What is an Affogato?

An Affogato is both a dessert and an espresso… together at last. It's prepared by pouring a shot of espresso directly over top of a scoop ice cream or gelato, and served in a small cup or glass along with a spoon. The name comes from the Italian for “drowned”, which your ice cream literally is once delicious espresso is poured over top of it. Only you can rescue it!

You may eat your affogato with the spoon, or stir it together and wait long enough for the ice cream to melt, and drink the whole shebang.

Where can I get an Affogato?

An old-school Italian-style coffee bar is a likely place to find an affogato, and it may also be offered at restaurants. Any cafe that also serves ice cream is also likely to offer this. It never hurts to ask.

Is the espresso shot pulled any particular way for an Affogato?

Typically an adjustment to the shot is not required to prepare an Affogato, though your barista may elect to pull an espresso particularly well-suited to enjoyment with ice cream.

What does it mean when something is served “Affogato-style”?

Always eager to adjust coffee nomenclature to within global culture, in 2016, Starbucks introduced a drink modification called “affogato style,” which involves pouring a shot of espresso over top of a drink on their menu, though it is typically suggested in the context of a Frappuccino®, an already treat-like drink, upon which an additional shot of espresso confers a dramatic presentation.

Could I enjoy this drink… corrected?

Absolutely! You do you! It's common practice (though not required) for an affogato to include a splash of liqueur—amaretto or Frangelico being the most traditional options. The possibilities of flavor profiles depending on the ice cream, espresso, and liqueur you choose to involve are literally endless.

This sounds absolutely delicious to me as a dessert, but what if I don't want it to keep me up all night?

You sound like a perfect candidate for the Decaffogato! A Decaffogato is prepared just like a traditional Affogato, only with a shot of decaffeinated espresso. Cheers, and sweet dreams!

Liz Clayton is the associate editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Liz Clayton on Sprudge