selection of iced coffees in different glasses brewed

Iced coffee has been a popular drink in Africa and Asia for centuries, but it’s only really made it big in the West over the last few years, initially made popular by a couple of American coffee giants and the explosion of London’s coffee scene.

The recipes we’ve got here cover the whole spectrum, all the way from the traditionally brewed drinks of North Africa and Vietnam right up to the sugary, milky mixtures of the modern-day caffeine junkie – so load up those ice-trays and get brewing!

1. Mazagran

iced coffeeKnown worldwide as the original iced coffee, the Mazagran was brought back from North Africa to France in the 19th Century. It quickly became popular in the coffee houses of Paris, and was the first European coffee to be served in tall, narrow glasses.

Simply brew your espresso nice and strong and serve over ice with a glass of lemon-spiked ice-cold water. Mix to taste, and add a bit of lemon peel to garnish.


  • 2 shots of strong, hot espresso
  • ice cubes
  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 glass of ice-cold water

2. Greek frappé

iced coffee

Invented – like the slinky, penicillin, and crisps – by accident, the frappé has since become a mainstay of Greek coffee culture. While the original recipe calls for instant coffee, this drink can be made equally well with chilled espresso.

Chuck the coffee, water and ice into a shaker and go to town until you get a nice frothy consistency (adding a little sugar will give you a much nicer texture). Add milk to taste, but if you’re looking to go full-blown Hellenic, make sure you go for the evaporated kind.


  • 1 shot of espresso
  • cold water
  • ice cubes
  • cow’s milk or evaporated milk, to taste

3. Cold brew

iced coffee

Cold brew is everywhere. Every coffee fanatic worth their tattoos and impeccably groomed facial hair goes mad for the stuff every summer, and it’s easy to see why. It produces a naturally sweeter, less acidic drink that delivers the perfect coffee antidote for the heat, and it’s insanely easy to make yourself.

Just add cold water to ground coffee (usually at a ratio of around 1:8) and steep for 18 to 24 hours. Strain, then add ice, milk and sugar to taste. Simple as. simple as. Plus, it can be kept in the fridge for up to a month’

For a much more detailed look at this fantastic concoction, get stuck into our brilliant article on how to cold-brew coffee.


  • cold water
  • ground coffee
  • ice cubes
  • milk, to taste
  • sugar, to taste

4. Vietnamese iced coffee

iced coffee

A deliciously sweet variation on a regular iced coffee, this drink consists of dark-roast coffee poured over a small amount of sweetened condensed milk. Known nationally as Ca phe sua da, the shortage of fresh milk meant that this sweeter substitute became the natural alternative. Once adopted, it quickly spread.

The coffee should be brewed directly from a French drip press into a glass that’s a quarter-full with sweetened condensed milk. This mixture should then simply be poured over ice and stirred well. If you don’t happen to have a drip press handy, simple brew with a cafetiere, or use a nice, light espresso.


  • dark roast coffee
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • ice cubes

5. Coffee milkshake

iced coffee

Rich coffee flavours blitzed into a creamy, icy slush – this is the ultimate decadence.

First off, combine the vanilla and coconut milk in a pan, scorch the milk by bringing it to the boil, then pop it in the freezer. Meanwhile, soak the chia seeds in a splash of coconut milk until it reaches the consistency of frogspawn – not the most appealing thing you’ve ever read in a recipe, but the similarity is unfortunately quite unmistakable!

Pop the frozen cream and chia seeds into a blender with the espresso and blitz. If you fancy it, add a dash of coffee liqueur for good measure.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 50ml coconut milk
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • optional: a dash of coffee liqueur

For the frozen coconut cream

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean pods
  • 150ml light coconut milk

About the author

John Quilter

John Quilter is an entrepreneur and broadcaster with over 20 years experience as a restaurateur and chef.

John Quilter