Latin Twist: Warm Coffee “Cocktails” Part 1: Café Mexicano


Maybe it’s because wow, it is cooooooold (muy, muy frío!!!) out there, I’m still yearning for warm drinks! Actually I did write about one warm cocktail on  December 7th (Peruvian Winter Wine) and, quite frankly, have been playing with my drinks since. And, well, does anyone else love Kahlúa the way I love Kahlúa? Something about that coffee liqueur that marries so beautifully with, yes, coffee and , yes, whipped cream. (And, ah, to all my boot camp buddies, I apologize: this is so NOT a boot camp kind of drink…but hey, once in a while, we must treat ourselves, right?!) So this, mis queridos amigos, is a lovely treat to serve to your sweetheart, dear friend, or just to yourself!

Café Mexicano

Serving Size: 1

 Café Mexicano

Café Mexicano is a perfect wintertime brunch, or after-dinner drink!


  • 1 teaspoon turbinado or coarse brown sugar
  • 4 ounces hot coffee
  • 2 ounces Kahlúa, or Tía María, plus more to drizzle on top
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whipped sweetened heavy cream
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cinnamon stick for garnish (optional!)


  1. Moisten the rim of a coffee glass using your fingertip and water. Sread the sugar on a saucer, and press the rim of the glass into it, turning it gently until the rim is evenly coated. Pour in the hot coffee and Kahlúa. Add the whipped cream to the center (so you don't ruin your sugar rim!). Sprinkle the cinnamon and chocolate. Top with a drizzle of liqueur, if desired. Add the cinnamon stick and serve!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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