Coffee is amazing. Full stop. However, sometimes, the weather is just not conducive to a steaming hot beverage. At times like this, what you want is something with all the delicious flavour of a beautiful strong Italian roast, but none of its ‘warm you from the inside out’ heat. In answer to this desire, and to the urge to keep up with the caffeine fix even when it’s hot, I’ve put together a list of 7 steps to a delicious iced coffee. Try it at home; you can’t help but love it!
Getting the ice right is the first step to a delicious iced coffee. I’m not a fan of the watery coffee-with-ice-blocks variation on this drink, and I prefer mine to have a thicker, almost milkshake-like consistency. To achieve this, you’ll need to own a good blender, and to make sure that before your ice goes into it, you’ve gone a long way towards crushing it by hand. Use an ice crusher, or wrap the cubes in a tea town and bash them (on a hard, durable surface) with a blunt object, like the pestle from your pestle and mortar.
Once you’ve reduced your ice to small fragments, place it in the blender and pulse until the consistency is very fine. Take care not to over do it though. If you do, you’ll just end up with extremely cold water and that’s not what you want.
I either use ice cream, or a mixture of milk and cream, as the base for an iced coffee – I think it should be something of a treat. If you’re keen to keep yours lower in fat, however, feel free to use one per cent milk: this will sacrifice a lot of the velvety texture, but you should still end up with a pretty tasty result. Whichever variety of dairy you’re going for, you’ll need to add it to the crushed ice and pulse a couple of times to blend.
Another important step to a delicious iced coffee involves choosing the right kind of coffee. Ordinarily, I’m hugely opposed to instant coffee. I think it generally tastes awful and leaves you feeling shaky and hyperactive. However, an iced drink really does require it. Make sure you use a good brand; the cheaper varieties tend to taste like nothing in particular. Mix the appropriate amount with enough water so that it’s dissolved and add to your cream, coffee and ice mixture.
The next step to a delicious iced coffee is choosing a lovely flavouring. I use the chocolate to replace sugar and to give the iced coffee a smoky, mocha-style flavour. Of course, if you’re looking for a less indulgent refreshing drink, you can always leave it out completely.
Again, feel free to leave out this step. A dash of coffee liqueur – or, come to think of it, a hazelnut based spirit – will make your basic iced coffee into a real grown up treat. Be careful not to be too heavy handed; too much alcohol will throw the consistency out.
Once you’ve blended all the ingredients together a final time, and your drink is a beautiful pale toffee colour, serve it into glasses, whip up some cream and spoon this over the top of every one. Voila! A really indulgent, ice cold coffee; the perfect summer-evening treat.
That concludes my list of 7 steps to a delicious iced coffee. Consider it something of a template and feel free to add or subtract ingredients to make the recipe more exiting. Do you have any suggestions of tips of your to share?
Top Photo Credit: comedy_nose
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