With the sweaty fist of vengeance, summer is now upon us. There are few things that can combat the asphalt-melting, pit-stain-inducing heat, and I’m here to talk about one of... well, 21 of them to be perfectly honest.
To armor you up against the blistering rays of the sun here are 23 cold brew coffee recipes guaranteed to revitalize your daily quota of badassery.
Cold Brew Coffee vs Iced Coffee
The difference between these two types of coffee is more than rhetorical. Iced coffee can be one of two things: either your familiar hot coffee brewed directly onto ice (the Japanese method) or poured over ice after brewing. Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, replaces heat with time, and is steeped for about half a day at room temperature.
The cold drip method produces a sweeter and smoother cup, but misses out on the more complex notes of hot coffee. An iced coffee brewed with the Japanese method maintains the hot coffee flavors, with some added acidity.
Many people believe that cold brew coffee has more caffeine than hot coffee, but, despite the characteristic jolt, this is only a myth. In a test between Toddy cold brew and Starbucks hot drip, the hot coffee was found to have 30% more caffeine. Hot water does a much better job at extracting caffeine than room temperature water.
Hot coffee typically sits around pH value of 5, right between milk (pH 4) and beer (pH 6), but a study by Toddy found that cold drip coffee is 67% less acidic than hot coffee. Though acidity isn’t necessarily a bad thing (many consider it essential to good coffee), the more stable cold brew coffee is better for easy mixing to create interesting recipes.
For this list of recipes I used my trusty Filtron to brew up a nice big batch of columbian cold brew, however if you'd like to try just a few of the recipes from below, a smaller cold brew coffee maker would be perfect.
#1 The Original Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
- Two large containers that can hold 7 cups (one needs to be sealable).
- A strainer of some sort (you could even use a cheesecloth, but you need something finer than a standard colander).
- 12 oz. of extra-coarse coffee grounds.
- 7 cups of filtered water.
- At least 12 hours of patience.
Unlike most other coffee brewing methods, cold drip does not require expensive equipment or expertise.
From what you already have available in your kitchen you could easily whip up a fresh batch of deliciously smooth cold coffee concentrate.
This recipe itself is straightforward, with time being the most abundant ingredient. Though the setup requires choreographed pouring, the hardest part is waiting 12 hours (or more) for your brew to finish.
Because of its simplicity, the output of your recipe is easy to alter. As long as you stick within the 1:4 or 1:5 coffee-to-water ratio (slightly more than a hot brew), you can brew up as little or as much cold coffee as you’d like.
Need something a little stronger? Good news: You can up your cold brew’s kick in one of two simple ways.
Adding a few more grounds is probably the most obvious way to increase the “umph,” because you can do the same thing with hot coffee as well. However, you could also increase the brew time by an hour or two to give your coffee a bit more body without the bitterness.
- 100 ml of Cold drip Coffee Concentrate
- 300 ml of coconut water.
This is truely a simple yet refreshingness-multiplying recipe. Like the standard cold drip recipe, the Coco-brew is an uncomplicated creation.
To enjoy this cool beverage just mix your cold brew with double the amount of coconut water, drop in a few ice cubes, and stir. Whether you use First Press Coffee or your own doesn’t matter much (assuming you’ve perfected your standard recipe). What does matter is the coconut water.
There is a reason you see yoga addicts touting their coconut water wherever they go. Along with its exotic flavor it is also a hydrating and invigorating drink. If you are thinking that coconut is an odd pairing for coffee, then you’re probably still thinking in terms of hot coffee. The decidedly sweet and smooth character of cold drip is a perfect foundation for the coconut to expand upon.
If you are looking for something a little more on the refreshing side, then I highly recommend mixing yourself a fresh coco-brew. Click here to check out this, and some of their other recipes.
#3 Cold Brew Popsicles
- A cup of freshly brewed cold coffee.
- 3 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk.
- Popsicle molds.
- Popsicle sticks.
- (Maybe some extra plain milk and sweetener.)
