Cool down and stay caffeinated at the same time with a homemade iced coffee. Making iced coffee yourself is not only a money saver, but an easy way to satisfy any particular craving you have. When you’re seeking something simple, go with cold brewed iced coffee, maybe lightly flavored with vanilla. For a more dessert-like beverage, try out a Viennese iced coffee, or try your hand at making the ever popular Thai iced coffee. You can’t go wrong with any of these 7 recipes.
1. Cold Brew Iced Coffee
A lot of people swear by the quality of cold brewed iced coffee. Calling it the only way worth making iced coffee at home, this method from Chow creates an incredibly strong coffee, perfect for pouring over ice or diluting with extras like simple syrups and milk. Even if you enjoy your iced coffee brewed in a pot, other recipes call for cold brewed coffee and its strong flavors so you’ll want to know how to make it.
- 4½ ounces coarsely ground coffee (about 1¾ cups)
- 3½ cups cold water
Directions: Place the coffee grounds in a 2-quart pitcher, add the water, and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let steep at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
Line a fine-mesh strainer with a standard coffee filter and fit it over a medium bowl. Working in batches, slowly pour the coffee into the filter until all of the liquid has passed through the strainer (the coffee will pass through in a slow stream; don’t force it through); stop when you reach the solids at the bottom of the pitcher (don’t pour them in.) Discard the grounds and the contents of the strainer.
Wash and dry the pitcher. Transfer the strained coffee into the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
2. Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee
All that robustly brewed coffee might be just a tad too much, so give it a strong vanilla flavor with Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay, and Charles Pierce’s recipe from Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch via Williams-Sonoma. Milk and sugar further cut any bitterness or strong notes to create a simple, sweetened iced coffee for 4.
- 1 cup ground coffee
- 4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (save pods for garnish)
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- Ice cubes for serving
Directions: In a pitcher, stir the ground coffee into 4 cups water. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to overnight.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the vanilla beans, milk, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer and immediately remove from the heat. Let steep for about 20 minutes.
Select 4 tumblers. Strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Strain again through a coffee filter into a large, clean pitcher. Fill the glasses with ice cubes. Pour the coffee into the glasses, filling them to within 1 inch of the rim. Top each glass with ¼ cup of the vanilla-flavored milk.
Garnish each drink with a vanilla bean pod and serve immediately.
3. Viennese Iced Coffee
Coffee houses have been at the center of Viennese culture for centuries, the BBC states in a mini guide to the myriad of options. Ina Garten took on the Austrian capital when making a Viennese iced coffee for the Food Network. The drink is a rich, caffeine-filled treat that will keep you cool all summer long. It serves 4.
- 6 (1-ounce) shots of espresso, regular or decaf
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup hot water
- 2 cups ice
- 4 scoops vanilla or coffee ice cream
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
- Short straws, for serving
Directions: Combine the espresso, sugar, vanilla, and hot water in a blender and stir until the sugar dissolves. Put the ice in the blender and process on high until the mixture is almost completely smooth. Divide the mixture among 4 short glasses.
Place the ice cream in a microwave on high for 15 seconds until softened. Scoop one ball of ice cream into each glass. With a small sifter, sprinkle each drink lightly with cocoa powder. Serve with a short straw and a teaspoon.
4. Frozen Mochaccino
Coffee and ice cream may not be how you want to start your morning though, and for a slightly healthier blended alternative, Eating Well has this frozen mochaccino to offer. Just like people swear by cold brew coffee, others will swear by coffee ice cubes. The frozen cubes of coffee won’t cause your drink to lose any potency, and are incredibly easy to make. It yields 2 servings.
- 1 cup double-strength brewed coffee or espresso
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-process), plus more for sprinkling
- 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 ice cubes, if needed
Directions: Freeze coffee in an ice cube tray until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. Combine the frozen coffee cubes, milk, cocoa, maple syrup to taste, and vanilla in a blender. Pulse until smooth, adding plain ice cubes if you want it thicker or a little water if you want it thinner. Divide between 2 glasses, dust with a little cocoa powder, if desired, and serve immediately.
5. Iced Coffee With Chocolate
For a chocolatey, sweet iced coffee that makes use of instant coffee, use this Taste of Home recipe for a sugary pick-me-up. To make without instant coffee, brew 1 cup of coffee, and proceed with the rest of the ingredients and directions as listed.
- 4 teaspoons instant coffee granules
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 teaspoons sugar, or sugar substitue (optional)
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ice cubes
Directions: In a large bowl, dissolve coffee in water. Add sweetener if desired. Stir in the milk, chocolate syrup, and vanilla; mix well. Serve over ice.
6. Copycat Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato
Addicted to Starbucks’ caramel macchiatos? You aren’t alone, but Food.com wants you to save money by indulging your cravings at home. If you don’t already own any, you do need two kinds of specialty syrups. Torani, Starbucks, and Caribou Coffee all make both vanilla and caramel syrup, available for purchase in stores and online.
- 2 fluid ounces brewed espresso (example: Starbucks Original Espresso Roast)
- 8 ice cubes
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup
- 2 -3 tablespoons of a thick buttery rich caramel syrup
- 4 tablespoons whipped cream topping, heavy cream version
Directions: Brew the Starbucks double espresso shot first. Fill a tall glass with ice — leave about 2 inches from the top of the glass. Now fill the glass with 1 cup of ice cold whole milk. Then pour in your 2 tablespoons of half-and-half or heavy cream. Now add the 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup into the glass.
Now add your 2 fluid ounces of Starbucks brewed espresso shot over the milk. Now drizzle the 2 tablespoons of thick caramel syrup inside the glass. Top with whipped cream, drizzle a little more caramel syrup on the top.
7. Thai Iced Coffee
Along with the recipe, Saveur explains that American military bases introduced sweetened condensed milk to Thailand. Locals picked it up from the bases, and started adding it to various recipes, iced coffee included.
- 1 cup ground coffee
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cup milk
Directions: Brew coffee with 4 cups water in your coffee machine to produce 4 cups very strong coffee. Place in the refrigerator until chilled. In a small bowl, stir together both milks until smooth; refrigerate until chilled. When ready to serve, fill 4 tall glasses with ice and divide coffee among glasses; pour over milk mixture and serve.