Vanilla Affogato with Mint

The affogato: is it a dessert? Is it a beverage? What the heck is an affogato in the first place? Whether you've never heard of an affogato, or you're looking for a fresh take on the formula, you came to the right place. We’ll spill all the details about this modern Italian after-dinner classic (and offer our unique spin on it) in our Vanilla Mint Affogato recipe.

The Italian word affogato literally translates as “drowned” in English. The name is appropriate for a simple concoction made by pouring hot espresso over a scoop of ice cream or gelato. Interestingly, nobody is quite sure where or when the affogato originated. We do know that it's a relatively recent creation, gaining popularity in the latter half of the 20th century. The word was only added to English dictionaries in 1992. Affogatos have become trendy in recent years, with coffee shops across American offering affogato-inspired drinks.

In Italy, affogatos are generally enjoyed after dinner, and serve as a sort of coffee/dessert hybrid. Italian affogato is usually made with gelato, specifically fior di latte. This translates as “flower of milk,” and is a simple gelato comprised of just milk, cream, sugar, and a starch. The lack of additional flavors means a very high-quality milk is required, to allow the dairy to shine through.

While we certainly appreciate tradition, a dessert without vanilla is simply not our style, so we developed our own Vanilla Mint Affogato. Our vanilla paste helps balance the potent espresso, while fresh mint cuts through the richness of the other ingredients to brighten up the whole affair. While you can certainly use any ice cream or gelato you like, we are just a little biased towards vanilla. Whichever version you serve, offering your guests an affogato at the end of a meal will ensure everyone has a bella notte, or beautiful night!

Vanilla Affogato with Mint Recipe

Vanilla Mint Affogato

A delicious spin on the Italian after-dinner classic.
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Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 4 shots espresso
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint crushed
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream


  • In a small cup or bowl, add espresso and vanilla bean paste. Stir to combine.
  • Add mint leaves to espresso mixture, and steep 3-4 minutes.
  • Divide ice cream among four cups or small bowls.
  • Evenly pour espresso over ice cream. Serve with a spoon, and enjoy!
Keyword espresso, mint, vanilla