You may not be as excited about popsicles as the ladies at Port and Fin are, but their cold brew popsicle recipe is worth some hype. Coffee popsicles are nothing new, but most recipes use iced coffee, which will oxidize and lose most of its freshness while you wait for it to freeze over.
Cold drip coffee, on the other hand, can last for weeks without its flavors degrading, so a little bit of time chillin’ in the freezer won’t make a difference. Additionally, its inherent sweetness is so obvious a match for the popsicle that it’s surprising it took so long for someone to come up with a recipe.
To get your own consignment of tastilicious coffee-pops, mix together the coffee and sweetened condensed milk (using sweetener and plain milk to fine-tune), pour into the molds, place the sticks, and let sit in the freezer over night.
If need be, wrap your soon-to-be popsicles in saran wrap to keep out any unwanted freezer aromas.
Cold brew coffee popsicles are simple, gives you that super smooth but strong caffeinated boost. What's better than waking up on a hot summer morning with a ice cold coffee ready to go in the FREEZER.
#4 Cold Brew Ice Cream
- ½ cup of cold brew coffee concentrate.
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
- 12 oz of sweetened condensed milk.
- 1 tbsp of Kahlua.
For the same reasons that cold drip is good on a popsicle stick, it is perfect for in a waffle cone. The smooth body and subtly sweet notes of cold brew coffee are just begging to be churned into delicious ice cream.
Cold drip ice cream is the treat we’ve been waiting for, but never knew we wanted. In this sense it is like the Batman of summer: the hero we don’t deserve (maybe), but the hero that we need. I mean, what better way to fight off the heat than with a bowl of rich, creamy, coffee-flavored ice cream?
With a little extra leg work, this delight can soon be yours. Faithfully mix together the Kahlua, sweetened condensed milk and cold drip, and then whip the cream until stiff peaks begin to form. Next, delicately fold the coffee mixture into the whipped cream and place it in the freezer for 2-3 hours, just as it begins to freeze.
Though this cold drip creation isn’t as caffeinated as the others, it is a great way to savor cold brew’s unique flavor with one of summer’s most popular delicacies. You can check out Tastemade’s full recipe here, as well as get some ideas on how to jazz it up.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out Tastemade’s video tutorial.
#5 Cold Brew Ice Cubes
- Your favorite cold brew coffee concentrate.
- An ice cube tray.
- A freezer.
- An extra dose of patience (or proper timing).
This recipe is so simple that it is hard calling it a recipe at all, more like a “add-on” to the original cold drip. I know the suspense is almost too much to bear (joke), so I’ll reveal the secret behind these ice cubes: freeze your cold brew in an ice cube tray!
Despite how difficult this recipe is (last joke, I promise), for an added chill on a hot day it is worth the effort. You can either plop these puppies into a glass of tap water for instant cold coffee, or carry them in a jug to the picnic and let the cubes melt during the walk.
A bit of cautioning with cold drip ice cubes: remember not to water them down too much. Cold coffee does need some dilution, but you don’t want to overdo it. If you are putting these in a glass add only a little room-temperature water, and let the sun do the rest.
#6 Coconut / Almond / Cashew / Macadamia Nut Cold Drip
- Cold brew coffee.
- Cold coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, or macadamia nut milk (to taste).
If you tried First Press Coffee’s Coco-brew then you’ve experienced how well coconut pairs with cold coffee. This is no surprise judging by how many people include it in their hot coffee. By the same token, other whole milk alternatives, like almond, cashew, or macadamia nut milk, go great with cold coffee.
Using these milk alternatives instead of coconut water really ups the ante. The neutrality of cold drip coffee allows the unique flavors to shine through and the inherent sweetness complements the milky texture.
Even before you take your first sip of this concoction you get a sample of the ensuing greatness. Watching the milk slowly branch out and snake its way through the ice cubes in the deep amber of a glass of cold drip is like watching art in action.
