Summer is finally here, and with Wisconsin’s short but oh-so-sweet summer season comes lots of al fresco drinking and dining. While it’s common got enjoy a cold beer, wine, craft or frou-frou cocktails or lemonade in the company of good friends and a summer breeze under the sun’s rays, cold coffee drinks can be ideal for brunch, a mid-day pick-me-up, or . . . aww, you don’t even need a reason to enjoy coffee’s flavorful kick done up in icy beverage form. Below are a couple of basic iced coffee drink recipes to get started. Have fun, experiment and put your own signature on what could become a summer tradition.
Creamy Iced Coffee (serves 1)
3 ounces local cream liqueur (RumChata or Milk & Honey are Milwaukee-area products)
6 ounces cold brewed coffee (you can make your own or purchase ready-brewed from local sources like PhiloÇoffia)
1 ounce vodka
Fill a pint glass with ice. Pour cold brewed coffee over ice and add cream liqueur. Gently stir and enjoy.
Coffee Mojito (serves 1)
I was intrigued by this ‘coffee mojito’ I’ve been hearing about lately, so I searched for some recipes. None of them contained booze (although you probably could add some). Below is one of the better non-alcoholic versions I had tried, sourced from sprudge.com, with metric measurements converted to U.S. liquid ounces. This is a refreshing beverage that will likely go over well with non-drinkers and designated drivers, or if it’s just a tad too early in the day for alcohol.
10 mint leaves, plus a couple more for garnish
1 ounce simple syrup *
1 shot of espresso (around 1 ounce)
.5 ounces (about 1 Tbsp.) lime juice
Lime zest (to taste)
Gently crush 10 mint leaves to release their oils and aroma (I used a mortar and pestle). Combine mint, lime juice, sugar syrup and espresso into a glass and stir. Add the crushed ice and top it off with sparkling water. Garnish with additional mint leaves and enjoy.
Espresso Summer (serves 1)
This recipe was nestled among several naughty rich coffee drinks in Cosmopolitan. Finding it one of the more approachable choices on the list, I tried it and thought it was pretty damn good, and with berry season right around the corner in our zone five climate, you can’t get much more local.
1 ounce espresso
1½ ounces gin (local distillers such as Twisted Path or Great Lakes Distillery make gin)
½ ounce simple syrup *
½ ounce orange juice
Orange slice and additional blackberries for garnish
Muddle the blackberries at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and ice, and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with orange slice and a blackberry.
* To make simple syrup, mix equal parts sugar and water and heat in a pan over the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
Do you have any cold coffee drink recipes, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, to share? Let’s hear about them. In the meantime, I raise a glass of Espresso Summer to our glorious sun season.