Damn Delicious

Perfect Iced Coffee

This recipe is quick, easy, budget-friendly, and tastes just like the gourmet coffee-shops, if not better!

Perfect Iced Coffee - This recipe is quick, easy, budget-friendly, and tastes just like the gourmet coffee-shops, if not better!

When you live in California, you have a ton of options for great coffee. But when you start hitting all the hottest coffee shops around town, it gets to be quite expensive. At one point, I ended up splurging on a $10 latte at Alfred’s Coffee!

But as always, nothing beats the homemade version – taste-wise and money-wise. And with this easy perfect iced coffee recipe, you won’t have to overpay for coffee ever again.

All you have to do is brew your coffee the night before using good-quality coffee beans. That way, it can come to room temperature by the time the morning comes around. Now I have personally never been a fan of pouring hot coffee over ice but if it doesn’t bother you, then you can whip this up in the morning – it’s up to you!

Then you can whip up a batch of simple syrup, but only if you need it. A batch should last you for a few weeks, unless you like to douse your coffee in sugary goodness. No judgment here. Then you can add a splash of milk or half-and-half, although I highly recommend the latter.

Now you can skip the hectic Starbucks line and have quality coffee for a quarter of the price right at home!

Perfect Iced Coffee

This recipe is quick, easy, budget-friendly, and tastes just like the gourmet coffee-shops, if not better!

5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coffee, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons half and half*, or more, to taste

Directions:

  1. To make the simple syrup, combine sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool completely and stir in vanilla extract; set aside.
  2. Serve coffee over ice with half and half and simple syrup, to taste.

Notes:

*Milk or cream can be substituted.

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166 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    this recipe is AMAZING!!!
    how many calories are in here?

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    It was absolutely amazing I loved it so much 🙂

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    It was absolutely amazing 🙂

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    this was soooo amazing
    It’s my new favourite 

  5. Yea nice, it is kind of a variation of cold brew. The other way I like making iced coffee is just putting coarsely ground beans in cold water in the fridge for 12-24 hours and then drinking black. Delicious but admittedly pretty strong

  6. good, added chocolate syrup and caramel and way more coffee lol might die

  7. hey! it’s the syrup supposed to be liquid? or should i add more sugar? it has a nice golden color to it though

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Making mine with “fake” sugar, Anthony’s Goods Erythritol Sweetener in place of real sugar and sometimes instead of vanilla using Jordan’s Skinny Syrups (sugar free)…comes in multiple flavors. Even Torani Caramel! This recipe is fun to play around with. Thank you for giving me the basic easy recipe. Being diabetic, I am able to tweek this so that I can enjoy a treat. Directions were great! I like using heavy whipping cream….high in calories but ok for diabetics!

  9. Is that half a cup of sugar a typo? Youre telling me 1 cup of coffee to half a cup of sugar?

    • I believe Half and half is a brand, cream. Thickened milk.

    • That’s to make the simple syrup. Half cup sugar + 1 cup water. You add the simple syrup to taste

      • No. that’s how you make a type 2 diabetic. 1/2 cup of sugar???? and then 2 tablespoons half and half*, or more, to taste???? Do you realize the serving size for half and half is 1 tbsp??? 2 tbsp is ridiculously bad. But hey, why stop there, keep going til you like it. OMG.

        • You would only use 1 or 2 tbsp of the simple syrup and then store the rest in the refrigerator for your future iced coffees. She doesn’t mean to use all the syrup in 1 cup.

        • Oh no, it’s 2 tablespoons instead of one? Do you know how many people glop on ten times the amount per serving of ranch dressing on a salad? You gotta pick your battles, buddy!

          😉

    • No it makes simple syrup, and you use a little simple syrup (like a tablespoon) and save the rest to use over time.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious. Definitely make sure that when you add the syrup, you taste it after you add a small amount – I accidentally made it way too sugary by assuming how much I wanted. Definitely worth the time!

  11. soooooooooooo………. try DALGONA COFFEE its the absolute best coffee THERe is.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is much better than the expensive stuff!! I freeze leftover coffee in cubes so it doesn’t get watered down.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    It’s the summer time and I work overnight. I looked up how to make iced coffee at home and this recipe popped right up. I am pleasantly surprised! This is absolutely delicious and tastes like it came from a barista! I used Maxwell House coffee, made the simple syrup as directed and used creamer instead of half and half. I’ve already texted this to my family in our text message thread and sent it to my employees!

