In high school, I was obsessed with iced coffee. Directly next door to the school in MA there was a Dunkin Donuts. This was long before Starbucks on every corner. So each afternoon I'd skip gym class and walk down to Dunks. I loved walking inside and breathing in the sugar-y sticky sweet air. I'd get a giant iced coffee with half & half and a metric ton of sugar. Because I was 15 and who cares about calories when your 15. Like, I'd make it with so much sugar it was CRUNCHY. And to no ones surprise I failed gym because I was too busy getting hopped up on caffeine and sugar.
Then I moved to California where there where NO dunks (still aren't!) and up until a few years ago, no Starbucks. And you could leave campus for lunch. My first thought was...OPEN LUNCH? CAFFEINE WHENEVER? COUNT ME IN. Then I learned that gas station coffee is gross. I'd bitch and moan about a lack of Dunks. My classmates were all about sweet tea. I love sweet iced coffee but iced and hot tea I can only drink unsweetened and black. I was not a happy camper. And totally clueless because Pam, my mom, has been drinking iced coffee for FOREVER. FROM HOME. I think the only time I've ever seen her drink hot coffee is espresso shots on Holidays. She brews hot coffee in the morning and puts it in a pitcher in the fridge. She makes what we refer to as "rocket fuel", drinks it practically black with one pink sugar. It's a little much for me. I can drink 1/2 of one and suddenly I'm bouncing around and can't shut up.
I don't drink caffeine anymore (see above ;)) and I have to say, it's obnoxious that Starbucks doesn't offer decaf iced coffee unless you want hot coffee poured over ice (no thanks!). But you can get an iced decaf latte. And lately they just taste BURNT to me. Not a nice bitter or good espresso shot, but just straight up BURNT. Not appealing for $4.
I like my iced coffee with almond milk and something sweet. And the cup filled with 80% ice. I made a simple syrup I thought I'd share with you.
It's incredibly easy and more grown up than crunchy coffee ;)
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup extra fine baking sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 1 Tbls vanilla bean paste
- 2 Tbls vanilla extract. Make sure it's a good quality one or all you'll taste is coffee with a lingering of alcohol.
- a pinch of flake salt. I used Cypress Flake. It's expensive but a little goes a long way.
In a heavy bottomed pan with the heat on medium high add the brown sugar. Keep it moving around in the pan for 1 solid minute. This seems to warm up the sugar and gives the syrup a nice caramel flavored under tone. But make sure you don't let it burn. Next add the baking sugar and water. Bring to a boil. I let it go to a full rolling boil for half a minute, then lower the heat to a soft simmer. Let it simmer for 3 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla bean paste and extract. I'm obsessed with vanilla so this is a LOT, feel free to use less. Then add a decent sized pinch of flake salt, it brightens up the caramel notes, but don't use table salt! That would be harsh and too much. I put it in a canning jar because I have a ton of them, then label it with the date and stick it in the fridge once it's cool. I give these little bottles as gifts, they last about 3-4 weeks in the fridge.
Add to some coffee and enjoy!
What are you guys up too today? I'm updating modernacorn (and can now accept custom orders! email me for more info!), piecing a Swoon block I started last night and crossing my fingers this incredible weather keeps up. Normally by July I'm a puddle of grump...115 degrees and feeling gross. This year it's been in the 80s! THE 80s!!! This is pure MAGIC. My tomatoes are barely ripening but I'm ok with it. I even wore JEANS to the State Fair. It's that nice out! I'm also making this today.
okok! See you tomorrow for Farmer's Wife! Yipee!