Looking for summer drinks ideas to inspire your friends or customers? Try these coffee based beverages that can be enjoyed in the summer as a cool alternative to your everyday hot coffee fix.
Summer can be a mixed bag for coffee lovers. Of course, there’s the weather and that first day you get to walk to work without a jacket on - heaven. But then there’s that tough decision in the coffee shop where the thought of a hot frothy cappuccino suddenly seems a little stifling - hell. What is a coffee lover to do and how can coffee bars keep their customers fixed for their caffeine kick?
The good news is that we can all enjoy the best of both worlds. In fact, switching up our choices for the sultry season can breathe new life into our coffee enjoyment. With that in mind, we’re pleased to bring you this list of inspirational ideas for summer coffee drinks. Some of them are really simple, which means they can even be the base for you to flex your creativity and barista skills, so that you can come up with ideas of your own.
Let’s take a look now at six great ways to enjoy coffee in the summer and to show that you’re totally chill all year round.
Cold Brew Coffee
Let’s start with the most basic option. Interest in cold brew coffee has exploded over the past few years and there are a multitude of ready-made options available at most artisan shops and supermarkets now available.
That’s great and all but the best part about making your own cold brew coffee is that you can experiment with different coffees and add different flavours. Cold brew coffee is a great refreshing coffee on its own or it can be the base of your own creative concoctions.
We recommend you start with a coffee that’s naturally quite fruity with bright acidity, so we’re thinking speciality beans from Central America or Africa. We’ve tried making cold brew with coffees from just about every origin but these two major regions seem to be the best, especially Guatemala or Rwanda.
You just need to coarsely grind your beans and add cold filtered water. You’re going to use a brewing ratio of 4:1 (cold water:coffee) to adjust your recipe and your vestibule as necessary, mason jars are great. You just need to mix everything together and steep for at least 12-hours in a refrigerator.
We do recommend you use filters, you can get proper cold brewing coffee kits which will include filters and a demijohn. Alternatively a pair of tights will do the trick! Or if you’re only making a small batch, you can use a french press.
A glass of that freshly brewed cold brew with some ice or even some single cream… delicious! You can also start to tweak your recipe once you’ve mastered the basics.
Cold Brew Lemonade
Here’s where your cold brew base comes in handy, you can turn an ordinary cold brew coffee into something really special. It may seem strange to us in the UK but the Italians have long appreciated the combination of coffee and something citrus (Espresso Romano for example).
Try this one for something that’s ultra refreshing and thirst-quenching. Just take your cold brew and some ice and top it up with lemonade. We liked it with 1:3 (cold brew:lemonade) but you can adjust the ratio to suit your taste, depending on how strong you want it.
San Pellegrino have a great lemonade and also a blood orange drink which are both delicious with this recipe! We’ve seen a lot of coffee shops offer coffee and tonic water (not sure where that came from) but found it to seriously lack in any sweetness and taste a little medicinal.
Coconut Iced Latte
Craving something that’s a little more tropical and enriching for the mind and the body? The coconut iced latte is a great way to start the day and also makes for an awesome mid-afternoon treat.
If you’re in a cafe, a shot of espresso works great for this recipe. If you’re at home though and surviving without a coffee machine, a moka pot is the perfect alternative. In fact, I personally prefer the moka pot option. You’ll want to use an espresso coffee for this recipe, filter beans will likely taste too acidic.
You just need a shot of coffee, about 30-40g, you use a little more if you’ve used a moka pot as this will be less intense. You’ll combine it with a teaspoon of honey (agave syrup is also good for a vegan alternative), a couple of drops of vanilla extract (literally two), and a tiny pinch of sea salt. You can make this in advance and refrigerate it or pour it straight into your glass over ice and coconut milk.
Try to get unsweetened coconut milk so you can better control how sweet you like it by adding a little more honey or syrup if needs be. For an added touch of decadence, you can make espresso ice cubes the night before by simply pouring coffee into an ice cube tray and freezing overnight. What a way to start the day!
Iced Horchata Latte
The Horchata is a traditional Mexican recipe that’s sweet, spicy and super delicious. This recipe includes rice milk, which you can easily make yourself.
Add the following ingredients to a blender; 1 cup of white rice, 2 cups of cold filtered water, 1 tablespoon of agave syrup, 3 teaspoons of cinnamon (or you can use 2-4 sticks), ½ a cup of almonds. This will be enough for 4 servings.
Blend them all together and then leave to steep for 8 hours. You’ll then need to strain the mix through a cheesecloth or sieve. At this stage, you can add a little milk or almond milk if it’s too thick, adjust the sweetness if you need to by adding some more syrup, or add a little more ground cinnamon.
You should have a horchata mix that’s thick and delicious, which you’ll pour into a glass with ice (you can use pre-made coffee ice cubes here too), then top up with some cold brew coffee. Dust the top with a little cinnamon and chocolate powder and you’ve got yourself a real treat.
Coffee and Banana Smoothie
You’ll notice that all of the recipes so far have been non-alcoholic, well here is where you can be super healthy or super-naughty.
For the super healthy option blend up the following ingredients; a handful coffee ice cubes, a cold shot espresso coffee (30-40g), ½ a frozen banana, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, a small handful of almonds (macadamias are also delicious), agave syrup or honey (start with a tablespoon but adjust to taste), top up with a cup of milk of your choice (unsweetened). Pour it all into a glass and sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon on top.
That right there is an awesome breakfast smoothie recipe that you can tweak to your own tastes. 100% peanut butter will also work great in this recipe if you want something that tastes a little more indulgent.
Would you like to switch gears and make it naughty as a great post-dinner dessert? Leave out the nuts and add a shot of almond liqueur instead, then top the drink off with a little whipped cream.
Now it’s time for a proper coffee cocktail. We found this recipe online for a coffee cocktail that was introduced by a San Francisco bartender named Jon Santer, and it is right up our street.
You can purchase coffee liqueur from any supermarket or you can make your own, it’s pretty easy. Make some cold brew coffee as we’ve shown above. Then, in a pan mix demerara (1 cup) with water (1 cup), bring it to the boil and then let it cool at room temperature. Next, grab a container in which you’ll add this, some cold brew coffee (approx 1.5 cups) and 1.5 cups of good light rum. Mix them together and add a vanilla pod. Leave it all in a cool place for a few days and voila!
Now for the cocktail. You’ll want 2oz of good bourbon and ½ oz of coffee liqueur, which you’ll pour over ice into a cocktail mixer. Add a few dashes of orange bitters and give it a good shake. Strain the mix into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a strip of burned orange peel. That’s a refreshing coffee cocktail that’ll make you finally say goodbye to espresso martinis forever!