Coffee milk is a simple and delicious union of milk and coffee syrup. Photo courtesy Dave’s Coffee Store.
Coffee lovers, and especially iced coffee lovers: Have you had coffee milk, the official* state drink of Rhode Island?
Like chocolate milk, coffee milk is made by adding coffee syrup to cold milk. If you like iced coffee with sugar and a lot of milk, coffee milk is the easy way to make it at home. There’s no brewing, no need to keep a container of iced coffee in the fridge. Just pour a glass of milk, add coffee syrup and stir.
It also works for people who prefer alternatives to cow’s milk.
Top quality coffee syrup is a sweetened coffee concentrate made from fresh-roasted coffee beans. It is produced by straining water and sugar through ground coffee. (Supermarket brands tend to be artificially flavored.)
While the precise origin of coffee milk is unclear, several sources trace it back to the turn of the 20th century in Providence’s immigrant Italian population.
The first coffee syrup was introduced by the Silmo Packing Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1932. In 1938, Eclipse Food Products of Warwick, Rhode Island began to promote a coffee syrup product; Autocrat Coffee of Lincoln, Rhode Island came to market in the 1940s.
In addition to the syrup form, coffee milk can be found ready-to-drink in store dairy cases, at diners and in university dining halls. [Source: Wikipedia]
USES FOR COFFEE SYRUP
In addition to coffee milk, you can use the syrup for:
Cocktails and mocktails
Glazes (check out this list of recipes for fish, meat, poultry and veggies)
Hot coffee drink
Shakes and smoothies
*Rhode Island named coffee milk its official state beverage in 1993, after a competition with Del’s Lemonade, another Rhode Island specialty.