What is shaken espresso?

There’s a breed of drinks that are shaking things up on the espresso scene.

Shaken espresso, an icy spin on the Italian shakerato combining espresso, ice, and sugar, is filling the cups of caffeine cravers across the globe. While traditional espresso is a steadfast classic and always there to rely on, shaken espresso elevates and excites.

So what is shaken espresso and what qualities contribute to its popularity? Read on to discover what goes into this unique coffee creation and how to make it yourself at home.

Shaken Espresso: An Origin Story

Much like many espresso-based drinks, shaken espresso can trace its roots back to Italy. Called a shakerato in its native tongue, this refreshing summertime treat combats the fiery Mediterranean sun better than a hot, steamy espresso shot. Most of this delicious coffee drink’s history is unknown, aside from its name being derived from the English word shake.

A traditional shakerato has only three ingredients: espresso, ice, and sugar (or simple syrup). This trio is tossed around in a cocktail shaker (hence the name) and served in a chilled martini glass. The result is a crisp virgin cocktail with a bittersweet flavor and cooling kick.

While this is the classic way to prepare a shakerato, shaken espresso has evolved and has a bit more to it.

The Modern Day Shaken Espresso

What is an iced shaken espresso? A shaken espresso retains the three primary ingredients from its roots—ice, espresso (or blonde espresso), and sweetener—but generally adds in a fourth as a finishing touch: milk.

Like a shakerato, a shaken espresso combines espresso, ice, simple syrup, and milk (dairy milk, oat milk, almond milk) or cream in a shaker and served over ice for a refreshing, invigorating beverage.

The dairy adds a creamy kick that mellows the coffee’s bitterness and improves the mouthfeel of the drink. It’s a welcome addition for those who love the complex taste of espresso but wish to dilute it to enjoy it thoroughly.

Shaken and served up as-is, or poured over the rocks to make an iced shaken espresso, this rich treat is even more refreshing than its shakerato cousin.

Crafting A Shaken Espresso: What You Need

Making a shaken espresso in the comfort of your own home isn’t a complicated process. You will, however, need a few specific pieces of equipment. 

Have these handy tools ready to shake up your own shaken espresso: 

● An espresso machine

● A cocktail shaker

The next items on the list are your ingredients. As we’ve seen, the shaken espresso drink only requires a few. They can be found at most grocery stores or even made at home: 

● Ice

● Sugar or simple syrup

● Single or double shot of espresso

● Your milk of choice

How to Make a Shaken Espresso At Home 

Throw on your bar apron and channel your inner barista. You’re going to be shaking those cocktail shakers with the best of them by the time this chilled espresso hits the ice. 

Here’s how to make your very own shaken espresso at home: 

● Brew and chill your espresso  – The process of shaken espresso starts long before the sipping begins. Brew up a double-shot of espresso and allow it to cool completely. 

● Assemble your ingredients – Fill your cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the chilled espresso, milk, and top with brown sugar or simple syrup. Close the lid tightly.

● Shake things up – Move the shaker back and forth vigorously as you or a bartender would a shaken cocktail. Aim for about 45 seconds of agitation to cool the liquid completely and incorporate the brown sugar.

● Serve over ice – Do you want it cold, or extra cold? For that super frigid kick, serve it over the rocks as an iced shaken espresso.

Barista’s Note: The most crucial component of any espresso beverage is the quality of each ingredient. Try to spring for fresh milk and purified ice. And, most importantly, make sure you have a quality espresso machine for the finest espresso.

Shake Things Up with an Espresso Machine from Breville

Shaken espresso is a brilliant innovation of its time. Derived from history and crafted and perfected in the modern world, this espresso beverage is delightful any time of year. To make your very own shaken espresso at home, turn to Breville for the finest espresso and tools. 

Breville has a top-of-the-line espresso machine for every shaker and stirrer. Our espresso makers brew smooth and bold shots of espresso that are primed for your shaking needs. Plus, once you’re ready to try other types of espresso drinks, our espresso makers are built to last and are set up to accommodate an array of exciting brews and flavor profiles. 

Ready to shake things up? Shop our entire espresso line to get started.


America’s Test Kitchen. Why Shaken Espresso is So Dang Delicious. https://www.americastestkitchen.com/

Barista Magazine. Misunderstood Coffee Drinks: The Shakerato. https://www.baristamagazine.com/

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What is shaken espresso?