Iced coffee is not just an American phenomenon; iced Italian coffee has taken Italy, the birthplace of the coffee culture, by storm, too. The Italians are into iced coffee, but they have put their own spin on it. While Italians love to unwind over a meal, that same laid-back style does not apply to making their iced caffè. For one, Italians don’t let precious hot coffee hang around too long cool off. Their go-to way for refreshingly cold coffee? A shakerato (shock-eh-RAH-toe). It is basically hot caffè, brewed from freshly ground coffee beans, shaken with ice cubes to chill faster.

Here is the basic Italian method for making Caffè Shakerato along with five awesome variations.

Iced Coffee:

Caffè Shakerato:

– Combine 1 cup brewed espresso (2 long shots) or strong-brewed coffee with sugar to taste.

– Add about 10 ice cubes (crack if large; about half a cup total) in a Mason jar or cocktail shaker, secure it tightly, and shake the mixture vigorously until the jar feels cold to touch.

– Strain the coffee into two glasses (no ice). The foamy top is prized, so if there’s a good amount, spoon off and reserve it, pour the drinks, then part the foam between each serving.

Caffè Latte Shakerato:

– Same procedure as above, but just add milk to taste before shaking vigorously.

Caffè alla Salentina:

– A local specialty of Salentino in Puglia

– Make the same method as Caffè Shakerato but omit the sugar because this variety is sweetened with Italian almond syrup, popular in Italia as latte di mandorla. Orgeat syrup is almost similar to almond syrup, but some variations include a bit of rose or orange essence.

Caffè Freddo alla Vaniglia:

– Make the same way as Caffè alla Salentina but sweeten with vanilla syrup or vanilla liqueur instead of Italian almond syrup.

Caffè Macchiato Freddo:

– This is arguably the closest to the Italian version of a Frappe’.

– In a blender combine 1 cup freshly-made espresso (2 long shots) or strong-brewed coffee with quarter of a cup of cold milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste, and a cup of ice cubes. Blend until smooth.


A frappe’ (pronounced frap-pay) is an iced drink that has been blended, shaken, or beaten to produce a foamy, tasty, and refreshingly cool drink. It is served often with whipped cream and toppings. You can opt to add ice before or after beating the coffee and other additives such as sugar, vanilla, milk, and sweet sauces. It also depends on what you are blending or shaking it in: a frappe maker, shaker, or blender.

The original version of café frappé, using instant coffee was invented in 1957 at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki in Greece. A coffee company worker was looking for a way to drink his usual instant coffee during breaktime, but he couldn’t find any hot water, so he mixed the coffee with cold water and ice cubes in a shaker.

Although a Café Frappé today is linked with the instant coffee version, Italians and the rest of the world have, during the last two decades, embraced the espresso version by simply shaking a double espresso with a bit of white sugar (shaker 2/3 full of ice) and pouring directly into a glass.

How does an iced coffee differ from a frappe? A frappe is blended quite longer, until a substantial foam has been created, and the ice is well-blended. If a frappe is shaken in a shaker, crushed ice can be added with the coffee or whole ice after shaking. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is often not beaten, but simply coffee served on ice.