The long hot days of summer require something cool and refreshing to balance out that intense heat. What could be more perfect than a quartet of iced coffee drinks that are easy to make and taste delicious. The other mothers will think you’re hiding a barista.

First of all, here are a couple of tips to bring even more flavor to your coffee drinks. Pour cooled leftover morning coffee into ice cube trays, then freeze. This way you won’t dilute your iced coffee drinks with regular ice. Secondly, “French Roast” your own ground coffee for a richer, freshly roasted flavor: Heat a heavy, dry skillet over medium heat. Add a scoop or two of any ground coffee, stirring continuously, until fragrant and a shade or two darker. Immediately transfer it to a large bowl or tray to cool quickly. When cooled, store in an airtight container to preserve the flavor.

Read Related: Latino Holiday Drinks

This process requires several hours of patience but it results in a smooth, very low-acid concentrate that can be kept refrigerated and used as needed. I dilute it 50-50 with iced water, milk (evaporated milk and sugar makes a fabulous iced cafe con leche) or seltzer and a splash of cream for a New York-style coffee egg cream.

The proportions are 4 parts room temperature filtered water to 1 part finely ground coffee.


  1. Combine and stir these together in a large glass jar.
  2. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 6 -12 hours.
  3. Stir again and strain through a coffee filter into another jar.
  4. Keep the concentrate chilled until ready to use.
  5. I make this at night and strain it in the morning; then I make my morning cafe con leche with some before I refrigerate it.

This delicious drink requires making a basic yet flavorful syrup. The syrup is equally good drizzled over oatmeal, Greek yogurt or—if you must—ice cream!


For the Syrup:
1 c piloncillo or crumbled brown sugar
2 c water
2 sticks canela or cinnamon
6 cloves
½ t anise seed, optional
Pinch of salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Boil gently for 5 minutes.
  4. Let cool and strain out the spices.
  5. Keep in a covered jar.

For the Drink:

  1. In a large glass over ice, stir together ¾ c of cold-brewed coffee concentrate, ¾ c cold water, and 3 T of the cooled syrup.
  2. Add more syrup to taste.

Makes one large or two small frappés. (But who wants a small frappé?)

½ medium sized ripe banana
2 t instant espresso coffee, such as Café Bustelo
4 T sweetened condensed milk
1 c ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy and smooth.

Atole is a cornstarch-thickened hot milk drink. Chocolate is the most popular flavor. The drink is simple to make but it needs cooking to thicken. I figured out how to use instant chocolate pudding to make this iced twist on the traditional favorite. The addition of the cajeta and flaky salt will make the other iced caramel macchiatos jealous.


For the Drink:
4 T cold-brewed coffee concentrate
1½ c cold milk (almond, rice and soy milk work equally well)
3 T instant chocolate pudding powder
Few grains of flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

For the Cajeta Whipped Cream:
4 T heavy whipping cream
1 T cajeta or dulce de leche


  1. In a bowl with a wire whisk, whip the cream and cajeta until fluffy.
  2. In a mixing bowl with a wire whisk, whisk all the drink ingredients except the salt together until smooth and thickened.
  3. Pour over ice into two glasses, top with the cajeta whipped cream, and sprinkle with a few grains of flaky salt.

This classic ice cream float provides a bit of a kick! You can use any ice cream, but I like Haagen Dazs best.

Large scoop of coffee ice cream
A  pinch of cayenne pepper
A pinch of salt
Cold root beer or orange soda


  1. In a tall glass, place a large scoop of coffee ice cream.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt over the ice cream.
  3. Fill the glass with cold root beer or orange soda.
  4. Add a straw and enjoy.