Black iced coffee (photo courtesy Nescafe).  Iced coffee, light (photo courtesy Peets).  With half-and-half (photo courtesy Coffeemania).  Thai iced coffee (photo courrtesy Peets).  White Russian (photo courtesy DeLonghi).
Many people can’t live without iced coffee. We see them walking around on the coldest winter days, sipping from jumbo cups of it.
For more celebratory occasions, how about spiked iced coffee?
It’s as simple as adding liqueur or a shot of your favorite spirit to a basic iced coffee.
You can turn it into a party experience, too.
Keep the coffee in the fridge until you need to pour it. You’ll need fewer ice cubes, which dilute the drink. Or…
Make coffee ice cubes. We do this with whatever leftover coffee is in the pot; or you can make it from scratch. Just pour into an ice cube tray, freeze, and move the frozen cubes to a storage bag or container, freeing the ice cube for more cubes. Plan ahead and you’ll have enough for a party.
Make regular and decaf coffee. If you’re an uber*-host, make iced espresso as well.
Provide different sweeteners: non-caloric, superfine sugar and agave or simple syrup. Agave has a lower glycemic index, but as twice as sweet as sugar, so you use half the amount.
Have an assortment of milks, from fat-free to regular to half-and-half, plus a non-dairy milk.
Have cans of Reddi-Wip at hand so guests can have fun garnishing their own. Bonus points: provide both Original and Chocolate Reddi-Wip.
If you’re having guests:
Extracts: almond, anise, vanilla or other extract.
Flavored syrups: chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla.
Liquers: Bailey’s/Carolan’s Irish Cream, Magnum Scotch Cream Liqueur, Cointreau/Grand Marnier, Creme de Cacao/Godiva, Kahlúa, or other favorite. Note that liqueurs add sweetness. Taste first, then sweeten.
Spirits: Rum, tequila, vodka.
Spices: ground cayenne, chile, cinnamon, nutmeg.
Consider a DIY bar with different flavor additions.
*For a millennia before it was a car service, it was an adjective. It still is.
RECIPE #1: KAHLÚA ICED COFFEE
Just add Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur to iced coffee, black or with milk.
Ingredients For 1 Drink
1 part Kahlúa
2 parts iced coffee
Optional garnish: whipped cream, rough-ground coffee beans
1. FILL the glass (or pitcher) with ice and iced coffee.
2. ADD the Kahlúa, stir, and garnish as desired.
RECIPE #2: THAI ICED COFFEE
Thai iced coffee uses strong, bitter coffee—such as espresso, French roast or Italian roast—which acts as a counterpoint to the rich cream and the sweetened condensed milk. This is a sweet drink: There are no sugar-free versions.
You can even use leftover coffee. While coffee purists may shudder at the thought, the sweetened condensed milk masks any notes they might have detected. Similarly, you can use strong instant coffee.
Ingredients Per Serving
8 ounces of strongly brewed coffee
2-4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (the more you use, the sweeter the drink)
1/4 cup cream, half and half or evaporated milk
Optional: dash of ground cardamom, cinnamon or nutmeg
1. POUR coffee into a mixing container (we use a repurposed glass orange juice bottle).
2. ADD 4-6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and optional spices; stir well until dissolved. Refrigerate for one hour or longer to chill.
3. ADD a few ice cubes to two tall glasses and fill with the cold coffee mixture. Top off with the cream. As the cream sinks, it makes an attractive swirl.
After you make the first batch, taste it and adjust the recipe. Add more sweetened condensed milk if you want a sweeter drink, or more cream if you want a richer drink or if the coffee is too strong.
Add a scoop of coffee or vanilla ice cream; garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes.
RECIPE #3: WHITE RUSSIAN ICED COFFEE
Iced coffee with a shot of vodka: Now there’s an idea for chillaxing on a summer day. If you want a serious cocktail, you can make an old-school Black Russian or a White Russian with these (recipes).
You can make a White Mexican with tequila or a White Caribbean with rum.
If you don’t normally sweeten your iced coffee, leave out the sugar. Adjust the ingredients proportions based on the size of the glass you are using.
RECIPE: RUSSIAN ICED COFFEE
Ingredients For 1 Drink
Chilled or room temperature espresso
Sugar to taste
1 shot of vodka
Light cream or half and half to taste
Optional garnish: whipped cream
1. BREW the espresso coffee. Let cool. Add the sugar and the vodka.
2. POUR into a glass and top with cream. Add crushed ice, stir and serve.