Learn the secrets to making the perfect iced coffee at home.

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Do you frequently lament the high cost of your Iced Coffee fix at your local cafe? If you could make it at home for much less money and without the hassle of waiting in line, would you be interested? In that case, you've come to the right place. My homemade iced coffee is just as good as any coffee shop's, and it's much easier to make. You can have a refreshing glass of iced coffee in just a few minutes with just a few simple ingredients.

Pin it for later if you want to try the recipe!

Homemade iced coffee with cream being added to the glass. this …

My love for coffee is unwavering. Oddly enough, up until I was 20 years old, I really disliked it. Before, I didn't understand the appeal; I found it bitter and vile.

After a few (or more) years have passed, I eagerly anticipate my first morning cup of coffee. Another thing that could possibly top that first steaming mug of coffee is Yes, an iced coffee.

For as long as I can remember, iced coffee has been a summertime indulgence that I save up for. My preferred coffee shop in town charges $5 per cup, which is a bit steep in my opinion.

In recent times, I've learned how simple it is to make at home, and how much better it tastes when it's fresh and homemade. The best iced coffee I've ever made came from this recipe.

Take a look at my Iced White Chocolate Mocha and Iced Pumpkin Spice Lattes for two more delicious variations on iced coffee.

Try these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Toasted White Chocolate Mochas, and Caramel Brulée Lattes for a taste of Starbucks at home.

If you're not a coffee drinker, you should try my Homemade Lemon Ginger Tea; it's made with healthy ingredients, tastes great served cold over a mountain of ice, and is easy to make.

Or, for something refreshing and cool this summer, try a Homemade Orange Julius.

Additional Refreshing Beverages

Jump to:

What makes this dish so irresistible

  • My favorite way to make iced coffee is with this simple recipe.
  • Making this at home couldn't be simpler. Simply make some coffee, let it cool, and serve it over ice.
  • Prepare it the night before, and it will be ready to go in the morning.
  • Making your own iced coffee at home is a lot more cost-effective than buying it from a cafe.
  • The coffee's intensity can be adjusted to your liking. Use a double shot of espresso or a dark roast coffee if you prefer your coffee on the robust side. Use a lighter roast of coffee if that's your preference.
  • A sugary flavor can be added if desired. Those who prefer a sweeter end result can always add more sugar or a sugar substitute.
  • If you like coffee but hate the heat, this is the solution for you. For those warm summer days, nothing beats an iced coffee.

The Basics: Ingredients

All you need are a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand to make this tasty iced coffee.

The ingredients for iced coffee at home measured out and placed in small containers on a wood table.
  • Simple syrup with vanilla flavor is prepared by mixing sugar, water, and vanilla extract. In a matter of minutes, you can have a delicious meal on the table. I made use of ice-cold water, regular white sugar, and genuine vanilla extract.
  • Brew coffee as you normally would, but allow it to cool to room temperature before drinking. Quality coffee is essential, in my opinion. Whole coffee beans from Starbucks were what I used. For the best flavor, I grind the beans myself in a coffee grinder, but store-bought ground coffee will suffice in a pinch.
  • Nonfat dry milk (half and half) (18% fat) Alternative milks are welcome.
  • Ice cubes What you really need is enough to make your glass feel about two-thirds full.

The How-To Guide

In the first place, whip up some vanilla sugar syrup. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat them over medium. Stir until warm and the sugar has dissolved. The time required for this is minimal. In other words, no need to bring to a boil.

A hand adding sugar to water in a small saucepan.

As soon as the syrup is clear and the sugar is dissolved, add the vanilla extract.

A hand adding vanilla extract to the saucepan of sugar and water.

Combine thoroughly by mixing. Stop what you're doing and let the syrup cool to room temperature.

The vanilla simple syrup in a small saucepan on the stove.

Keep the simple syrup in a mason jar in the fridge and use it whenever you need it.

The vanilla simple syrup being poured into a mason jar.

Gather the ingredients for your iced coffee now.

