This is one of those simple hacks that makes me mad I never thought of it sooner.
Even before I started cold brewing, I would let my hot-brewed coffee cool down, then add ice to make iced coffee in the afternoon. And, of course, it got watered down and didn’t taste nearly as flavorful.
But I never thought to make ice out of anything besides water. It wasn’t until I saw this post for milk and honey ice cubes that I realized all the possibilities.
Why not add coffee and creamer to your ice trays, so that even when the ice melts, it’s just giving you more of what you’re already drinking? It’s kind of the easiest thing ever, and you can do it with every cold drink you make.
First, I gave it a try with milk, coffee and a bit of honey on the bottom and was going to do a few like that, along with a few others made with coffee and flavored creamer. It turns out it’s pretty difficult to pour liquid into a single, tiny spot, (at least for me) so all the ingredients ended up mixing together. Luckily, it was still pretty tasty, and I can’t complain. (If you want to keep yours completely separate, I would suggest separate ice trays or practicing your pour like I clearly need to do.)
You can make these cubes your own by adding whatever you usually take in your coffee. Change it up with different flavored creamers or syrups, and find your favorites. Just remember to actually add some coffee to the tray, too or else your drink could end up overly sweetened, especially if you add anything to the coffee itself before your flavored cubes melt.
This is another “recipe” where you’ll have to play around to get the ratios right, but I found that by adding what I normally take in my coffee, the flavors were strong enough by the time the ice melted that I was ready to add a bit more coffee to my cup for balance. You could also probably just refrain from adding anything but the flavored ice and wait for it to melt, but I’m not that patient.
I’m not sure how granulated sweeteners would hold up in the freezing/melting process, but I’ll give it a try and update the post later. For now, I would think a simple syrup would do much better, which is basically the same thing, just liquified. (You can make simple syrup by boiling one part sugar with one part water whenever you want. It mixes in easier with coffee than granulated sugar, whether you’re freezing it as ice or not.)
Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever need plain ice again. Iced tea, lemonade, juice…literally any cold beverage can be made into ice and help maintain that stronger flavor. Bonus points if you try it with alcohol…coffee ice cubes in Bailey’s or Kahlua?! Success.