New York City, snowed in, brutally cold temperatures outside, many schools and business closed, public transportation sluggish — at best — on modified schedules, I knew I needed a good jolt to get going today.

Cortado to the rescue!

Cortado is an espresso drink of Spanish derivation, which is cut with a small amount of steamed milk added after the espresso.  The ratio of milk to coffee is between 1:1 and 1:2.  The word cortado is actually the past tense of the Spanish verb cortar — to cut.  That, I did not know!  (Thanks, Wikipedia!) All that I truly know is cortado equals wonderful elixir of life!  Because of it’s traditional size of four ounces, the drink forces you to stop, or at the very least, slow down, to completely enjoy it and be present in your cafe moment.

I experienced my very first cortado on a recent trip to Barcelona, Spain with my very dear friend, Sara.  In between rambling through the picturesque streets, shops, museums, there were many tapas and cortados!   I have since been able to create my own version here at home.  I have even been able to order it when dining out by essentially tricking-out my post-dinner coffee order.

It's not fancy, but it's good espresso!

It’s not fancy, but it’s delicious!

Cafe at Mercer Hotel - Barcelona, Catalonia Spain

Cafe at Mercer Hotel – Barcelona, Catalonia Spain

To Sara – there’s nothing like good friends to share the simple pleasures of life!  And, thanks for the Christmas gift of this beautiful book!

Photo credit:  Paris In Color by Nichole Robertson

Photo credit: Paris In Color by Nichole Robertson

And, now, I’m off!  I’m sure to stop somewhere for a caffeinated pick-me-up at some point today!