With summer in full swing, iced coffee season is also at its peak. While there’s nothing wrong with a splash of milk and a few ice cubes, we’re such big fans that we wanted to take the refreshing beverage to a new level. We found 10 easy, creative, and (mostly) healthy recipes that make it more delicious than ever to cool down—and perk up—this summer.
1. The Perfect Homemade Iced Coffee
Let’s start with the basics. While you could simply pour hot coffee over ice, you’ll be left with a diluted and disappointing cuppa joe. Instead, follow these simple cold-brewing directions from blogger Megan (who has two years’ experience as a barista, no less!). This makes a week’s worth of iced coffee that’s full of flavor and not at all watered-down.
2. New Orleans Iced Coffee
If you’re a true java aficionado, this classic but a little more complex brewing method from the pros at Blue Bottle Coffee will give you a sweet, creamy, and consistently delicious drink. Cold brewing freshly ground beans for 12 hours with roasted chicory results in a coffee concentrate far more potent than your usual latte.
3. Coffee Ice Cubes
Use up every last drop of your morning brew by pouring leftovers in ice cube trays. There are endless options of things you can do with these frozen coffee cubes, from adding them to avoid diluting your usual cup of iced coffee to tossing into the below recipes for an extra hit of flavor.
4. Vanilla Coffee Protein Shake
This creamy, frothy smoothie is a delicious way to get your caffeine fix and protein needs all at once. With cold-brewed coffee, vanilla protein powder, yogurt, and milk, it couldn’t be easier to make for a perfect post-workout snack after a.m. exercise.
5. Rise and Shine Skinny Coffee Smoothie
Start your morning off with this vegan drink that’s packed with bananas, coffee, and coconut milk. Topped with coconut flakes and an optional swirl of chocolate syrup, we can’t imagine a better way to greet the day.
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6. Pumpkin Pie Frappe
We know fall is a while away, but why not give your favorite seasonal flavors an early welcome? With autumnal notes of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, this shake tastes eerily like pie, but it contains a hefty jolt of caffeine and far fewer calories.
7. Healthy Frappuccino
Scary stat: A Starbucks Frappuccino contains a whopping 53 grams of sugars! This lower-sugar (and much cheaper) recipe is made with instant coffee, milk, and vanilla extract for an incredibly realistic recreation.
8. Creamy Boozy Iced Coffee
When you need a little pick-me-up before a night out on the town, try this dreamy drink (pictured above). The flavors of Frangelico—a liqueur made with toasted hazelnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, and vanilla extract—are especially tasty to add to iced coffee.
9. Cold Brew Orange Twist
The java experts at Grady’s Cold Brew have come up with a plethora of ways to turn your morning joe into an evening-appropriate drink. Our favorite take combines dark rum, orange juice, and cold-brewed coffee for a refreshing, summery cocktail.
10. White Russian
Cool down with this classic, creamy cocktail at the end of a hot summer day. The coffee flavor, along with vodka and Kahlua, adds richness and depth to the drink.