Side Pony’s Pistachio Carajillo Cocktail Recipe

Side Pony, a coffee shop by day and cocktail bar by night, is the ultimate espresso martini spot. Here, the “baristender” shares the recipe for a Pistachio Carajillo.

Side Pony's Pistachio Carajillo
Photo by Connor Stehr.

“It’s nutty, creamy, pick-me-up happiness. The drink is a play on a classic Spanish cocktail traditionally made with Licor 43.” —Jessica Caruso, bartender, Side Pony

Pistachio Carajillo

Course Cocktail
Servings 1


  • 1 oz. pistachio liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Licor 43
  • oz. espresso


  • Build in a shaker, shake. Pour straight into a snifter glass. (The bartenders call this the “Dirty Dump” when you don’t strain your drink.) Garnish with lemon zest.
Print Recipe
Jessica Caruso
Photo by Connor Stehr.

Ask the Bartender: Jessica Caruso

Tips for making the drink: “Shake it hard! Also, you can buy pistachio liqueur at most stores, but our in-house pistachio cordial is more boozy and has no added sugar. If you want to learn how to make it, chat with our bartenders and they will be happy to share, though the process is rather extensive. Also, garnishing with the lemon zest really marries the coffee and nut flavors of the drink while adding a pop of fresh citrus.”

How to pair: “The Licor 43 in the cocktail is a spanish liqueur made with 43 spices, the main one being vanilla, giving the drink a nice sweetness. It goes great with our pastries like the chocolate waffles with honey butter. We also make a great avocado toast and breakfast sandwich, and we serve Bonfire Burritos.”

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Transitioning from coffee to cocktails: “We serve both our drink menus all day, so it’s fun to see customers close the laptop and switch from coffee to cocktails. Our happy hour starts at 2 p.m. here, but we are typically busiest around 5 p.m.”

Sourcing local: “We get our coffee from Queen City. It’s local and run by three brothers. We sat down to do a tasting with them and loved their bold flavors. Being next to the workout studio Duality, we have lots of customers order protein powder in their coffee, so the bean’s flavor has to be bold enough to shine through.”

The crowd: “The West Colfax neighborhood has been incredible. We had no idea how badly the area needed a spot like this. We thought it would be harder to get people to walk two blocks from Sloan’s Lake to Colfax, but we were wrong. There really aren’t craft cocktails anywhere else nearby. At first, the clientele was mostly fueled by Duality, but now we get lots of people coming in for drinks before their movie at Alamo or dinner at ChoLon. We also get a lot of first dates here. Start with coffee, and if the date is going well, order a cocktail next. It’s especially great if you don’t know if your date drinks or not yet. You can also order the ‘icebreaker combo,’ which includes a complimentary shot and an icebreaker card.”

Three words to describe Side Pony: “Sexy, inviting, and vibrant.”

What’s happening this June: “We aim to have six to 10 events each month. We have done things in the past like drag bingo and oysters and bubbles. We will have a comedy show on June 9 starting at 6 p.m. with Tanya Sabrina opening, JJ Alexander featured, and Eeland Stribling headlining. He has a national tour and hosts The Outside Show, so we are super excited to have him. Then we will also have a reading party on June 17. Those have been a surprisingly big hit. Sometimes we do a book swap with those as well.”

On Duality: “Jennifer Sevcik, who owns Duality and Original Glam next door, partnered with Angela Neri, the owner of Pony Up, to create Side Pony. So the two businesses work together a lot. Duality offers free Sunset Rooftop yoga every other Thursday at 6 p.m. and a Sloans Lake HIIT class by the lake at 9:30 a.m. on one Saturday per month, every month in the summer. Side Pony will be creating a special cocktail for each class and help serve them out afterwards.”

On Original Glam: “The hot new Med Spa + IV Lounge is the perfect complement to the new ‘lifestyle collective’ on West Colfax. They offer facials, laser, botox, IV’s, medical weight loss, PRP, and hormone replacement therapy. It’s your one stop shop to optimize your life.”