Iced coffee is one of those things you can’t say no too. Even purists can’t argue that cold coffee is as delicious as the hot, standard versions.
Iced coffee has changed through time more than any other category in the world of our favorite dark brew. It’s thanks to the big coffee shop chains (you know who we’re talking about) that we developed an addiction for ice-cold, sugary coffees.
A shot of espresso or a large cup of Americano in a chilly morning is mandatory, sure, but the rest of the day calls for something refreshing.
Look at all the macchiatos, strawberry-flavored frappes, rainbow-colored cappuccinos and what not; I think sometimes coffee is lost in translation, some of these drinks have no coffee at all!
But there are exceptions, and some cold drinks are just beautiful, like the Vanilla Iced Latte.
In case you didn’t know this, “latte” means milk in Italy, that’s it. We’ve made it something else, and now latte is synonym with a strong espresso shot topped with frothy milk — and I like that definition for a latte a bit more.
Lattes are delicious, warm, or cold, as milk brings coffee’s intensity down a notch and adds an unctuous richness hard to beat.
What I love about the Vanilla Iced Latte is that you can make it at home and save big bucks without compromising quality. Three ingredients are all you need for a fabulous cold drink, and it’s ready in a matter of minutes.
There are a few things to consider before we start, though, iced coffee has a trick to it, it has an enemy: dilution.
My first homemade iced coffees weren’t perfect, to say the least, because ice melted too fast, and the drink ended up tasting more like water than coffee halfway through.
I solved the problem with a simple trick, using ice-cold coffee, never straight from my coffee machine. When I add milk, like for this recipe, I make sure the milk is dead cold too (just store it in the fridge.)
For the coffee, you can use any type you like, but I recommend using strong coffee, a freshly ground dark roast that won’t lose its personality when combined with milk and aromatic vanilla syrup.
For the vanilla syrup, you can either make your own or buy it. Just remember – quality matters. Especially in recipes with few ingredients like this one.
What I ended up doing was making my own vanilla syrup with a 1:1 ratio of boiling water and sugar and added a hefty amount of vanilla extract (the real deal made with vanilla beans, not the artificial vanilla essence). I use it all the time, and if you make your own, you will too!
Brew your espresso.
Cool down the coffee on an ice bath.
Mix the cold coffee, the cold milk and the vanilla syrup without ice.
For a frothier drink, use a hand blender to add some volume to the mixture.
Pour the mixture in your favorite glass or mug filled with fresh ice cubes.