I love coffee. However, I’m kind of a sissy when it comes to its cream and sugar. When I drink it hot, it must have half n’ half and sugar, or some other reasonable substitute. When it’s cold, I can do 2% milk and simple syrup. I can’t do black and I can’t do low fat milk and I like it mildly sweet.
I can think of at least 4 Starbucks stores within 2 miles of my house, so there is a temptation to pick up coffee whenever my heart desires….but a Starbucks habit is an expensive one.
I’ve figured out how to do Starbucks-on-a-budget by ordering “tall in a venti” or substituting brewed coffee for espresso, etc. But, I think I’ve finally nailed down how to make “fancy” coffee at home just the way I like it.
Caramel Iced Coffee
For the iced coffee:
- 2 cups or 1/4 lb coffee (I use Jose’s Vanilla Nut from Costco and freshly grind the beans each time)
- 2 qts (8 c) water
For the simple syrup:
- 2 c sugar
- 1 c water
- Make your own or buy some. I use Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce, but any other REAL caramel sauce will work (corn syrup-based ice cream topping will NOT cut it, sorry).
Milk (optional *for some people*)
- Grind the beans (if using whole bean coffee) and combine with the water in a large container or pitcher. Cover and let sit at room temperature 8-10 hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile, make simple syrup by bringing the water to a boil, then stir in the sugar until it is just dissolved and remove from heat. Allow it to cool and then transfer it to a container for storage. (I use a bottle with a cork.)
- After the coffee has cold-brewed, strain the grounds with cheese cloth or a towel or a fine mesh strainer lined with double coffee filters (<– my preferred method). Store covered in a pitcher, jar, etc. The iced coffee can be kept at room temperature for about two days or refrigerated even longer.
To serve, drizzle caramel on the insides of a very dry glass, add enough ice to adequately chill the coffee, pour the coffee over the ice, sweeten with simple syrup and add milk to your liking.