Coffee is always good, whether you have just woken up, are taking a break, drinking a latte or cappuccino mid-morning, or indulging in an espresso after dinner. If the weather is hot though, one of the best ways to get your caffeine fix is to make an iced coffee, or iced cappuccino or macchiato. There is a little confusion over macchiato recipes. In Italy this beverage is an espresso with a touch of foamed milk on top. The word ‘macchiato’ means marked, since the strong black coffee is just ‘marked’ with the milk. This is a great beverage for someone who wants the bold flavor of espresso but not as much milk as you would get in a cappuccino.
Italians only drink cappuccino in the morning because they believe the milk interferes with digestion (which is why espresso is the after-dinner drink in Italy) so having a macchiato allows them to savor a milky drink which is not overly milky. Head to one of the big coffee shops in the United States and order a macchiato though, and what you will get is something very different, namely a milky drink sweetened with caramel or another sweet syrup, in a much larger cup. This might not be authentically Italian but there is no doubt this Americanized version of the classic Italian beverage offers something not only delicious but also very refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
A Surprisingly Cost-Effective Recipe
Making your own macchiato at home is much cheaper than buying one from a coffee shop. In fact, if you work out the cost of the ingredients, you will discover about half the cost of the coffee is coffee, a third is the milk, and the rest is any sugar or sweeteners if you add. The total cost of a tall macchiato if you make it yourself averages out about 35 or 40 cents. Compare that to what you would pay at the coffee shop and you will see how learning how to make these beverages is very cost-effective, especially when you consider most of what is in the cup is ice, and that can be made for free if you make your own ice cubes.
Because you are making your own drink you can control the outcome. For example, if you do not want it very sweet you might want to omit the condensed milk, or use less caramel syrup. If you like your coffee strong, brew the coffee very strong instead of just slightly stronger than usual. You can use whole milk or skim if you prefer, and you can also swap the condensed milk for vanilla ice cream or the whipped cream for foamed milk if you prefer.
Any of these tweaks will change the flavor of your drink, but it will still be really tasty. This recipe makes enough to fill a pair of tall glasses, but it will stretch to 4 if you use smaller glasses. It also depends how much ice you want to use. The most refreshing way would be to put as much ice as possible in the glasses but then that is going to dilute your beverage, so use less if you want. Don’t worry about it melting too fast because you will not be able to stop sipping this lovely macchiato and it will be gone before all the ice has had chance to melt.
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 4 tablespoons caramel syrup
- 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups milk
- Ice, as needed
- Whipped cream, to serve
- Let the coffee cool to room temperature.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk into 2 tall glasses.
- Divide the ice between the glasses.
- Add the milk, then the coffee.
- Add the whipped cream on top and drizzle the caramel syrup on top.
Iced drinks are always popular when the weather is hot, but if you have a caffeine craving that cola is not going to fix, consider making your own iced macchiato, and enjoy the wonderful coffee flavor along with the milky appeal and sweet touch of caramel. Making such a drink is really easy, and you can tailor it to your palate by adjusting factors like the kind of milk you use, how strong you brew the coffee, and even how much ice you put in there. If you prefer vanilla to caramel, simply swap the caramel syrup for vanilla. This recipe is incredible simple to prepare, even if you are new to making iced coffee drinks.
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