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    I have tried this, and it’s brill.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    I enjoy iced coffee especially on these warm summer days. I added a sprig of rosemary to the simple syrup for extra flavor. Thx for great recipe.

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was so simple and delicious! I used milk instead of cream and it was yummy! The bit of vanilla gives it an extra kick (ok, I used bourbon vanilla, but still). Quick and tasty!

  17. I’m just curious.. does the sugary syrup start to harden or can I put it in a jar and use it for other coffees during the week?

    • I stored my syrup in a jar, it remains fluid as the ratio of sugar to water is not that high and you don’t boil it down 🙂

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    Super simple to make. I have never made coffee this way. I honestly thought the sugar/water syrup was going to water down my coffee taste BUT it didn’t. It was perfectly sweetened by this and tasted great! I will definitely be making this again. Great for religious coffee drinkers in summer. yum!

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delightful! I had never made iced coffee before and it was a very easy recipe to follow. Turned out great! 

  20. I want to make this recipe. I don’t have any half & half right now. Could I just use a creamer? 

    • Yes or milk! I know I’m not the creator but I drink this a lot or mix milk with heavy whipping cream hope this helps!

  21. A simple way to make a delicious cup of iced coffee!

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    I loved it! imma do this everyday instead of oredering coffee. It tastes like ice shaken from starbucks, but even better!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    omg! so good and refreshing glad i didnt stop at the coffee shop

    • Rated 5 out of 5

      Love this! I’m in the middle of making one now! I accidentally poured the vanilla extract in after the sugar dissolved while the liquid is still hot…while that change the taste of the syrup?

  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    Noice

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    I didn’t think the amazing  reviews were true… but they are!! Found this wonderful recipe just in time for summer days . i’ve already shared it with family. 

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is the best quarrantine coffee, im 13 and its delishious.

  27. Rated 5 out of 5

    Love your easy but perfect recipe for iced coffee! It’s simple but packed with good ol’ coffee goodness. Guess I’m sticking to this recipe forever!

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    My daughter really loved this. She always orders from Starbucks and enjoyed this so much more

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    It’s delicious however there was a bit to much sugar for my liking. But otherwise 10/10!!

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was so bomb so here are my hacks:
    1.) I do not have a coffee machine so I followed the instructions for making a cup of instant.
    2.) I wanted mine right away so I let my syrup and coffee chill in the freezer for a few minutes.
    3.) I’m vegan! I replaced regular creamer with almond caramel creamer and sweet almond milk. I used bone/char free sugar for my simple syrup which turned out perfect! 10/10

  31. This was amazing I make it everyday. This puts me in a good mood for the start of the day. I would 100% recommend. 

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I was out of vanilla syrup at home and was looking for an alternative I could make myself. Easy to make and tasty!

  33. Rated 5 out of 5

    I love it! It tastes as if it came from a high-end coffee shop. I recommend this to everyone looking for an easy but delicious recipe!

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Absolutely LOVED it!
    Thank you so much for it.

  35. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’ve needed a good coffee recipe and this one is great!! I ran out of half and half though so any substitutions?

  36. Rated 5 out of 5

    this is actually a revelation of an iced coffee recipe – thank you for getting me through quarantine!! Best iced coffee recipe I’ve found yet and I have been looking for a while.

  37. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sooooo good! I hate paying the Starbucks price and don’t like all their ingredients. Also it’s pretty common sense you don’t put all that syrup in one cup of coffee? Who in the world puts 1/2c if sugar in a cup of coffee. I did about two spoons of it and added how much half and half I prefer. 

  38. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is absolutely delicious and perfect for quarantine! I also added a dash of cinnamon in mine! YUM! My husband was pretty impressed when I had him try it!

  39. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’m lazy so I just poured the coffee over ice, added a spoonful of sugar, and a few drops of vanilla (instead of making the simple syrup) and it was still so good!!

  40. Rated 5 out of 5

    The perfect stay-at-home treat! So easy and better then most drive-thru iced coffees! I added a little cinnamon to the syrup, mmm I highly recommend trying the recipe that way. So delicious, Go Grab Your Brew!!

