When the weather is hot and steamy, cool off with iced coffee. Iced coffee is a refreshing drink that can be as simple as coffee chilled with ice cubes or as fancy as Cafe Alexander.
When brewing coffee you plan to serve iced, make sure you brew it extra strength so that when you add the ice the coffee won’t taste watery. Also, allow the coffee to cool before using it in iced coffee recipes. That helps the flavor “set” and you won’t have to add so many ice cubes to chill it.
For the richest tasting iced coffee, use Viennese, French or espresso roasted beans, which brew up stronger than lighter roasted coffees. You’ll need this richer flavor to stand up to the ice. And make sure to use gourmet Arabica coffee beans.
The Robusta beans in many supermarket brands of coffee yield a less flavorful and more highly caffeinated drink than the gourmet brands. If you’re worried about caffeine, you can make iced coffee with decaffeinated beans.
Try serving coffees flavored with hazelnut, Kahlua or Amaretto over ice. And if you’re watching your waistline, you can replace cream and sugar with skimmed milk and artificial sweeteners.
Now that the coffee is ready, try using some of it in these recipes:
Colossal iced coffee
Take eight cups of strong, brewed dark-roasted coffee. Mix with 1 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over ice. Then add half and half, whipped cream, ice cream or your favorite liqueur.
Place four strips of orange peel, three strips of lemon peel, 12 cloves and a cinnamon stick in the 10-cup pot of a drip coffee maker before you brew the coffee. Then, make the coffee one and a half times its normal strength. For example, if you usually make coffee in a ratio of one cup water to one tablespoon coffee, increase the amount of coffee to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Chill brewed coffee and spices in a sealed container to serve over ice. When you serve it, add half and half and brown sugar as desired.
Iced cafe au lait
In a blender, combine 1 cup chilled brewed double-strength dark roast coffee with 2 rounded tablespoons confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup whole milk and 3 cups chopped ice. Garnish with whipped cream and a pinch of shaved high-quality chocolate.
In a blender, combine 2 tablespoons Kahlua, 3/4 cup chilled dark-roasted coffee and 2 scoops chocolate ice cream. Blend until smooth. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
If after making iced coffee drinks you have any leftover, refrigerate the brewed coffee in a sealed container or make ice cubes from it. Then, when you add the coffee cubes to your iced coffee drink, you’ll be adding rich coffee flavor instead of water.