But. If you've ever worked in a restaurant, then chances are good that you have served iced coffee so punishingly bad that it made your eyes water, so caustically brutal that it was like being slapped in the face with hydrochloric acid that had been set on fire and then poured over ice. Here's how you make it: throughout your shift, whenever you notice a half inch of coffee scorching at the bottom of a pot, pour it into a large (plastic!) container that you keep under the counter. At the end of the day, pour this sludgy collage of death into the "ice coffee" tub in the walk-in. Easy peasy! (Also, while you're in the fridge, you can dump all the veggie scraps into the "soup" tub that smells like the decomposing love child of pond water and bong water! Yum!)
But the thing is, I think that leftover brew of most varieties makes pretty bad iced coffee, mostly because it's not usually strong enough to man up to all that melting ice. I can't tell if I'm just an innate snob about this, or if I have some kind of iced-coffee PTSD, but either way, I make excellent iced coffee, and I make it fresh, and by the glass.
Here's how. First, fill an enormous and sturdy glass with ice. I use an entire tray of ice. The whole tray. (Did I already tell you about finding an empty ice tray by the sink and asking Ben about it? And he said, "Oh, sorry, I know. I just feel like I'm really bad at filling them--like it's kind of a pain, and water ends up spilling and stuff." He's so innocent that when I said, "Do you also feel like you're really bad at replacing the toilet paper?" he said, "Oh my gosh! I totally do! How did you know that?" I, for one, am really bad at taking our car to get the oil changed and also at changing the cat litter, so I totally understand.)
Okay, where were we? We've got the ice. Then I half-fill the glass with whole milk, which I think of as the Switzerland of iced-coffee dairy, mediating between the warring countries of evil half and half and righteous low-fat milk. If you use skim milk, you're on your own. (And I mean that literally, because your thigh will not be creeping over onto everybody's chair the way the whole-milk thighs like to. You'd think my thighs would be enough company for each other, but no--they're going to creep onto your chair and try to gossip with your thighs.)
|If I knew I were dying tomorrow, I would use half and half.|
Then I brew very strong coffee (1/3 cup of grounds) directly into the glass. If you are using a sub-sturdy glass, then you might have to worry about the glass cracking from the hot into the cold, but I'm not sure about that.
Sometimes I sweeten it, and my sweetener of choice is agave nectar, because it stirs in so beautifully and is just the right amount sweet and came from a cactus, so you know it means business.
I am drinking it right now, this very minute.
|That's the smell of good news.|
|This is a fake picture because caffeine? Michael "can take it or leave it." Oh, me too! Ha ha. Along with kidney function and blood-gas exchange. You know, either way.|
As evidenced by this colored-pencil self-portrait I just rendered. I seriously wish I could walk around in the colored-pencil effect because it is so much more forgiving of my chins and beard and adult-onset acne and forehead divots than regular Technicolor life is.
Of course, what I really, seriously want you to do is buy a set of Luminarc glasses and lids because, as I know I've said before, they make the best, most gorgeous to-go cups you have ever seen or used. You just use an X-acto knife to make a little x in the lid so that you can push a straw through (I'm half converted now from glass straws to stainless steel) and you're done. Dishwasher safe and sturdy and--I'm going to try not to exaggerate--I probably save $15 a week by making my own iced coffee at home, which I am seriously happy to do because I so love drinking it this way. (I know that stainless steel is more practical, but I love my glass straws. I still have 2 of the 4 I bought 10 years ago! They're pretty sturdy.)
Plus, because the glass is too big to fit in a cup holder, you get to drive around with it wedged coolingly into your lap--with the added bonus that when you get where you're going, you have a ginormous condensation stain around your crotch, which inevitably makes for a good laugh at important meetings and such!
Happy July 4th. I am just catching up on the blog name suggestions now, and I cannot tell you how beautifully known I feel. Also, how beautifully teased. In the best possible way. I am mulling it over and will report back asap, but, in the mean time, thank you so much.