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My students tell me all sorts of interesting things.

Coffee spiced up with spirits is available in any Spanish bar. Just ask for a Carajillo and you will get your coffee, usually, with a dash of brandy. It's also very common to see a Carajillo made with rum or whisky. The coffee is usually the short, thick solo (the Italian espresso) but people ask for every possible mix.

Round these parts they are very proud of a coffee called Café Asiático. One of my students ended up fighting his corner that this particular variation on Carajillo had been invented in Cartagena, specifically in the village of Albujon. The traditional recipe involves coffee whitened with condensed milk. The main tipple added is brandy but it should also, apparently, have a a few drops of Licor Cuarenta y Tres added. Licor 43 is a locally made liqueur. If you're going to go the full hog an Asiático should also include a couple of floating coffee beans, cinnamon topping and some lemon rind.

It sounded to me like a fancy version of a coffee we have in Alicante called Belmonte but my student was having none of that.

Today was a public holiday so we went to Albujon to see if we could find the bar where Asiático was conceived. Amazingly the place had a huge sign outside which made it easy to find. We had our coffee served in the traditional shaped thick glass. It tasted OK but I normally drink black coffee so it was a bit on the sweet side for me.

I took photos but then I lost my camera so the photos are not mine.


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