How to Make Serious Iced Coffee

Coffee snobs will approve of this cold-brewed version from Food Network Magazine.

Coffee Drinks

Serious Iced Coffee

Cold-brewing makes the best iced coffee (smoother and less acidic than hot-brewed), but it takes time (and a lot of ground coffee)! For 2 drinks, stir 1 cup medium-grind coffee and 1 1/2 cups room-temperature water in a bowl; cover and let sit for 12 to 24 hours. Stir, then strain through a mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter (it might drip for up to an hour). To serve, mix the coffee concentrate with equal parts cold water or milk over ice. Or refrigerate the concentrate for up to 3 days. 

("Cold-brewing" is a buzzword among coffee gurus, but it's a misnomer. You're actually brewing at room temperature.)

Mix It Up

Try diluting your iced-coffee concentrate with one of these instead: 

  • Chocolate milk
  • Coconut water
  • Sparkling water
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Cream soda

Sweeten the Deal

Simple syrup is the best way to sweeten cold drinks. Simmer equal parts water and sugar until the sugar dissolves; let cool. 

Make It in Bulk

Triple the iced-coffee concentrate and freeze in ice cube trays. 

Coffee Frappe: Blend 1 cup ice, 1/3 cup iced-coffee concentrate, 1/3 cup milk and 1 tablespoon sugar in a blender until slushy. Top with whipped cream and cocoa powder. 

Coffee-Stout Cocktail: Shake 2 tablespoons iced-coffee concentrate, 3/4 cup ice and 1/2 tablespoon sambuca in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a glass and add 3/4 cup chilled stout beer. 

Coffee Float: Combine 1/3 cup iced-coffee concentrate and 1 to 2 teaspoons simple syrup in a glass. Add 2 scoops vanilla ice cream. Top with whipped cream and a cookie. 


Photographs by Levi Brown