  41. Rated 5 out of 5

    Added cinnamon to the syrup, definitely a copy cat cinnamon dolce coffee. Sooooo good!!!!!

  42. Rated 4 out of 5

    Thank god i read the comments for curiosity and see that I shouldn’t add all the syrup, you should clarify in the recipe too bc u make it seem like all those ingredients are for one iced coffee. Anyways, I really liked it pretty good actually

  43. I followed all of the instructions, but my simple syrup is not thickening. It’s still very watery. Help?

    • Hi Julia, I’ve been making iced coffees and simple syrup for years now. I remember I was helping a friend who was having the same problem- it’s not thickening. Simple syrup isn’t really all that thick. The ratio is what’s important, which is half sugar, have water (my taste is more 1.5:1 ratio, with more sugar so that in the long run it lasts me more because I am using less.) It will not be thick 🙂 it will just be an even consistency. Bring to a boil and it let it cool. Then you will see it thicken just a bit, not like honey or maple syrup. Transfer to your container and store. There should be no problem 🙂 

  44. Due to the covid 19 virus, I am home and not leaving my house, ice coffee is my one treat so I tried this recipe …. OMG!! So delicious!!! Better than what I buy!!!! Thank you! 
    Stay healthy and safe 

  45. Rated 5 out of 5

    Simple easy cost effective and …good to taste!

  46. Rated 5 out of 5

    Just made this, it’s delicious! Will tell my friends for sure.

  47. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’m gonna give it a try.

    -Toni

  48. Rated 5 out of 5

    just made it right now and drinking it while typing this. Absolutely telling my friends this recipe. I love it

  49. I’ll bet, like me at first, you only looked at the ingredient list since that was my initial reaction. Then I realized that the half cup sugar is to make a supply of liquid sweetener that should last “a few weeks in the refrigerator”.

    I have not tried this yet, but plan to soon. Based on it’s similarity to another recipe I found, I will give it 5 stars…in anticipation!

  50. Too much sugar beuh 1/2 cup?!?!

    • I’ll bet, like me at first, you only looked at the ingredient list since that was my initial reaction. Then I realized that the half cup sugar is to make a supply of liquid sweetener that should last “a few weeks in the refrigerator”.

    • I used 1/4 cup of sugar bc 1/2 is a lot and I didn’t really want to make the simple syrup bc I’m lazy. Turned out really good!

  51. I did one cup milk one cup french vanilla creamer for my half and half, things are cooling now. Can’t wait to try it. Recipe was easy to do. I’m from California but just moved to Washington. Coffee shops here are really expensive this is a life saving allowence tip. Ty happy new year

  52. Rated 5 out of 5

    5/5. It’s amazing.

  53. Rated 5 out of 5

    it really is good i’m in 6th grade and this is a recipe shared by my good friend

  54. Soooo good. I substituted simple syrup with Starbucks brand vanilla syrup (this stuff costs 3 bucks!), and makes it faster for me to make my coffee in the morning!

  55. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this today and it is so delicious! The only thing i did different was also add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the simple syrop (because I love cinnamon lol).

  56. Rated 5 out of 5

    this turned out so good! tastes like i bought it from starbucks. and it’s easy!

  57. Rated 5 out of 5

    this was so good!! i love iced coffee so much but i don’t always have the money for $6 starbucks iced coffee and their iced coffee doesn’t always turn out good. this has been good everytime i’ve made it!! it’s absolutely stellar.

  58. Rated 5 out of 5

    I have a weird and silly question, when we make the coffee at night my friend and I put the milk with the coffee and let it sit in the refrigerator, then the next day we put it on ice …. is there’s something wrong with that? 
    Also this recipe is best with sugar and the syrup it’s yummy recommend both!!  

  59. I’m letting the “syrup” cool at the moment and it’s not syrup its more just sugar water.. will it thicken as we go? or did I do something wrong?

  60. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was SO GOOD! How do I store the syrup…leave at room temp, or refrigerate? And if I make coffee ahead of time, should I refrigerate or leave out all night?

    • Simple syrup can be kept in the refrigerator. The coffee can also be kept in your refrigerator. As an undiluted concentrate, it should keep for up to two weeks but the flavor quality will degrade after the first week. If you’ve cut the concentrate with water, this will shorten the shelf life to 2-3 days.