Crush or cube 1 to 1.5 cups of ice and fill a tall glass until it is two-thirds full.

A tall glass filled ⅔ of the way with ice cubes.

After that, fill the glass with coffee.

Cold coffee being poured into a tall glass with ice cubes.

Then, mix in 1/8 to 1/4 cup of vanilla simple syrup. Put together an eighth of a cup of simple syrup. If you want it sweeter, you can always add more.

The vanilla simple syrup being added to the tall glass of coffee.

A quarter cup of half-and-half or cold milk should be added next.

Cold half-and-half cream being poured into the tall glass with coffee.

Blend the ingredients together with the help of your preferred straw.

That settles the matter I told you it would be easy.

You can make your own iced coffee at home and drink it whenever you want.

The tall glass of iced coffee with a straw.

I've been drinking a lot of iced coffee recently because it's so simple to prepare at home.

A tall glass of homemade iced coffee on a wooden table.
  • Coffee: If you like a coffee with a strong flavor, drink coffee that is at least medium strong. Cold brew coffee, coffee concentrate, or a shot (or two) of espresso are also acceptable substitutes. You can also make coffee by combining one cup of boiling water with one to two tablespoons of instant coffee granules and stirring the mixture until the coffee is as strong as you like it.
  • Pure vanilla extract, sweetened with maple syrup or honey. For the sugar in the simple syrup, you can use brown sugar or another sweetener of your choice.
  • Half-and-half: For a vegan version, use coconut cream or coconut milk in place of the traditional dairy half. Rich coffee can be achieved with the addition of heavy cream or other dairy products such as oat milk, almond milk, whole milk, or low-fat milk.
  • Use leftover coffee poured into an ice cube tray in place of regular ice cubes for a unique twist on the classic cocktail.

Subtle Changes

  • Mix in some ground cinnamon
  • The mocha flavor can be achieved by adding 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder.
  • For a mocha taste, stir in 1 tsp. of chocolate syrup.
  • A double shot of espresso poured over ice makes a strong and flavorful coffee drink.
  • Making iced coffee floats, which involve floating a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of iced coffee, is a delicious and refreshing summertime treat.
A picture of iced coffee before it is stirred with a straw.

Supplies & Gear

The coffee can be brewed using a French press, Moka pot, regular coffee maker, or espresso machine (a Nespresso is recommended). The distinction between the two is as follows:

  • Making a cup of coffee has never been easier than with a coffee maker. You can make coffee by placing grounds in a coffee filter, filling the water reservoir, and turning on the coffee maker. A new pot of coffee can be made by letting hot water slowly trickle through a coffee filter into a pot below. The intensity of the brew can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of coffee grounds used.
  • One of the most well-liked coffee preparation tools is the French press. They're simple to operate and make coffee with a deep, robust flavor.
  • A Nespresso machine or espresso maker is required in order to create delicious iced espresso drinks at home. Whether you prefer your coffee hot or cold, these machines will brew you a perfect shot to add to your favorite drink.
  • The Moka pot is a stovetop coffee maker that was developed specifically for producing espresso. It makes a robust and flavorful cup of coffee, making it a good substitute for those who don't have access to an espresso machine.

Save Space

  • If stored in an airtight container, simple syrup can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  • Iced coffee can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight container or jar. Make sure to give it a good shake before serving.

Here Are Some Suggestions

  • Once I used cane sugar and once I used white sugar to make the simple sugar syrup, and I have to say, the white sugar version was much more delicious. Cane sugar, I had assumed, would taste identical, but I was wrong. Since this is a treat, I don't mind eating white sugar occasionally.
  • Coffee can be sweetened to taste with additional vanilla simple syrup.
  • If you're watching your fat intake, use half-and-half; if you're not, whole milk or another type of milk will work just fine. The texture won't be quite as creamy, but you have the option.
  • I like to make coffee ice cubes out of any leftover coffee from the morning by pouring it into ice cube trays. When they're frozen, I store them in a freezer bag and pull one out whenever I want iced coffee; this way, I never have to settle for watered-down iced coffee.
  • When I want to make the best iced coffee, I prepare the coffee the day or night before and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Increase the coffee to water ratio in your coffee maker if you plan on making iced coffee. You'll need a bit more coffee than you would for a hot cup because the ice will dilute it, unless you're using coffee ice cubes.
  • For slower melting, opt for larger ice cubes. If you use this, your beverage won't get too diluted while still staying icy cold.
  • Before you take a sip, give your iced coffee a good stir to combine the various flavors.
A side view of the iced coffee in a tall glass before it is mixed.

