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Make-at-Home: Iced Coffee

With spring in the air and warmer weather an increasingly frequent visitor on the 7-day forecasts, I like my coffee cold. A nice creamy glass of iced coffee is a refreshing and tasty kick-start to a spring or summer morning. And I've finally mastered it.

After a long day yesterday and still more writing and job search stuff to be done, I knew I'd need some caffeine to stay alert and focused. A warm drink just didn't sound good and I didn't feel like driving to Starbucks – even though it's just a mile down the road. (If I start that habit, Starbucks is going to munch away at my wallet morning by morning.)

I browsed some recipes on Pinterest – most of them calling for cold brewed coffee, which I had neither the means nor the patience for. So I decided to wing it. It was so easy and turned out so delicious, that I couldn't not share it here on The Lovely Side.

What you'll need:

  • Some good coffee. My go-to is Verena Street Mississippi Mud – it's made right here in Iowa in not-too-far-away Dubuque. And it's so good.
  • Some kind of milk. I prefer vanilla almond milk to anything else, but I'm sure soy milk, coconut milk, dairy milk, or even half-and-half (if you want to get reeeeally indulgent) would work just as well.
  • Sugar. I opt for a little bit of real sugar. I figure the real stuff in moderation is better than a bunch of artificial sweetener.
  • Ice. Of course!

What you'll do:

1. Brew the coffee to your liking. I like mine strong. Transfer the coffee from the coffee pot to a pitcher of some sort. I used a tall beer mug. Put it in the freezer. Now wait. This is the hardest part, but in an hour or so the coffee should be quite cooled down. It doesn't need to be cold. Room temperature or slightly above is ideal.

2. Pour your milk into a glass. I'm delighted drinking out of a mason jar. (It's the simple pleasures.) You can alter the portions depending on your taste preferences or mood. I filled up the jar with 1/3 almond milk and 2/3 coffee – leaving room for the ice. 

3. Stir in the sugar. Add your ice. Stir some more. And drink up! 

I'm quite pleased with myself for discovering the right mix of coffee and milk that keeps me away from Starbucks every morning. Every penny saved counts. Plus, I have several variations in mind to put a twist on this classic. A little cocoa powder for a mocha taste. A little extra vanilla for a French vanilla delight. Maybe this fall I'll add a bit of pumpkin flavored creamer for an iced autumn treat. The delicious possibilities are endless.

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