Coffee - honestly, who can live without. It is such an essential part of the everyday, whether you need it to get through the work day, using it has the perfect tool to get together during a first date, or simply as a way to relax and sip on during the sunrise (which is what my grandparents used to do everyday with each other). It has helped people stay motivated, stay grounded, form relationships, and even maintain them - heck, it even helped bring together my boyfriend and I! But in all seriousness, coffee plays an important role in almost everyone's life.
When it comes to summer and warmer days that sometimes reach passed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I also try to find a way to still drink coffee while maybe even kicking it a notch or two. As you may know, I was a barista for four years - so I definitely know a thing or two about coffee. More so, sometimes I don't want to leave the house and face the blistering outside world when I can simply make it at home. If you are like me and love coffee, I got the perfect recipe guide to make those favorite iced coffee drinks at home! Curious - here is how:
Basic Iced Coffee Recipe - For Starters
This recipe makes an excellent starter for anyone who wants to dabble in making iced coffee at home but never have before. The recipe utilizes a simple syrup, which is a mixture of sugar and water that is heated until the sugar dissolves, that helps so you do not get any of those clumpy sugar patches on the bottom of your cup. If you do not like your coffee sweetened, you can certainly leave it out.
Serves: One Serving
- 1/2 Cup of White or Brown Sugar - Note: Brown Sugar will provide a more enhanced maple flavor due to the molasses, but can be quite nice
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract - Optional
- 1 Cup Coffee, at Room Temperature - Strongly Brewed
- Half-And-Half, Milk, Or Dairy | Non-Dairy Milk Preferences - To Taste
- To make the simple syrup, combine sugar with equal parts water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool completely and stir in vanilla extract; set aside.
- Serve coffee over ice with dairy or non-dairy preference and simple syrup, to taste.
Now it is time to get a little bit more creative!
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
I was first introduced to Vietnamese Iced Coffee in a small cafe located in a coastal beach-town in New Jersey. What makes this drink stand out is the quality and grind of the coffee and the quintessential use of sweetened condensed milk. The sweetness of the condense milk adds a perfect balance to the bitterness of the coffee, and provides an overall creaminess and smoothness to the drink. Here is how to make it:
Serves: One Serving | From Bon Appetit
2 Tablespoons of a Dark Roast Coffee (preferably Trung Nguyen Premium Blend or Café Du Monde Coffee with Chicory)
2 Tablespoons (scant) of Sweetened Condensed Milk
- There are two ways to make Vietnamese coffee. The simplest method is to steep coffee grounds in a heatproof container with 2/3 cup boiling water for 4 minutes. Pour through a coffee filter into a heatproof glass.
- Or use a metal filter, which we recommend. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Remove top screen from filter, add coffee, then screw on top screen. Place filter over a heatproof 12-oz. glass or measuring cup.
- Pour a splash of the hot water into filter; this will allow the coffee grounds to bloom. When coffee begins to drip through, add enough water to reach top of filter. Place lid on filter and let coffee drip for 4 minutes. If coffee stops dripping sooner, gently loosen screw to relieve pressure.
- Stir in condensed milk until blended, adjusting to taste preferences. Add ice, stir, and serve.
If the condensed milk is too sweet for you, we recommend mixing in equal parts half-and-half to the coffee to tone down the overall sweetness.
Ready to get real fancy?
Cardamom and Rose Iced Coffee
For the longest time, I was so curious as to what rose tasted like in coffee. It wasn't until another coffee shop near me had introduced a similar drink to this recipe on their menu for the spring. With this coffee, you may be curious yourself has to what it tastes like. The rose gives the coffee a slight floral taste, which can balance out with more chocolate or berry tastes often found within certain blends. The cardamom brings out a subtle spice taste, that provides a warmth throughout the coffee as well.
Serves: One Serving | From AHU Eats
- 2 Cups of Coffee - Chilled
- 2/3 Cup of Milk or Non-Dairy Alternative
- 2 Tablespoons Cardamom Pods - Crushed
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Culinary Rosewater
- Ice Cubes
- Make 2 cups of coffee by your favorite method. Chill until cold.
- Using the back of a wooden spoon or mallet, crush the cardamom pods so they split open.
- Add the cardamom and milk to a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Milk should be very fragrant at this point - add the rosewater and continue to stir over the heat for another 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and discard the cardamom pods from the milk.
- Chill the milk until cold.
- Add ice cubes to a coffee cup. Fill the cup 2/3's of the way with coffee, then the remainder with milk.
- Stir and enjoy!
While this drink may not be for everyone, we certainly hope this one will be!
Caramel Vanilla Iced Coffee
Who doesn't love caramel in their coffee? Seriously - I would love to know! These combinations make for the perfect team and are almost has popular as peanut-butter and jelly or milk and Oreo's! Want to know how to make it - here is how:
Serves: Three Coffees
For the Caramel:
- 1/2 Cup of Sugar or Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk or Dairy Choice
- 4 Teaspoons of Butter or Vegan Butter
- 1/2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
For the Coffee:
- 3 Cups of Coffee - Strongly Brewed and Chilled
- Dairy or Non-Dairy Milk Choices - To Taste
- In a small pot, stir together all of the caramel ingredients on medium heat. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cook until the caramel reduced by almost 1/2 and deepens in color, stirring constantly so that it doesn't burn, this takes about 5-6 minutes.
- Immediately transfer to a measuring glass (you should have just over 1/3 cup of caramel) and let sit for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until nice and thick.
- Fill 3 glasses 1/2 way with ice cubes. Pour 1 cup of cold coffee into each glass, followed by 1/3 cup of almond milk. Add 2 Tbsp of the caramel syrup into each glass and stir well, until the caramel is dissolved and well mixed.
With these recipes, you will be making coffee like a pro!
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