Commonly Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you explain what vanilla simple syrup is?

Since it mixes easily with liquids, simple syrup is a common sweetener in drinks like iced coffee and cocktails. It is made by dissolving sugar in water and adding vanilla extract for flavor.

In what ways are iced latte and coffee different?

The key is in the mix of ingredients and the method of cooking. A latte, for instance, is made by combining frothed milk, espresso, and steam. In contrast, iced coffee is made by combining regular brewed coffee with milk or cream and pouring the mixture over ice.

How about an iced latte, or an iced coffee, which one is more potent?

Due to the espresso used in its preparation, iced lattes pack a greater punch than regular iced coffee.

What to have with homemade iced coffee

If you've made this Iced Coffee Recipe or any other recipe from my site, please let me know what you thought by rating it and leaving a comment. 🙂

Don't be shy about telling your friends about it on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also find me on the social media platforms Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/windingcreek_ranch/), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/www.windingcreekranch.org/), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/windingcreek_ranch). Please use the hashtag #windingcreek_ranch when posting photos to social media and remember to tag me in them!

Cooking Instructions

Homemade iced coffee with cream being added to the glass.
  • Whisk the white sugar and water together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Take off the stove and mix in some vanilla extract. Allow to chill out completely
  • Fill up two-thirds of a tall glass with ice and set it aside. One cup of coffee, one-eighth to one-fourth cup of simple vanilla syrup, and one-fourth cup of half-and-half cream should be added to a glass.
All calorie counts and other nutritional data are approximations intended only as a reference. Storage: 
  • If stored properly, simple syrup can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate leftover iced coffee for up to 2 days in a sealed jar or other container. Before serving, give it a good shake.
Top Tips:
  • I tried making the simple syrup with both cane sugar and white sugar and found that the latter produced a far superior flavor. Cane sugar, I had assumed, would taste identical, but I was wrong. Occasionally indulging in white sugar is fine by me because this is more like a treat.
  • Put in more vanilla simple syrup to your coffee if you want it sweeter.
  • Using half-and-half makes this creamy, but you can use whole milk or another type of milk if you'd like to reduce the fat content. It won't be quite as creamy, but the choice is yours.
  • I like to make coffee ice cubes out of any leftover coffee from the morning by pouring it into ice cube trays. My solution for not having watered-down iced coffee is to freeze coffee bags, store them in a freezer bag, and pull one out whenever I want to make iced coffee.
  • When I want to make the best iced coffee, I prepare the coffee the day or night before and store it in the fridge.
  • Use more coffee than water in your coffee maker if you plan on making iced coffee. If you're not using coffee ice cubes, you may want to use a bit more coffee than you would for a hot cup because the ice will dilute the drink.
  • Make your ice cubes bigger if you want them to melt more slowly. To keep your beverage chilled without diluting it, use this.
  • If you want the flavors in your iced coffee to blend together, give it a good stir before you drink it.
Calories: 155 kcal | Carbohydrates: 32 g | Protein: 1 g | Fat: 4 g | Fats that are completely saturated: 2 g | Oils with a high polyunsaturated fat content: 0.2 g | In regards to monounsaturated fats: 1 g | Cholesterol: 11 mg | Sodium: 65 mg | Potassium: 183 mg | Sugar: 32 g | Vitamin A: 107 IU | Vitamin C: 0.3 mg | Calcium: 53 mg | Iron: 2 mg
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