Do you love Iced Coffee but hate how much it costs at your favorite coffee shop? Would you like to be able to make one at home for a fraction of the cost and avoid line-ups? Then you are in the right place. I have a simple recipe for delicious iced coffee at home that tastes just as good, if not better, than one at the coffee house. With only a handful of ingredients, you can be sipping on a delicious iced coffee in just a few minutes.
I absolutely love coffee. The strange thing is I used to hate it until I was about 20 years old. I used to think it was bitter and disgusting, and I couldn't figure out why everyone loved it.
Fast forward a few years (or more than a few 😉), and I can't wait to have that first sip of hot coffee in the morning. And do you know what might be better than that first cup of hot coffee? That's right, iced coffee!
Iced coffee has always been a treat that I look forward to having a few times in the summer when I feel like splurging on myself. Unfortunately, at our favorite coffee shop in town, they can easily run $5 each, which is a little pricey for my taste.
I have recently discovered that it is so easy to make your own at home, and because it is homemade, it tastes better too!
If you are not a fan of coffee, try my Homemade Lemon Ginger Tea. It tastes delicious served cold over a pile of ice cubes, and it is made with healthy ingredients! Or you can try Homemade Orange Julius, also a perfect drink for summer; it is cold and creamy.
This delicious iced coffee is made with only a few ingredients you probably already have in your house.
- Vanilla simple syrup: Made with water, sugar, and vanilla extract. This only takes a few minutes to make.
- Cold coffee: Brew coffee the way you usually do and let it cool to room temperature. I find it best to use high-quality coffee (I use Starbucks whole bean coffee and grind it myself, but any kind will do in a pinch).
- Half-and-half (18% fat). You could also substitute any milk of your choice.
First, make the vanilla simple syrup. All you need to make this are these 3 ingredients:
- Sugar. I used plain old white sugar.
- Vanilla extract. I used pure vanilla extract.
Combine ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk together until heated and sugar is dissolved. This will only take a few minutes. It does not need to boil. As soon as the syrup is clear and the sugar is dissolved, it's done. Next, add in the vanilla extract. Let the syrup cool completely.
Next, assemble your iced coffee. All you need is:
Fill a large glass with ice cubes, crushed or cubed (about 1 to 1-½ cups of ice). Next, add ½ cup of vanilla simple syrup, 1 cup of coffee, and ¼ cup of half-and-half. Add your favorite straw and stir to combine ingredients. That is all there is to it! I told you it was simple! Drink up and enjoy it any time you like!
Since iced coffee is so easy to make at home, I have been enjoying this lovely drink quite a bit lately!
Substitutions and Variations
- Vegan: Substitute coconut cream for half-and-half.
- Add a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder for a mocha flavor
- Add in 1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup for a mocha flavor
- Skip the vanilla simple syrup and sweeten with maple syrup or honey to taste
- I made the simple syrup 2 different ways, once with cane sugar and once with white sugar, and it tasted so much better with the white sugar. Interestingly, I thought the cane sugar would be just as sweet, but I was wrong. I feel that this is something of a treat, so having white sugar once in a while is fine.
- Half-and-half makes this absolutely creamy, but if you want to cut down on fat content, whole milk or milk of your choice would be fine; it just won't be as creamy, but hey, the choice is all yours.
- Whenever I have leftover coffee in the morning, I like to pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it into coffee ice cubes. When frozen, I put them into a freezer bag, and then I grab them anytime I make an iced coffee; that way, I don't have watered-down iced coffee.
- I make the coffee earlier in the day or the night before and then place it in the fridge, so it is ready to use when I want to make a perfect iced coffee.
Simple syrup will keep in the fridge for about 1 week in an airtight container.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Simple syrup is one of the main sweeteners used in cocktails and other beverages, like iced coffee, because it blends so well with liquid ingredients. It is a mixture of sugar and water heated up until the sugar dissolves, and vanilla extract is added for extra flavoring.
The difference is in the ingredients and how they are prepared. For example, a latte is made with steamed milk, espresso coffee, and foam. On the other hand, iced coffee is made with regular brewed coffee, milk or cream, and poured in a glass with ice.
An iced latte is made with espresso; therefore, it has more caffeine than an iced coffee and has a much stronger taste.
What to enjoy with homemade iced coffee
If you’ve tried this Iced Coffee Recipe or any other recipe, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you!
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Iced Coffee Recipe - Easy and Delicious
- 1 cup coffee, room temperature, or chilled
- ¼ cup half-and-half
For the vanilla simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare the vanilla simple syrup:
- In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the white sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Cool completely.
Assemble your iced coffee:
- Take a large glass and fill it ⅔ of the way with ice cubes. Add 1 cup of coffee to the glass, ½ cup of simple vanilla syrup, and ¼ cup of half and half cream.
- Stir well to mix, and enjoy!