Once you’re done watching the magical transformation, take a sip to realize the true art of this beverage. Even when the heat fades away and winter sets in, you will still be craving this beverage.
#7 Cold Brew Old Fashioned
- 2 Tablespoons of orange syrup.
- 4 dashes of bitters (bonus if you use orange bitters)
- 6 oz of cold brew concentrate
- 1 maraschino cherry (garnish)
- Orange peel (garnish)
- A naughty optional - 30-50ml of high end bourban whiskey
It’s hard to stay stylish when you’re sweating through your fancy evening outfit. One of the most difficult choices of summer is trying to decide if dressing up is worth the discomfort. Try mixing up a cold drip old fashioned to keep your summer evenings classy.
This recipe comes from the team over at all purpose flour child. It’s easy to follow, and if you can't get your hands on orange syrup they have you covered with their recipe here.
Combine your orange syrup and bitters in a glass, then throw in your cold drip concentrate. Stir well, and garnish with orange and cherry. Slowly place your ice cube in, and if you're feeling naughty, add a lashing of your favourite bourbon whiskey (although I prefer it without)
You now have a drink to replenish your dried up energy reserves and keep you cool, all while maintaining a Roger Moore level of class.
#8 Cold Brew Tonic
- Freshly brewed (important) cold brew coffee concentrate.
- Tonic water.
For most people, tonic water and coffee don’t belong in the same sentence together, much less the same glass. Though this beverage isn’t for everyone, it is unexpectedly interesting.
Only recently has this tonic and cold drip come together, but espresso and some inventive Swedes helped set the stage. The original coffee+tonic recipe called for equal parts espresso and tonic, with ice and a citrusy garnish; some, like the fun-loving folks at Stumptown, have taken to substituting in cold brew.
When thinking of cold brew, most people think of the thicker, more chocolaty notes (thanks Starbucks), but cold drip can be made with any roast. Tonic pairs best with a fruitier roast, because the quinine (a bark extract used in tonic) picks up on the tangy undertones.
A cold B and tonic can be as simple as that, or you can open up those fruitier flavors with garnishes like rosemary, lemon, or maraschino cherries. The recipe is typically one part cold brew and two parts tonic, but you can read about the different variations here, and get on your way to a bubbly glass of tasty tartness.
#9 Cold Drip Espresso Martini
- 45 ml of vodka.
- 30 ml of cold drip coffee.
- 15 ml of butterscotch schnapps.
- 15 ml of coffee liqueur.
The fellows over at First Press Coffee are at it again with another great cold coffee recipe. This time, however, they have truly outdone themselves, and included a kindred spirit in the mix: alcohol.
Unlike other, less delicate coffee-and-alcohol recipes (like the Irish coffee), this is a preparation full of class and finesse. Just as a standard martini demands precision, so too does the cold drip espresso martini.
With so many unique ingredients, harmony is only achieved through balance. Measure all ingredients out accurately into a shaker, give it your best Shake Weight impression, and strain into a cocktail glass.
This boozy beverage, which is at first cool and bright but then warm and elaborate as it flows down your throat, is worth its persnickety preparation. If you’ve been looking for a coffee drink to match your tuxedo, this is it.
#10 Vanilla Almond Swirl
- 50-100 ml of cold brew coffee.
- Almond milk to taste.
- 2-3 drops of vanilla extract.
- A pinch of cinnamon.
Mix, and enjoy!
You can think of this recipe as a sweet and spicy twist to the coconut milk cold drip mix. This is a perfect drink to kick off any summer morning and awaken your senses.
The silky texture of almond milk easily pairs with cold brew’s smooth palette, but the subtle nutty flavors layer nicely with the sweetness. A tad of pure vanilla extract, and a smidgen of cinnamon sprinkled on top make one feel right at home in the natural aromas.
The undercurrent of unrefined flavors will help to pull you out of your morning slog and into big-kid shorts, ready to carpe the hell out of this diem.
