The carajillo at Cicatriz is certainly (and by far) the best I’ve tasted, but it is not, I’ll admit, the one I crave. Because my platonic carajillo is not, by any rational standard, a good drink. It’s cloying and unbalanced and, as Patan pointed out, both utilitarian and over-the-top. It’s irresistibly fusty, the sort of thing my Manischewitz-swilling, Irish-Catholic great-grandmother would have loved. It’s served, as it was the first time I drank it at the classic Cantina Mirador de Chapultepec (a favorite among the city’s famously corrupt politicans), in an oversized brandy snifter under the gracious eye of a bow-tied bartender, elbow-to-elbow with people who couldn’t possibly care less whether it’s actually “good” or not.
It’s a drink that makes you say carajo—fuck it.