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Coffee liqueur, abbreviated in Galician as “licorca”, is an ancestral beverage. Although there are many theories about its origins, Galicia adopted it and turned it into one of their top liqueurs. Its intense flavour, obtained from the mixture of coffee and alcohol, makes it the perfect beverage to end a good meal and enjoy the after meal. Let us find out about its origins and evolution.

The origins of coffee liqueur

In order to discover the origin of coffee liqueur, we need to know the origin of coffee itself. It originated in Ethiopia and, in the 10th century, became a popular beverage in the Iberian Peninsula during the Islamic-ruled era. With the arrival of Latin American coffee around the 17th century, the quality of coffee improved and became even more popular. From that moment on, there are several theories about the origin of coffee liqueur. One of them sets its origin at the beginning of the 13th century in Alcoy, Alicante. Back then, the city was under Muslim rule and the Arabs attributed healing properties to coffee, known as ‘qahwa’, and brought it with them to Spain. It is believed that coffee and alcohol were mixed for the first time there, as a beverage to celebrate the famous “Moors and Christians” festivity.

Coffee liqueur in Jamaica

We cannot know for sure which is the correct theory about the story of coffee liqueur. There is a second one that sets an early recipe with a mixture of coffee and alcohol in 17th century Jamaica. Jamaican coffee liqueur mixed the popular rum with coffee and steeped it for weeks. Since then, there is a whole culture of this beverage in Jamaica that, over time, has been adding a host of ingredients, such as vanilla.

Galician beverage par excellence

As mentioned above, coffee liqueur is one of the most popular and traditional beverages in Galicia. There are endless recipes and interpretations, but the most popular in our country is the mixture of ground coffee, orujo, and sugar. The amounts of each ingredient are the secret key to the traditional recipe. Paniagua, for instance, is made from Arab coffee beans and a traditional recipe to get the maximum concentration of aroma and flavour. And that is where the story ends.

How do you drink coffee liqueur?

Use a low and wide glass and, in case you want it cold, add enough ice without watering down the drink. The “licorca” can also be drunk hot, and it is very comforting in winter after meals. It is such a dense liqueur that, in theory, it does not need any accompaniment. This is no obstacle in trying it in different ways, such as cocktails that benefit from its intense flavour.

One such case would be the White Russian, one of the most famous cocktails, popularised by the character of The Dude in the film “The Big Lebowski”, who drank it like water. This beverage is made from vodka, heavy cream, and coffee liqueur.

Another famous cocktail is the Mexican Monte Cristo, made from orange liqueur, coffee liqueur and coffee, topped with plenty of whipped cream. Its flavour combines the bitterness of coffee, the citrus of orange, and the sweetness of cream. Three different flavours that go perfectly together.

Now that you know all the details about coffee liqueur, your next after meal is sure to taste even better. And remember that you can buy Paniagua coffee liqueur in

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