Be careful not to add too much of the almond milk or other additives, as you don’t want them to over power your brew. The cold coffee is your cake, and the other ingredients are the frosting on top.
#11 Cinnamon Orange Coffee Crush
- 50 ml of cold brew.
- ¼ of an orange, cut into a wedge.
- Crushed ice.
- Warmed cinnamon sticks.
- A pinch of powdered cinnamon.
- A pinch of coconut sugar.
Because cold drip misses out on the acidity of hot brews, it can easily benefit from a little zest. First Press Coffee has imparted more of their wisdom on us by including a wedge of an orange to freshen up this (otherwise) tranquil libation.
Like the Cold Drip Espresso Martini, this recipe requires a bit more grace than other mixtures. Start by filling a short tumbler glass with ice and then squeeze in the orange peel. Rub the peel around the lip and leave it in the glass. Then roll the cinnamon sticks between your hands to warm them up, and pop them into the glass along with a dose of cold coffee. Finish it off with a sprinkling of powdered cinnamon and coconut sugar.
The crisp ingredients will brighten up your brew with a little extra vibrance worthy of a tropical beach below hammock-strung palm trees. The only possible thing that could make this drink any better is the feel of sand between your toes.
When you’re ready to embrace the summer sun with a bit of mental vacationing, stir up a Cinnamon Orange Coffee Crush and escape to your imagined paradise.
#12 Banoffee Smoothie
- 50 ml of cold coffee concentrate.
- 500 ml of pecan nut (or other) milk.
- 250 grams of frozen banana slices.
- 1 tbsp of agave syrup.
- ½ tsp of lucuma powder.
- ¼ tsp of vanilla bean powder.
- 10 ice cubes.
Smoothie recipes may seem complex, but once you assemble all the ingredients, they are as simple as pushing a button (literally). Toss everything in a blender and ram down that toggle until creamy smooth.
Though this drink is called a “smoothie” you will feel like you are cheating your diet with this flavorful indulgence; however, its sweet and complex qualities are from natural and well proportioned sources. In regards to your sudden inclination to couple it with chocolate, there is no dispensation.
Apart from the elaborate rationalizations of diet-divergence, this smoothie is a great beverage for the midday slump. The thick, full body will dispel any rising hunger, but the sweet fruitiness and coffee undertones will revitalize your mind and spirit.
If you happen to share a sip with one of your coworkers, and they question the wholesomeness, you can rely on the lucuma powder to shut them down. Famously known as the “Gold of the Incas,” lucuma is packed full of beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein. Regardless of the rich taste, guilt belongs nowhere near this concoction.
#13 Coffee Chia Pudding
- ¾ cup of dilute cold drip concentrate.
- ¾ cup of milk (but other dairy substitutes will work).
- 2 tbsp of honey.
- 8 tbsp of chia seeds.
- ½ tsp of vanilla bean powder.
- A dollop of whipped cream.
- Grated chocolate or ground cinnamon to taste.
If cold brew isn’t quite hipster enough for you then break out the mason jar and fix yourself up some coffee-tized chia pudding.
Some things in life, like craft beer and this coffee-chia blend, deserve some devotion. Start your day with a bowl of this for breakfast and your body will thank you.
The coffee will stimulate your mind, while the nutrient packed chia seeds boost your body. The honey will add some intricacy to your meal, while the vanilla and whipped cream sweeten up the introduction. If you are like me and you love a little morning sugar then sprinkle on some dark chocolate flakes.
Yet not everyone is looking for sweetness in the morning (I don’t understand either), so for these people substitute the chocolate and whipped cream with a dash of cinnamon. However you decide to decorate your pudding, make sure you have a sturdy spoon because you will be scraping every last bit from out of your mason jar.
#14 Coconut Kahlua Latte
- 2 oz of Kahlua.
- ¾ cup of milk (or preferred substitute).
- 2 tbsp of cream of coconut.
- A pinch of cinnamon.
- 2 tbsp of white sugar.
- 2 shots of cold brew concentrate.
