Now that the weather has warmed up incredibly here, I can’t help but be reminded of places far away from home where sun often shines and the heat is tingling your legs.
There is nothing better than sipping on a cold ice drink while sitting in the shade. That’s the ultimate summer for me!
Travelling in South East Asia I have always enjoyed the variety of iced drinks available there. Ice juices, smoothies, teas and coffees – the variations are endless! I do really miss those options back home as European coffee shops rarely offer as much as an ice latte. This is why I usually make my ice drinks at home where I can recreate my favourite recipes from the far away lands and experiment in creating my own blends and mixes. I love a coffee break, but when the temperatures outside hit 25 degrees plus, I find it almost impossible to have a hot drink. That’s why I switch to iced coffee during lazy summer afternoons.
For a summer’s afternoon I recommend having a glass of ice coffee and enjoy it slowly while sitting outside in your balcony or a garden. You can also take it to a nearest park. I love to enjoy my ice coffee with a good book or a travel magazine. Get refreshed, get inspired!
Here are some of my favourite ice coffee variations.
Espresso shot or drip coffee served with ice cubes. Add cold soy or coconut milk if you like it milky. To sweeten, you can use honey or syrup. You can also make your own sweetener by pouring a few table spoons of hot water over some brown sugar, just enough to allow it to melt. Pour your syrup over the iced coffee to achieve the right sweetness. Yum!
Chai ice coffee
For this little treat I make some chai tea separately and let it cool down a little. I usually make a jar of tea and keep it in the fridge. You can choose from a wide range of chai tea options available in the shops, but my favourite is simple the classic chai (with no black tea, purely just a mix of chai tea spices). I make a cup of drip coffee – this will be enough fro two glasses of chai coffee. Then I pour coffee, add milk and have a cup of glass and top up with the cold chai tea – up to the top of the glass. Add melted sugar as desired. Decorate with colourful paper straws :)
Vanilla ice latte
Make some black coffee (espresso or filter coffee works fine) and layer your drink from the bottom up: add vanilla syrup (homemade is the best and only requires water, brown sugar and vanilla extract), coffee shot, pour milk of your choice and top up with lots of ice cubes.
Beware! Ice drinks make your glass drip, so I always carry my own little coaster even if I take my drink out.
I always carry a small linen napkin with me, which I use to wipe my hands and the glass. It's so convenient and it dries very quickly.
Of course, if you’re serving your ice drink at home, always use coasters or tiny wooden chopping-serving boards to place your drinks on. I usually serve my ice coffee, ice tea and lemonade on wooden chopping boards or linen cup coasters.
So if you're looking for me on a warm sunny summer's day - you know where to find me! I'll be in my garden sipping on some ice coffee reading a book :)
Summer in the South
The Oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting, The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and pinety,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.
(Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872 - 1906)