquito Coffee

What is the best type of alcohol for Barraquito?

In order to make a good barraquito at home, you will need to add some type of vanilla liqueur. The best and most traditional type of liqueur used for making barraquito is the famous Licor 43, the top-selling Spanish liqueur, originally from Cartagena (region of Murcia).

How do you drink the barraquito?

Stirred or non stirred? This is the BIG question. And the answer is: you need to stir the barraquito well before you serve it, in order to mix all the aromas. Also, make sure you dip the slice of lemon in the coffee, to give it a citric taste.

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