Learn how to make easy iced coffee at home with milk in a glass, delicious with an easy vanilla simple syrup, refined sugar free, and an iced coffee that costs pennies compared to the cost at a specialty coffee shop.
How to make easy iced coffee at home with milk is made without a machine and costs under a dollar. The best way to flavor cold coffee at home is with my simple vanilla syrup made with brown sugar in the microwave. Like my fancier pumpkin lattes - iced pumpkin spice latte and my hot pumpkin spice latte, and my caramel frappuccino, this homemade easy iced coffee recipe requires no machine or stove.
Enjoy this refreshing easy iced coffee drink with some of my favorite treats, including my samoa cookies, healthy sugar cookies, my soft chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar, and my no bake chocolate brownies.
Why You'll Love This
Quick to make. Iced coffee, first created in Algeria in the 1800s, can be made many ways but the fastest way is to use a quality instant. I make my iced coffee delicious with a quick-to-make vanilla simple syrup poured with milk into a quality instant coffee on ice.
Flexibility. Use a caffeinated or decaffeinated instant coffee, and the sweetness level can be customized. Use your favorite milk.
Healthier. You can choose the ingredients you add. Make it using whole foods, quality brands, dairy-free, gluten free, or paleo.
Cold coffee. To make this iced coffee, you can brew it in a machine, or just stir up a cup of instant coffee. Either way, chill the hot coffee in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or make it well ahead of time and refrigerate to chill.
Milk. Choose your favorite. Cashew and almond milk have a higher fat content and will make the drink richer in flavor with healthy fats. Use a lower fat milk to reduce calories.
Vanilla simple syrup. Stir up water, brown sugar, vanilla and salt, and microwave one minute to dissolve. I used coconut sugar to keep it refined sugar free but regular brown sugar also works.
Ice. Make ice with water or if you time ahead of time, freeze some fresh coffee in ice cube trays to use so that when the ice melts, your iced coffee is still strong in flavor.
Salt. Surprised? A tiny pinch of salt will transform your iced coffee into a delicious drink.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Instead of coffee. Instead of brewing coffee or using instant coffee, make a cup of hot chocolate instead and chill that in place of coffee. Then you can make an iced hot chocolate, as chocolatey as my TikTok-viral chocolate smoothie.
Instead of vanilla simple syrup. Instead of a simple syrup made with brown sugar and vanilla, you can use maple syrup or agave or even date paste .
Regarding milk. You have your pick of milks, but you can also use canned coconut cream, or your favorite store-bought half and half.
Step by Step Instructions
For more detail, visit the complete recipe at the bottom of this post, but here are general steps.
Step 1: Brew the coffee. Either use a brewing machine, or the fastest method is to boil water and add instant coffee granules to make 1 cup of coffee. Chill the coffee in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Make the vanilla simple syrup. Put water, brown sugar, vanilla and salt into a heat-safe cup, stir, and microwave for about 15 seconds. Stir again.
Step 3: Put the vanilla simple syrup into the refrigerator to chill 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add ice to the glass of coffee.
Step 4: Pour in the coffee, and then pour in the simple vanilla syrup.
Step 5: Pour in the milk, give it a stir and taste. Add a bit more syrup if needed.
Be sure the coffee, milk and vanilla simple syrup are sufficiently chilled.
If you plan on allowing the ice to melt, make coffee ice cubes ahead of time and use those.
The creamier milk you choose, the creamier iced coffee texture.
Don't skip the vanilla in the vanilla simple syrup - it brings the flavor of a processed coffee shop syrup without the additives.
Spice it up. Add cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spices, or gingerbread spices.
Chocolate mocha ice coffee. Add a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa, or melt up some chocolate chips and stir those in.
Coffee milkshake. Stir in a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream to turn your iced coffee into a coffee milkshake.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead. Make multiple batches of instant coffee and store refrigerated in jars for two days, or freeze as ice cubes for up to three months.
Storage. Store your cold iced coffee in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 days. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays and thawed as needed.
The best way to make iced coffee is to brew coffee, chill it, add ice, sweetener, milk and shake.
Yes, triple or quadruple the recipe or more, and refrigerate it for up to a month in a sealed jar so it is available for impromptu iced coffees.
Brew your favorite coffee, let it chill, make your vanilla syrup or just choose a sweetener, add ice, milk, stir and enjoy!
Cold brew coffee is coffee that is cold steeped in coffee grounds, whereas iced coffee is simply coffee brewed in a machine and cooled in the refrigerator and served over ice.
Yes, replace the water with cold milk in this iced coffee recipe. You can use instant coffee or freshly brewed coffee. Either way, be sure the coffee and the milk are very cold, mix and pour over ice.
More Coffee or Cold Drinks
If you tried this easy iced coffee recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!
Easy Iced Coffee at Home with Milk
- 1 10 to 12-ounce coffee glass
- 1 cup coffee chilled
- 1 cup ice
- ¼ cup milk
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Brew the coffee. Either use a brewing machine, or boil water and add instant coffee granules to make 1 cup of coffee. Put the coffee in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or make it ahead of time and refrigerate to chill.
- Make the syrup. Add water, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a heat-safe cup, uncover and microwave for about 15 seconds. Stir again.3 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoon vanilla, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add ice to the glass and pour in the chilled coffee.1 cup coffee, 1 cup ice
- Pour in the simple vanilla syrup. Give it a stir.
- Add the milk. Give it a stir and taste. Add a bit more syrup if needed.¼ cup milk