Shake shake shake ... Shakerato
There are many seasonal changes that come with the switch from spring to summer. It gets hot. The light changes quality, from golden to blue. The mourning doves start to gather even earlier in my backyard. And out comes my morning Shakerato.
What's a Shakerato? It's a kind of foamy iced cafe latte that I was introduced to years ago by my much-missed friend David Shaw. David was the first to admit that he was no kind of cook, but this is one recipe I make almost every day during the summer.
Here's how you do it: Pour some sugar in the bottom of a small cocktail shaker. (How much? Just enough. For me, that's about a teaspoon.) Pour over a double shot of hot espresso. Add milk. (How much? For me, about one-half cup.) Toss in an ice cube or two. Seal tightly with a lid and shake like the devil. That creates a kind of emulsified foam that slightly thickens the mixture without making it heavy.
The order of ingredients is important. You want to add the coffee to the sugar while it's hot so the sugar melts and doesn't stay gritty. You want to add the milk before the ice cubes to cool the drink so the cubes don't melt and and make it watery.
Beyond that, though, pretty much anything goes. In fact, my own dear wife, a heretic, prefers her Shakerato made without sugar, but with vanilla-flavored almond milk [shudder].
But you know what? It's summer, and it's time to just chill out.
-- Russ Parsons
Photo: Russ Parsons