By Claire Stern
Updated Nov 23, 2015 @ 11:00 am

Anyone who regularly enjoys espresso knows that making the perfect cup is as much an art as it is a science. But once you've mastered the technique, it opens up a world of endless culinary possibilities. We're particularly fans of the affogato. For the uninitiated, an affogato is a coffee-based dessert comprised of a scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned in a shot of piping hot espresso (the word "affogato" literally translates to "drowned" in Italian). In other words, it's the most delicious possible way to get your daily caffeine fix.

In honor of National Espresso Day today, we asked the creative baristas over at Sightglass Coffee, a new sibling-owned coffee shop—with a designated affogato bar!—in San Francisco, for their go-to recipe. "Our ideal affogato uses rich, fresh ice cream and roasted single origin espresso," co-founder Jerad Morrison tells InStyle. "Since the ice cream is cold and the espresso is hot, we want the ice cream to melt a bit and create a creamy coalescence." Read on for the recipe.


Chef's note: For every 2 oz scoop of ice cream, use about 1 oz of hot espresso. Note that the ounces will vary depending upon what espresso you use. Some espressos display more flavor and complexity at higher yields and some at smaller.


2 oz vanilla ice cream (Sightglass prefers Salt & Straw)
1 oz hot espresso


1. Chill your glass or bowl. Make sure your scoop of ice cream is extremely cold and mold it into a dense 2 oz scoop that will hold up to the heat of the espresso.

2. Make the espresso just before serving. Use freshly roasted and ground beans for optimal flavor and vibrancy.

3. Carefully pour the espresso over the ice cream, essentially "drowning" the ice cream.