Iced Coffee
Information and Recipe

Iced coffee has become a favorite beverage of many people world-wide over the last decade or two.

We may have the French Foreign Legion to thank for popularizing the beverage.

Note: My history-major husband explained to me that the French Foreign Legion is a military wing of the French Army that was established in 1831 and is unique because it was specifically for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces. (My husband was only 12 at the time. An amazing memory! ;-) )

Mazagran is a place and the name of a fortress in Algeria that was occupied by the legion about 1837. Mazagran is also the name of a footed cup.

Apparently these troops drank cold coffee to try to counter the heat. They would have preferred to add milk or brandy but both products were scarce.

So Mazagran became "the original iced coffee” (basically coffee syrup and cold water).

When these French soldiers returned to Paris, they asked café owners to serve the beverage and to do so using the tall glasses.

The “cold coffee” was named Café Mazagran. In France, coffee served in these glasses is referred to as "Mazagran."

You know, of course, hot-brewed coffee can be served cold but when consumed it is often bitter tasting. (Cold brewed coffee contains up to 70% fewer bitter acids than heat brewed coffee.)

Cold-brewing is merely soaking ground coffee in water (for hours) and then filtering it.

Today it has become common place for coffee shops to offer 'iced' versions of their most popular coffee drinks (lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, Frappuccinos). For recipes, click here.

One way of preparing these coffees is to make some strong, hot espresso, dissolve the required sweetener/flavorings in the hot liquid and then pour this into a cup of ice cold milk (with or without the ice).

So the basic recipe is super easy.

Note: Cold-brewed coffee is now available commercially if you choose not to brew your own.

How to Make a Basic Iced Coffee - Cappuccino

  • Fill glass or container with ice
  • Add cold-brewed coffee or very strong, chilled coffee to half
  • Add milk or sweetened condensed milk to glass

Note: If you are going to make such a coffee drink, brew the coffee at a much higher strength than normal. The ice will dilute the coffee.

Sweetening an Iced Coffee

As you know, sugar does not dissolve easily in cold liquids. It must be added either directly to a hot liquid or made into “simple syrup” first, then added.

Simple syrup be made by mixing water and sugar and simmering it over low heat until the preferred “thickness” or strength is attained.

Simple syrup and flavored syrups are available at grocery stores.

Iced coffee can (and is) also served with ice cream (and often syrup and cream) and topped with whipped cream. The result is something like an unblended milkshake.

This coffee beverage has been sold commercially in Australia since the late 1800’s in the form of a syrup, an example of which is Bushell’s Coffee And Chicory Essence.

This product has been used in Australia's kitchens for decades for beverages, in cakes and in desserts.

Many other brands are available in grocery stores world-wide.

So there is the history of iced coffee and the basic recipe. Specific cold coffee beverage recipes are on this restaurant recipes website. - Donna

"I think if I were a woman I’d wear coffee as a perfume."

John Van Drute (and my husband)