Iced coffee tricks to try at home

As you attend culinary academy, you'll learn a bit about drinks, like how to pair different alcoholic beverages with the various stages of a meal. You may also delve into one of the most globally-popular beverages: coffee. As the weather turns warmer, many people switch from hot brews to cold ones, swapping their usual cream for some ice cubes. Here are some tips for making the perfect iced coffee:

Coffee cubes
Watery iced coffee is not very flavorful and doesn't satisfy the intense craving for caffeinated beans on a hot day. To keep your brew from becoming diluted, simply pour coffee straight into ice cube trays and stick them in the freezer. Use these coffee cubes to replace regular ice cubes in ice coffee. They will melt and keep your drink cool without adding extra water.

Add some extras
Regular iced coffee can be super delicious if that's what you're looking for. There are, however, many ways to add your own personal taste as if you were ordering something from a coffee chain. ​Want to make an iced mocha? Pour chocolate syrup or melted chocolate into ice cube trays and freeze. Add them to your drink for a hint of sweet goodness. Simple syrups are another great way to add interesting flavors, like mint, raspberry or vanilla. Making them requires a pan, some sugar and the particular flavor you want. Heat the ingredients until they become a mixture and store in a sealable container. Add a few drops or more to your beverage to customize it to your tastes. Enjoy your drinks bubbly? Pour some sparkling water into your glass alongside the coffee.

Make it a float
Coffee and vanilla belong together. It is a scientific (taste bud-approved) fact. If you're looking to get that brewed taste but on a hot day, try making a float. Just pour a glass of iced coffee and skip the ice. Instead, leave room for a scoop (or two) of ice cream. Vanilla is classic but you can add coffee ice cream or another flavor as well. Blackberry with dark chocolate chunks is a definite must-try to add to your coffee condiment regimen. You can even top it off with a little maple syrup. 

Try a cold-brew
Many people don't realize how easy it is to make cold-brew coffee. Instead of using a regular coffee maker to make hot coffee and then cooling it down, try using a cold-brew system. You can try a pour-over with a fancy pre-made system or use this recipe from Redbook Magazine. It doesn't require any extra hardware besides a very fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Put ground coffee in a jar or pitcher and add room temperature or cold water. Stir the mix and let it sit at room temperature overnight. In the morning, pour the coffee over a strainer or cheesecloth into a clean jar. You may want to repeat this twice to be sure all the grounds are removed. Stick it in the fridge a while to cool it down or drink as-is. (This is a great time to add those coffee cubes mentioned above.)

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