While the temperatures have gone down from steamy and suffocating to merely hot and muggy, the number of articles about making iced coffee seem to have gone up. Being one of those who can’t pull herself together in the morning without my a.m. jolt of caffeine, I recently had to mothball my beloved Bialetti cappuccino maker for the season (best houseguest gift ever, by the way). I can’t even think about tossing down a hot beverage in this weather.
Last year, I started experimenting with making iced coffee to fill the caffeine gap. Opinions on the best way to brew this beverage seem to differ quite a bit. My method, created simply because I had a small Bodum French press that I’d brought back with me from living in Europe, is to make a slightly-stronger version what I’d make to drink the coffee hot, let it cool to room temperature on the counter, and then put in in the refrigerator overnight (without pushing down on the grounds) to be drunk in the morning.
The next day, I get up, pour in a bit of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated up until the sugar has dissolved) and some milk and then add the (now plunger-pressed) coffee to make a caramel-colored beverage that is cool, silky-smooth, and sweet. Just one sip sliding down my parched throat makes it worth it to get up and face another brutally hot day in the city.