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Summer Drinks > Iced Coffee 21 July 2006

Posted by cath in drinks, easy, Recipes, summer.
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frothy iced coffee

frothy iced coffee

Iced Coffee

iced coffee

To me, this is the perfect summer drink. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Put on some coffee – I use one of the stove-top espresso makers, quick and easy to use (see below for details…)
  2. When the coffee is done, pour it into a glass jug or mug to help it cool down – if you want sugar in the finished drink, add it now whilst the coffee is hot
  3. Whilst the coffee is cooling you can make the crushed ice – just crush about 4-5 cubes per cup of coffee – I use a manual ice crusher as its only a small amount
  4. Add the crushed ice to some cold milk, add milk to taste, equal milk to coffee is a good starting ratio, you can always add extra milk at the end if required. Use a container with a sealing lid if you have one, or if you want it extra frothy, put the milk and crushed ice into a liquidiser, then blend together with the coffee for 30 seconds or so. If you do this step in advance, keep the milk and ice in the fridge or freezer until you’re coffee is ready and slightly cooled.
  5. When the coffee is slightly cooled, add it to the iced milk put the lid on the container and vigorously shake. If you don’t have a liquidiser or sealed container, then you can just stir everything together. Taste and add extra milk as required.
  6. Serve immediately (or put the jug in the fridge and shake up again before serving

Jug of Iced Coffee

Jug of Iced Coffee


A very easy way to make small quantities (2-3 cups) of coffee is in one of the Italian stove-top espresso makers like this one:

Coffee Pot

Coffee Pot

Add a scoop (roughly 1 tbsp) of coffee per cup, more if you like strong espresso, and fill the bottom up with water up to the line (or underneath the valve)

Put it on a medium heat and after a while steam will pour out of the spout and then stop – that’s it – it’s ready!

You can either drink the espresso, or, add hot milk for a cafe au lait, add hot or cold chocolate milk for a mocha, or add hot water and cold milk for a good strong white coffee

…also good for baking cakes, desserts and even chocolate making. Definitely a worthwhile purchase if you don’t have one.


And what about buying coffee?

Well, I have to say I buy a mixture of good Fairtrade coffee and fantastically flavoured strong (but pure evil no doubt) Lavazza Gold – mainly coz there isn’t a great supply of Fairtrade espresso ground coffee around here, but also it is good :)

We’re still not grinding our own beans – that could be a step worth taking though…


Summer Drinks > Ginger Beer 9 June 2006

Posted by cath in drinks, easy, Recipes, summer.
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Glass of Ginger Beer

Glass of Fresh Ginger Beer

FreshGingerBeer-brewing and brewed

Ginger Beer – Brewing and Half Gone…

First, thanks to Tracy for pointing out this basic recipe for Ginger beer courtesy of Giles Paterson (see the original recipe here). In my usual way I made a few alterations – basically, the recipe was great, but I wanted it extra gingery and more lemony, so this year I’ve managed to perfect it (she says)! Well, my official taster said it was as good as the Black Isle Ginger Beer, so I’m pretty pleased.
Ingredients and Preparation

An empty, 1 litre bottle (i.e. a tonic or soda water bottle) with lid

1 large chunk of root ginger – peeled and grated to give you at least 2 heaped tablespoons grated ginger

1 lemon – juiced
1/2 cup caster sugar (easier to dissolve than granulated)

1/8th teaspoon dried yeast (the same as for breadmaking…)

Plastic funnel – for getting everything in the bottle (plus a chopstick to poke the ginger down the funnel!)

Preparation Time, 10 minutes. Brew for 24-48 hours, chill for a minimum of 4 hours.


  1. Pour the sugar into the bottle using the funnel
  2. Then add the dried yeast on top of the sugar
  3. Mix the grated ginger into the lemon juice and add this to the bottle.
  4. Now add enough water (I use tap water but you could use bottled) fill about 2/3 or 3/4 of the bottle, put the lid on and shake well until the sugar is dissolved
  5. Now carefully fill the bottle up to about 1-2inches from the top – leaving room for expansion. It’s quite hard to open the ginger beer without it fizzing out of the bottle, so leave more rather than less here.
  6. Put the cap on the bottle tightly then put it somewhere warm – a warm room or airing cupboard/boiler room should suffice. Leave it in the warm for 24-48 hours to brew.
  7. The bottle will become hard after 1-2 days. I usually leave mine for 2 days to get the most flavour and fizz. Don’t leave your bottle in the warm place for too long – there have been stories of explosions, although I’ve not experienced that!
  8. Place the bottle in the fridge to cool, usually overnight or for several hours. This stops the yeast and holds the brewing process.
  9. Once chilled, open carefully over a sink. As we’ve brewed the beer in the bottle, it is quite fizzy and wants to explode out as soon as you open the top, even just a crack. It will begin to fizz as soon as you begin to open the lid, so watch it and go slowly. Be careful and patient. Once opened, it will be easy to open and close from then on.
  10. Pour your ginger beer through a tea strainer to remove the chunks of ginger and serve straight away.