There are few things more refreshing than an iced coffee on a hot day. Unlike popsicles or ice cream, you can really slow down and savor an iced coffee without worrying about making a sticky mess. Flavored iced coffees in particular can really hit the spot during the summer, and my latest love has been homemade Salted Caramel Iced Coffee. This coffee drink is just sweet enough to satisfy a craving for something indulgent without being overly sweet, and it is easy to customize it to suit your own tastes. For me, I like to make it with strong coffee as a base and serve it up with a generous swirl of whipped cream.
If you have iced coffee at home, then just make your drink with iced coffee to start out with. If you don’t have iced coffee at home, you’re going to have to start off hot. This gives you some advantages, since it is very easy to dissolve sugar, caramel and other ingredients into hot coffee. The disadvantage is that you might have to wait for the coffee to cool before you can enjoy your refreshing beverage. When I am making iced coffee, I brew double strength coffee. This not only cuts the sweetness of whatever syrups I’m adding, but it dilutes itself when you pour it over ice, bringing it down to a perfect consistency and temperature.
I used a storebought salted caramel sauce to make this drink (from Trader Joe’s), which make the drink-making process quick and easy. If you don’t have a salted caramel sauce, you can simply add a pinch to your favorite unsalted caramel sauce. Don’t forget to drizzle the drink on top with caramel and add a few grains of salt to really enhance that salty-sweetness before serving!
Salted Caramel Iced Coffee
6-oz hot, strong coffee
1-oz (2 tbsp) salted caramel sauce
(or caramel sauce + pinch of salt)
1 tbsp sugar, to taste
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
additional caramel sauce for topping
coarse kosher or sea salt
In a small mug or measuring cup, stir together hot coffee, caramel sauce, sugar and vanilla extract. Add additional sugar to taste, as needed.
Fill a large, tall glass with ice and pour hot coffee mixture over the ice. Fill almost to the top with milk. Stir gently to combine.
Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce. Just before serving, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.