Fresh Mint Iced Coffee.

I have your Monday morning solution.

You know I love something when I recreate it a little over 24 hours after consumption.

It’s Monday. It’s weird. I’m sharing drink instead of food. I’m switching it up! Forcing myself out of the creative mehness.

Because pouring cream into coffee is sooooo creative.

But!

I’m going to serve you spring and summer in a glass. I SWEAR.

You’ll die. In a good way.

You guys. This is my new favorite thing out of all of the things. Iced coffee spiked with fresh mint vanilla-y syrup. It’s super duper fresh and wonderful and worthy of being sucked down in three seconds.

This past weekend I had a version in Kansas City and I could not stop thinking about it in the, you know, entire day after I drank it. I even thought about swinging by a second time to get another.

Just.so.divine.

Mint simple syrup wasn’t a new concept for me. I’ve made plenty of cocktails with it… blueberry mint juleps, triple berry mojitos, coconut mango mojitos, mint julep slushies – all sorts of delicious cocktaily things. (this clearly means you have things to do with the extras. Because MONDAY.)

But mint syrup in coffee? I was like WHAT.

It actually freaked me out at first. I loved the idea of it, the sound of it, but I couldn’t fathom the taste of it.

Plus, it was early.

Plus plus, I was that annoying customer who asked the girl behind the counter “if the mint iced coffee is really good?” Like what? Why would I even do that? Like she is going to say no, it sucks? I don’t know. I was vulnerable and needed reassurance.

I was also mildly freaked because over the holiday season, I ordered a peppermint mocha and was just so… over it. I’ve enjoyed them in the past but this year, not so much. I didn’t love the peppermint and coffee mixture. It tasted like toothpaste coffee.

Not a good look.

So anyway. I’m sure that was extremely relevant to your life today. #facepalm

Obviously, I ordered it.

Obviously, I loved it. But like, REALLY loved it. I mean, I know I’m annoying because I pretty much love anything. It drives Eddie crazy. But this was one of the things I really loved.

So much so that the minute I got off the plane, I immediately drove to the grocery store and bought myself a gorgeous bunch of organic fresh mint.

The only reason this was doable was because I happened to have some cold coffee already stuck in the fridge. Or, should I say, hidden back in the fridge so the man I live with wouldn’t throw a massive tantrum. I made it last week after I spent a good chunk of my Tuesday things complaining about my iced coffee dilemma – at invisible internet friend insistence of course. And! I also had some cute little cubes after dying over this post. I make coffee ice cubes a lot and then never use them. They sit in the freezer and ruin everything.

I have made the cold brew concentrate before – a few years ago when I was first trying to love coffee. I’ve even bought the Trader Joe’s version. And yes, if I add enough sugar and milk and junk, I like it. But I do really love the act of buying iced coffee out because I am a millennial and the destructive representation of our generation.

I never thought I’d be that person that wanted to get coffee daily but considering I so strongly forced it upon myself, I can’t be surprised. I didn’t even give myself an option.

And I’ve now become the person who just loves the idea and the act of drinking coffee. Even though it makes me feel like an insane person (about 85% of the time I do decaf) at times, I find the whole gist of it… relaxing.

Do you get me?

To love this, you do have to love fresh mint. It’s a different sort of mint though. It tastes nothing like artificial peppermint. To be ever so cliché and play right into the name, it does just taste FRESH. It adds a little kick to the coffee, but not an overwhelming toothpaste flavor. Thank you very much.

Would I drink it out of these little paper straws? Never. Have you ever tried to suck liquid through these things? Think soggy cardboard. It’s delightful. But they are cute as punch (is that a thing) and I’m a sucker.

I don’t really have any other words. But if you’re a fresh mint lovah… do it.


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Fresh Mint Iced Coffee

Yield: serves about 2, is easily multiplied

Total Time: overnight

Ingredients:

cold brew concentrate
1/2 cup freshly ground coffee
2 cups cold water

fresh mint syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 big bunch of fresh mint leaves (around 3/4 cup)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

for my perfect mint iced coffee
coffee ice cubes (or, uh, plain ones!)
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh mint syrup
8 ounces coffee concentrate
3 tablespoons milk, cream or sweetened condensed milk
fresh mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

cold brew concentrate
To make the cold brew coffee concentrate, combine the ground coffee and water in a jar or bowl and stir well. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight. At this time, I usually also make some coffee ice cubes. I make a cup or two of coffee and allow it to cool slightly. Since I don't love black coffee, I'll stir in some milk (anything from cream to almond or coconut milk) then pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. You can obviously make a ton of these and store them for on demand use!

The next morning, use a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain coffee concentrate, removing all the grinds. Store the cold coffee in a sealed jar in the fridge.

fresh mint syrup
To make the mint simple syrup, add the water, sugar, mint leaves and vanilla beans (and empty pod) to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Let it bubble for a minute or so, then reduce the heat and let it cool completely. I'll usually put it in a bowl or jar, let it come to room temperature then stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning (or before using), strain out the mint leaves and vanilla pod - or simply leave them in to continue flavoring the syrup. Keep sealed in the fridge for a week or so.

for my perfect mint iced coffee
I like to use a mix of coffee ice cubes and regular old ice cubes - usually half and half. I'll add them to the glass and pour the syrup overtop. Next goes the coffee concentrate and then I stir in the cream. Top it off with some fresh mint leaves and you're good to go! Obviously this will differ based on your taste preferences, so find your favorite combo of the syrup and concentrate.

[inspired by latte land in kansas city]

I mean…