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Other Writings and Recipes

The Best Iced Coffee Ever

Vidhi Dattani

I like my coffee hot, rich, and somewhat chewy. But when the weather turns warm, I feel the pull to put it on ice. In theory, iced coffee rejuvenates; it is THE a tonic for a sleepy warm-weather work day. But iced coffee feels as thin on the tongue as watercolor to paper, and gets diluted like the worst “bi-partisan” bill.

My problem with iced coffee is that I never, till now, treated it like the closet confection it is. In my opinion, even the best pour over coffee needs sugar and milk. But these additions weaken any remaining coffee taste. Why not just drink sweet milk?

This question led me to a way to make iced coffee that is not only more delicious, but more honest, too. The drink starts with fresh-frozen coffee cubes, saved from the morning’s press, some sugar, and a small pitcher of cold milk.

To a full glass of coffee cubes, add a spoonful of sugar.

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Next, pour the milk over the sugar and cubes until submerged.

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Stir or swish your glass to dissolve the sugar. The coffee cubes will melt very slowly and increasingly strengthen the flavor of the sweet milk. In other words, as you sip, the drink gets stronger and colder. Continue adding milk to cover the coffee ice, until all the ice is gone.

If you replace the milk and sugar with sweetened condensed milk and cocoa, you have an instant dessert. I’m tempted to bring Kahlua back to the bar, just for this.