7 Easy, Refreshing Coffee Drinks for Summer

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As summer hits and the temperatures rise, does anything sound better than a refreshing ice cold coffee? Few things can cool you down while perking you up like our favorite caffeinated brews.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to a classic iced coffee—your favorite hot brew poured over ice. However, thanks to coffee innovators around the world, we now have a plethora of delicious and unique options to keep things fresh and interesting this season.

Let’s check out some of our favorite summer coffee drinks:

cold brew coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

Starting off simple yet always satisfying, the cold brew trend has set the coffee industry ablaze. This smooth, refreshing treat is easy to grab fresh at nearly any coffee shop or bottled at most grocery stores. Making cold brew at home is also a cinch, allowing you to use your own coffee grounds.

What sets a cold brew apart from a typical iced coffee is the fact that it has never been exposed to heat. Instead, the beverage is created from coffee grounds that have seeped in cold water for 12–24 hours. This creates a drink about 60% lower in acidity, according to the Huffington Post, and also higher in caffeine content.

For an extra luxurious twist, try a nitro cold brew. By injecting a burst of nitrous oxide into the drink, the standard cold brew is transformed into an ultra-silky, slightly sweet and creamy refreshment.

horchta latte

Horchata Latte

If you love chai lattes, you’ll love this. The horchata is a Spanish cinnamon and rice milk drink that’s vastly popular in Latin America as well is finally getting the recognition it deserves on a wider scale. It’s also an ideal dairy-free replacement to milk in the traditional latte, or other coffee drinks.

Horchata itself is easy to find pre-made in many areas, though making from scratch is straight-forward as well. Start off with 2 cups of water and add:

  • 2/3 cup uncooked white rice
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Let all of the ingredients soak for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator. Then, blend all of the ingredients thoroughly. Once blended, strain the mixture through a sieve to create as silky a milk as possible. If desired, add vanilla or simple syrup to taste.

Take 4 oz of the finished horchata, add 2 oz of espresso, and serve over ice. Stir it up and add a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. Take a sip and be instantly transported to a quiet, picturesque beach on the Mexican Riviera.

cafe affogato

Café Affogato

Sometimes all you want is your typical hot espresso, but the sweat dripping off your brow is trying to convince you otherwise. Luckily, the Italians concocted the Café Affogato so you can get that perfect mix of hot and cold, plus bitter and sweet.

Classically the Café Affogato is a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato placed right on top. If you feel like getting a little fancy, try sprinkling sliced almonds or drizzling chocolate or caramel over it. Enhance the decadence further with a splash of amaretto or another nutty liqueur.

coconut milk coffee

Coconut Milk Coffee with Macadamia Nuts

Few places have that eternal summer vibe more than our home in Hawaii. No matter where in the world you may live, take a mini island vacation anytime with this nearly instant recipe.

Take a glass jar and put in:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract (or to taste)

Vigorously shake the contents for 2-3 minutes until everything has been fully combined. Pour over your regular coffee to the desired amount. Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top to really feel like you’re in the Aloha State.

The jar of coconut creamer can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Shake before each use.

thai iced coffee

Thai Iced Coffee

Looking for an extra sweet treat? The Thai Iced Coffee is an indulgent summer cooler made with regular coffee, heavy cream and the key—sweetened condensed milk. The result is a super creamy refreshment created to turn down even turn down the heat in the sticky jungles of Thailand and Southeast Asia. If it works there, it’ll work anywhere, right?

Simply take two cups of strong hot coffee, 1/3 cup of condensed milk and 1/3 cup of heavy cream. Mix it up, pour over ice, and if desired, pour addition condensed milk on top to taste.

coffee fizz

Coffee Fizz

Taking the cold brew craze into a new extra-refreshing direction, the Coffee Fizz, also called a Coffee Tonic, is a concoction created for those blistering hot days.

Basically, baristas take half a regular cup of cold brew and top it off with tonic water. The result is a snappy drink sure to send you straight into vacation mode.

The initially strange sounding mix actually evokes a surprisingly perfect balance of a fresh fruitiness, with a tangy, caffeine filled bite. It’s also easy to replicate with your own homemade cold brew. Once you give this drink a chance, expect to be addicted until the fall.

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