Affogato means ‘drowned’, which is exactly what you do to a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a strong shot of hot espresso. The ice cream can be fior di latte, vanilla or chocolate, or whatever you like. The pleasures of tasting this delicious dessert/beverage come in stages as the hot continues to melt the cold, first with a spoon and then drinking the last drops straight from the glass. The sweet ice cream and the bitter coffee should complement, not overwhelm each other.


Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: Dessert, DrinksCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Simple


Prep time



Only 2 simple ingredients are needed for this classic Italian dessert. The ice cream is literally ‘affogato’ drowned in the hot coffee.


  • 1 to 2 coops of very cold vanilla gelato or ice cream

  • 1 double shot espresso coffee

  • Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur (optional)


  • Make the espresso first so it can sit while you scoop the gelato.
  • Put a scoop of a very cold gelato or ice cream in a small coffee cup or glass tumbler that has been chilled in the freezer until frosty and cold to the touch. Bear in mind that the tumblers should have a narrowing bottom, allowing the ice cream to melt and combine with the espresso into the hollowed space in the bottom of the glass.
  • Then, simply top or “drown” with a shot of hot espresso and serve immediately. For a tipsy version, you can add a splash of Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur if you’d like, but the best affogato is a simple affogato.


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