June is almost here, and with it comes summer or, as we prefer to call it, iced coffee time. With the season’s heat on the rise, we’re craving cold and seeking the kind of caffeinated cool that air conditions both body and soul. For that mission, no ordinary iced coffee will do. Instead, celebrate the arrival of summer by chilling out with our 10 favorite iced coffee hacks:
- Sweeten with syrup. Sugar doesn’t disperse well in cold drinks but simple syrup mixes instantly. Make yours by heating one cup of sugar in one cup of water until fully dissolved. Keep it in the fridge and add it as needed. Try flavoring your syrup with vanilla or peppermint extract.
- Chill with chocolate. We can’t believe more people don’t. Just mix one part chocolate syrup with one part water and freeze in ice cube trays for a magnificent iced mocha. You can also freeze mint in your cubes. Or use coconut milk for a tropical twist.
- Double your caffeination. Freeze some regular strength coffee in ice cube trays and use these instead of water ice for a cool solution without dilution.
- Salt it. Sprinkle some sea salt over your drink and give it a stir to bring out the flavors in your coffee of choice and act as a perfect foil for its natural sweetness.
- Freeze before filling. Whether you take it to go in a travel mug or sip it from a tall glass, pre-freezing your serving vessels in the freezer will keep your coffee colder longer to dramatically multiply its refreshment quotient.
- Whip it good. Whirl your iced coffee in a blender or smoothie maker with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, a little chocolate, and a few ice cubes. (You can thank us later.)
- Caramelize it. Stir in a dollop (or two or three!) of caramel sauce and a little sea salt (see above) for a sweet treat that will leave everyone begging for more.
- Go Vietnamese. Add a healthy dollop (or two or three!) of sweetened condensed milk to create a Vietnamese iced coffee that’s as remarkably rich as it is sensationally creamy.
- Egg it on. Transform your iced coffee into a coffee egg cream by adding soda water. Chocolate syrup optional. Or not.
- Skip the glass. Mix iced coffee in a bowl with a few drops of vanilla extract or some chocolate syrup, a little creamer of your choice, and simple syrup to taste. Freeze the result in ice pop molds for a portable treat that beats them all.
One last note: The best-iced coffees always begin with full-strength cold brew coffee. It’s not only unheated in the first place, it’s a smoother, sweeter, richer coffee experience that lends itself perfectly to icing, which tends to mask subtle flavor notes with cold and dilute what’s left. Cold brew is concentrated, too, so it stands up to melting cubes and keeps those flavors coming. Hot-brewed coffee simply cannot compete!