You should’ve expected for me to include more than one spiked drink in this list. After all these sober coconut concoctions, I felt it was about time to throw in something more appropriate for those lazy summer evenings.
This drink isn’t overly difficult to create, but it does have a unique procedure. Start by placing the Kahlua, milk, cream of coconut, cinnamon, and sugar into a pot and heat on medium for 5-7 minutes. Now that your ingredients are hot, place them in a blender and blend on high until frothy. Warm up your coffee concentrate in another pot, and then pour the froth and coffee into a glass.
If you are craving something cold, skip heating your concentrate and pour it as well as the froth over a tall glass of ice. Whichever way you decide to enjoy it, this is a perfect drink for some tranquil sunset watching.
#15 Cold Drip Irish Coffee
- 10 oz of (diluted) cold drip.
- 2 oz of Irish Whiskey.
- 1 tsp of simple syrup.
- 1 oz of fresh cream, or Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Pandora’s box has been opened, but that’s ok, because what is summer without a little boozing? Thanks to uncles everywhere, we are familiar with the Irish Coffee, so it’s about time someone mixed it with cold brew.
The velvety texture of the Irish cream blends effortlessly with the smooth body of the cold coffee, while its weight evens out the the whiskey’s sharpness. This cocktail is both indulgent and refreshing, with just a sprinkling of sweetness.
To have this treat for yourself, mix all the ingredients right inside your cup. A fresh alternative is to whip up some heavy cream separately, and then use it to top of your drink. Because your drink is cold, the cream won’t dissolve as quickly, and will be a nice introduction for each sip.
This is a great drink for a long Saturday or an extended lunch break during the week. It will rouse your over-worked limbs back to life, without the jolt.
#16 Cold Brew Bourbon
You can always rely on Texans to find a way to include bourbon. Those cold-brewin’, coffee-lovin’ chaps over at Chameleon are at it again, making their stamp on cold coffee.
Bourbon is the sweeter, more laid back cousin of whiskey, and is meant for slow drinking. Couple this with the invigorating taste of cold brew, add a little bit of rich butterscotch liqueur to meld the flavors, and you’re ready for some patio lounging.
The recipe is simple enough: mix all of the ingredients in a shaker, and then pour in a tall glass over ice. The only thing left to do is parade out to the porch and smirk at the yahoos still sweating over their Lone Star beers.
A recipe so easy to make is also very versatile. Enjoy it over a long weekend at the lake, or mix it in large batches for a 12AM pick-me-up to boost you and your friends back into the party. However, don’t be surprised if after the second or third sip, you begin saying “y’all.”
#17 Toddy Amaretto
- ½ oz of Amaretto.
- ½ oz of Kahlua.
- 6 oz of dark roast, cold coffee concentrate.
- 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream.
- 2 oz of cold water.
- Whipped cream.
Think of this concoction as the coffee shake, but all grown up and ready for the weekend. Unlike the Banoffee Smoothie, this soft serve doesn’t masquerade as anything healthy.
We have Toddy, the brand almost synonymous with cold brewed coffee, for this well thought-out recipe. The sweetness is immediately obvious, but never overpowering. The deeper, more full-bodied cold drip you’d get with a dark roast is essential for balancing out all the other sugary inclusions.
Just like anything involving a blender, the process is uncomplicated, just make sure your get your measurements right. Toss everything except the whipped cream into the blender and give it a healthy beating until frothy. Once everything is well mixed, pour it into a tall glass and top with a benevolent dose of whipped cream.
Now that your shake is ready, bring it to the sunroom, and slurp it down as your melt into the sun-warmed couch. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this drink is with a hot burger and a “so ironic it hurts” indie flick.
#18 Toddy Suada Iced
- 4 oz of dark roast, cold drip concentrate.
- 4 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk.
“Cafe suada” is the westernized pronunciation of “ca phe sua da,” which is the actual name of Vietnamese iced coffee. Even when we try and pronounce something the proper way we still end up westernizing the crap out of it.
