Eat Puglia | Summer Drinks

Puglia is summer. Here’s what we’re drinking at the bar to stay cool in the summer heat.

Caffè leccese

What? | A caffè latte di mandorla e ghiaccio (also known as caffè leccese) is wonderfully refreshing, the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. It’s Salento’s iconic coffee drink. Unlike milky coffee which we drink only at breakfast, we can enjoy our caffè leccese all day.

Although the name suggests iced coffee with almond “milk”, it’s actually an almond syrup.

Be sure to give it a good stir. Best enjoyed with a pasticciotto.

Where? | At the bar (where we go for a coffee), anywhere, but especially perfect when visiting Lecce.

L’espressino freddo

What? | Puglia’s version of l’espressino freddo is practically perfect for the hot summer. You might see it on the bar menu as la crema di caffè freddo. A shot of coffee served with semi-whipped, chilled cream. You can see the cream churning in something that looks like a slush puppy machine, but smooth and elegant without the ice crystals. 

Pictured here with a pasticciotto, but just as good with a cornetto (if you want a double hit of creamy sweetness, order con crema and your croissant will come filled with pastry cream, otherwise ask for it “vuoto” = empty).

Where? | On the piazza, from the bar.

Lo spritz

What? | The classic Italian cocktail, served on the rocks with a slice of orange.

1 1/4 oz Aperol
2 oz prosecco,
Splash of soda water

Instead of soda water we prefer to use tonic which compliments the bitter notes. Works equally well with Campari instead of Aperol.

Where? | Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, though its typically the evening aperitivo of choice. Salty olives and crumbly Pugliese taralli are the perfect accompaniment.

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5 thoughts on “Eat Puglia | Summer Drinks”

  1. They all look so yummy and refreshing! I love the coffee slushes (it’s what I like to call the L’espressino freddo :). I have not heard of the Caffè leccese, but I love anything with almond flavor so I will have to search for it here in Sicily. Otherwise we can meet up when I come to Puglia and you can show us around!

    1. Ahahah – thanks Jen. We drink coffee all day but we believe milk is bad for the digestion. That is why you will rarely find an Italian drinking cappuccino or any other milky coffee beyond mid-morning!

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