Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chill out.

Summer is here, people! New York is fully immersed in the season, right down to the thunderstorms, torrential flash floods and fluctuating mugginess. There's good stuff, too, like free outdoor movies, striped shirts and even sunny days!

High up on my list of good stuff, as you already know, sits that caffeinated seasonal wonder: iced coffee. I've figured out my perfect formula for iced coffee at home (your mileage may, no doubt, vary), so I thought I'd share a recipe of sorts with you. It's mostly proportionate, since everyone has differently-sized coffee makers. I do recommend going with French press or pour-over coffee (like that made with a Chemex), since it will be both richer and less bitter.

And don't forget the coffee ice cubes! I typically make an extra pot of the same-strength coffee and freeze it in a designated tray, then pop the cubes out individually when it comes time to drink and enjoy. And if you like your coffee sweet, you'll want to scroll on down to the simple syrup recipe. Granulated sinks to the bottom, but syrup mixes right in.

Queenie's Homemade Iced Coffee

Your favorite coffee beans, ground
Half and half, if you wish
Simple syrup (recipe follows)

This isn't really so much a recipe as a method. Make a pot of coffee with about 25% more coffee beans than you normally would. (For example, to make a full pot in my little French press, I use four scoops. To make my iced coffee and iced coffee cubes, I use five.)

Pour the coffee into a mason jar and allow to cool on the counter. Once it's a reasonable temperature (not too steamy), close up the jar and place it in the fridge to chill.

Pour into a glass (leave room for ice) and doctor as you wish with half and half and simple syrup. Add ice (or coffee ice cubes) and enjoy the caffeinated refreshment.

Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar (either granulated or Turbinado)
1 cup water

In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar and water with a wooden spoon. Turn on the heat to medium-low and gently cook the sugar into the water, stirring occasionally until it is completely dissolved. Allow to cool and pour into a container. Store in the fridge for up to two months.

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