Despite how interesting rhetoric can be (yawn), making a Vietnamese iced coffee with cold brew just seems obvious. The original recipe calls for strong hot coffee, so make sure you use the most potent cold drip you can whip up.
To make this drink all your own, toss all these ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill it to the brim with ice, and give it a good shaking. Don’t strain; just pour it all into a tall glass, and you are done!
Your beverage won’t have the same sharp bite that standard Vietnamese iced coffee does, but it will have an added layer of creaminess thanks to the cold drip. The sweetened condensed milk will give it a much thicker texture, but the unique sweetness will taste very restorative paired with the cold ice.
#19 Naughty Toddy
- 2 oz of cold coffee concentrate.
- 5 oz of half & half.
- 2 oz of sweet chocolate syrup.
- 6-8 ice cubes.
After all those stiff coffee cocktails, I felt it was time to include something a bit more PG. Something that your inner (or actual) kid could enjoy.
For this sweet treat, simply mix everything up in a blender, give the top a good frothing, and then pour into your glass. Now sit back and enjoy this flashback to your elementary school days.
This shake is a deliciously indulgent way to wind down after a long day in the sun. At first it will taste just like a chocolate shake, but the coffee will come soon after, and your taste buds won’t know what to do.
You can top this off with some sprinkles to make it a little more fun, or you can throw in some sliced banana and pretend you are being (somewhat) healthy. Whichever way you decide to do it, this recipe is probably the quickest and sweetest way to cold brew ice cream.
#20 Dark Moon
- 1 ½ cups of cold coffee concentrate.
- ½ cup of coffee liqueur.
- ½ cup of spiced rum.
- 12 oz bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola.
- ½ cup of heavy cream.
Mexican Coca-Cola is something I always crave during the summer. If you’ve never tried it before, it tastes sweeter and fuller than standard Coke, because it uses natural cane sugar. The rounder body, only slightly less bubbly, and the added sweetness is just perfect when the sun is beating down your back.
From Bon Appetit comes a recipe that combines the gentleness of Mexican Coke with the smoothness of cold coffee and cream, but adds in a little bite of liqueur and rum. To make this refreshment your own, simply mix everything together and pour. The ingredients listed above make four drinks or one real drink (no judgement).
Unlike other alcoholic drinks, this cocktail is best enjoyed when the sun is in full bloom. There is something about rum and Mexican Coke that just goes so nicely with solar radiation. Perhaps it has something to do with the numbing effects of alcohol, but I choose to believe it is more serendipitous than that.
#21 Toddy Yoga Cafe Blended
- 3 oz of cold brew coffee.
- ¾ cup of nonfat, frozen yogurt.
- ½ cup of ice cubes.
- 1 ½ tsp of honey.
The final recipe on this list (for now) is probably the most filling of them all. For some reason, yogurt just seems to expand as soon as it hits the stomach, but despite how quickly you begin to fill up, you’ll want to savor every last bit of the Toddy Yoga Cafe.
Throw all of your ingredients in blender and hold that button down until you get a thick, custard-like consistency. Spoon it out into your favorite mug (it is coffee after all) and chow down.
If you are feeding more than just yourself, or you’ve just got a big appetite, you can simply multiply the ingredients as long as you keep the proportions. Something I like to do is make about 5-7 servings worth to munch on throughout the week, since both the yogurt and cold drip will keep well in the refrigerator.
You can enjoy this homemade yogurt by itself, or sprinkle in fruits or candies to kick it up a notch. It is a great snack to have waiting for you after a long day of work.
What did you think of this ultimate list of cold brew coffee recipes?
With summer threatening to wreck every shirt I own, it’s essential that I have something to occasionally cool me off. Considering how easy it is to make and to mix, cold coffee concentrate is an easy choice.
In the comments below tell me your thoughts, especially if you tried any of the recipes. Don’t forget to share with all your friends, so that they can survive the heat as well!