Monday, June 24, 2013

Toast With This!: Spiced Iced Coffee

Now that Summer has officially arrived, I'm opting for cooler drinks for my sipping pleasure.  Most recently, I've taken to ordering the iced versions of my favorite coffee and Chai tea latte drinks at local coffee shops.  In fact, this became a daily ritual on my recent beach vacation.  

Back home and settled in (and with the Summer heat in full blast), I want to continue my indulgence without a planned outing to the coffee shop.  I want delicious iced coffee from my kitchen.  So, I consulted my reliable spice stash and came up with a variant of the Chai flavors I love (including cinnamon, cloves and star anise), for infusing simple syrup.  The spiced simple syrup serves as the oh-so-good sweetener to my cold, smooth, balanced (and acidity-free tasting) coffee concentrate.  Together, with a splash of cream or milk for those who do, they create a refreshing and frankly irresistible iced coffee drink that will fill my Summer (and beyond) with many rounds of decadent sipping.  

Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or an anytime indulgence, it's definitely toast worthy, and once you make it, I'm certain you'll agree.

Happy Eating (and Sipping)!

Spiced Iced Coffee 
In this recipe, I replaced my previous method of chilling brewed coffee and opted to steep the coffee grinds in water to create a robust coffee concentrate.  It was worth the extra time, and I'll never go back. 

Spiced Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
4 whole cloves

Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Once the sugar has dissolved, add cinnamon, star anise and cloves.  Remove from the heat and steep for at least an hour (or longer, for a stronger flavor).  Strain syrup and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.  

Coffee Concentrate
8 oz. ground coffee
4 qts. cold water
Cheese cloth (optional, but recommended)

Add coffee to a large container and pour in water.  Stir together and steep overnight at room temperature.  Drain coffee through a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth or paper towels.  Refrigerate coffee and allow to chill.
To prepare your iced coffee drink, fill a glass with ice, pour in the desired amount of chilled coffee and add in milk or cream, if using.  Sweeten to taste with the simple syrup and enjoy!  
{Cook's Note: Coffee concentrate and simple syrup can be stored for up to 3 weeks refrigerated in air-tight containers.}



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