In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a simmer, over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir the espresso powder into the hot syrup until dissolved. Whisk in the vanilla and condensed milk and chill before using.
To serve, mound 2 cups of fresh clean snow or finely ground ice in each serving bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup coffee syrup and serve immediately.
Cook's Note: Coffee syrup will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2009