  61. Rated 5 out of 5

    I absolutely love this recipe, great taste and simple recipe.

  62. Rated 5 out of 5

    How many calories is the simple syrup?
    I must say fantastic recipe it will be my go to from now on!

    • Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. But if it is not available for a specific recipe, you can always use free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”). Hope that helps, Ldove!

  63. Rated 5 out of 5

    simple and good! it added the perfect amount of flavor

  64. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is awesome! I’ve been wanting to recreate My go-to Starbucks coffee but it never tasted right until now. This is simple enough for even me to follow and will definitely save me lots of money 🙂 thank you!

  65. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very tasty! I applaud you for posting this delicious recipe. Thanks.

  66. Rated 5 out of 5

    Highly Recommend

  67. Rated 5 out of 5

    What should I do with the leftover syrup? Can I set it in the fridge for the next day?

  68. I haven’t been able to drink real coffee for so long because it messes with my stomach, I just made this in hopes that I will be able to drink it and I absolutely love how it tastes and looks! I ended up using coffee ice cubes so as not to dilute the flavor.

  69. This may seem like a common sense question but Can the syrup that you don’t use be left out to use later or does it need to be refrigerated. 

  70. Horrible instructions, ended up pouring the entire simple syrup in and essentially drinking sugar water.

  71. Brew your coffee double strong if you’re serving it on ice. And why not add sugar to the coffee when you brew it? Making syrup adds complexity not needed…

  72. Do you realy ad 1/2 cup of sugar to 1 cup of coffee ????

  73. how many calories?

    • Hi Cheryl, nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  74. I made some cold brew coffee a few days ago. Just used it in this drink.OMG this was so good. I keep some simple syrup in a squeeze jar in the fridge so did not have to wait. I put this into a clear glass coffee mug and topped this off with some whipped cream. I think this will keep me from falling asleep every afternoon. SO Yummy! Thanks

  75. I have been drinking iced coffee for a couple years, and making my own here at home. I have been making a pot of coffee then pouring it into a pitcherand keeping it in the refrigerator. When I’m ready for a big glassful,I add ice,pour in coffee, add a little stevia, then I have always Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. I have even changed coffee flavors and used Vanilla Almond Milk. ALL yummy! !!

  76. HALF CUP OF SUGAR??  That is insane!  Talk about going into a sugar coma.  

  77. I spent all this summer drinking Iced Coffee! And I won’t stop this winter! Oh, and I’m Italian, so it’s always pretty strange to come into a coffee shop and ask for an Iced Coffee. Baristas always make grumpy faces at me eheheh.

    However, I prefer it black and extra strong. It helps me stay awake 🙂

  78. I love iced coffee but could never get the portions right – It always ended up being a little too diluted. Thanks for this, perfect for the sweltering summer heat right now.

  79. does the coffee need to be extra strong since it will be a bit diluted with ice cubes? Do the coffee beans need to be espresso beans? Thanks!

  80. I thought simple syrup were equal parts?

  81. Uncontrollable craving for iced coffee was creating a great hole in my pocket. Not anymore.Thanks a lot for the easy recipe.

  82. So I’m a little confused. Is the syrup supposed to be a syrup consistancy? Or does it thicken as it cools?

  83. Seems like now I don’t have to pay for some delicious Iced Coffee. I was just reading a recipe of Mocha so I thought I should share my views over the point where you said that we need cooled coffee power for Iced Coffee. At that blog the writer mentioned that it’s good to ground some extra coffee and freeze it in ice cube and then you can grind it and believe me that’ll surely increase the taste of an Iced Coffee. In fact I’m also going to try it now.

  84. Just found your blog and love it, your are just so talented, you have me really inspired. Silly question, when you say half and half do you mean cream an milk?
    Thanks from West Australia

  85. I just like the cold coffee.Your pictures are so nice and seems too tasty.I will try this and hope enjoy a lot to drink.

  86. Love how simple it is to make, compered to the result what you get. Amazing, absolutely love it.

  87. Making your Honey Balsamic Herb Chicken with Vegetables right now…Has another 20 min or so….So I thought I’d have a look around at some more recipes. I spotted this, and was curious as to how you do it. Same as me, except I go ALL the WAY and add the syrup to half and half, or heavy cream, in the container! Hah! I don’t have to pay for the expensive FAKE creamers. I have the real thing, that I ade, and I know what’s in it…(a LOT of sugar!)
    P.S. I also add caramel syrup if I have it and/or chocolate syrup as well! Woo Hoo! Don’t care for adding the artificial flavors at all.

  88. Good recipe, but had to half the sugar, American iced coffee is much too sweet for me.

  89. Yum! your picture looks so delicious to me. Really i am impressed. Ice coffee with vanilla looks impressive. I have a wish to try this at my home.  

  90. My favorite iced coffee is cold brewed! I feel like it has a much better, richer flavor, and is smoother. 🙂

  91. This is awesome, thanks so much for sharing! I used to make ice coffee all the time but I like it sweet and didn’t know how to get it that way without buying the vanilla syrup from the store. But yay, there is hope with the simple syrup recipe. Pinning this, you’re one of my favorite food bloggers! PS I love your mason jar glass situation…mason jar on a stem?!

  92. You are my new fav blogger!! Thank you.

  93. Chungah your website is abosolutely amazing and love this iced coffee recipe can’t wait to try it!

  94. Love iced coffeeI I like to make coffee ice cubes so they don’t dilute my drink and use sweet and condensed milk for creamy sweetness.

  95. Another idea for iced coffee: good quality strong coffee, a good favored creamer (International Delight, etc), sugar if desired and ice. This is for those of us who are lazy! At one time 10 years ago, my live-in friend was drinking as many as 5 double iced expresso’s a day from Starbucks! That was 5 expresso shots per drink! Even then the cost was a killer… about $!5.00 a day. I needed to wean him off of them. He was able to adjust, so now we only get him 3 – 4 a week from Starbucks! Enjoy bog and recipes.

  96. This looks amazing! By far the best iced coffee recipe Ive seen! Thank you! 🙂

  97. I love this! Thanks! Does the simple sugar mix need to be stored in the fridge?

  98. Where did you find that glass?

  99. Do you have any recommendations for “good quality coffee beans”?]

    Thanks!

    • It really depends on the type of coffee that you like. I prefer to stock up on coffee beans at my favorite gourmet coffee shops like Alfred’s Coffee, Intelligentsia, and/or Blue Bottle.

  100. What is your measurement for a cup? My morning cup of coffee is 12 oz not 8 oz. Do you mean an exact 8oz cup?

    • 1 cup = 8 fl oz, but you can easily make adjustments as you are simply adding simply syrup and half and half (or milk), to taste.

  101. I love iced coffee, even in winter.
    A question regarding the recipe: why is water not considered an ingredient, why is it always skipped? It is so annoying to discover it later in the text. I know I am supposed to read the whole text, but I wonder how many of us do. I like to gather my ingredients first and then proceed to methodology.

    • Some authors prefer to write in the water as an ingredient and others do not. It’s just a matter of personal style.

      • Thanks. I thought it was some rule from the culinary powers that be. Is it because it’s just … water? Why not apply the same rule to salt and pepper, then, since they’re so common? What would a dough recipe look like? “Ingredients: 10 oz flour” “Mix the flour with salt and pepper and add 5 fl oz water.”

        • Some actually do skip over salt and pepper. I’ve seen a number of recipes that just put in the directions to add salt and pepper to taste without including it in the ingredient list.

    • I thought the same thing about the water in reading the recipe I thought that is going to be so sweet half as much sugar as coffee. Glad I read on

    • The ingredient of water is left out because the kind soul that spent her time and effort in sharing this recipe  for our benifit assumes that the audience has common sense. Seriously… the ingredient of coffee naturally needs water. And if you don’t know how to make coffee perhaps you need to start at a more basic level than mixing coffee, however you come by it,  with sugar, dairy and ice. Bless your heart, Linda. 

      • To be fair…. the water in question is not used with the coffee, but with the making of the simple syrup.  No need to be snarky.  The author if the blog answered her quite politely. 

      • Amen!!! I was bitting my tonge not to answer. Thanks for doing it and thank you to the lady that wrote the recipe. I can’t wait to go home and try it. My daughter LOVES iced coffee. Have a great day. P.S. to the people criticizing…When you have nothing nice to say – stay quite!