Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Iced coffee needn’t be sacrilege

Iced coffee needn’t be sacrilege
The Italian obsession with outstanding coffee can be intimidating to baristas. But while Italians know exactly what a great espresso should taste like, they take a more relaxed attitude in the heat of summer, when the iced coffee comes into its own – the Caffè Shakerato as we call it.
That said, there are still a few good tricks you can have up your sleeve to make iced coffee taste as authentic as possible. Most iced coffee is made with ice cubes, espresso, milk (if desired) and liquid sugar. It’s important to use liquid sugar, not regular sugar, as the ice cubes make it difficult for solid sugar to dissolve properly.
Every barista has their own secret ingredient to make an iced coffee their own, from flavored syrups, to ground spices. Some even go as far as carefully managing the water used in the ice. Because of the presence of calcium, hard tap water can affect the taste of iced coffee, so some baristas use bottled water or at the very least, make sure the ice cubes are made with the same water as the coffee itself.
To make iced coffee even more indulgent, you can add a shot or two of liquor. From vanilla, anise or nutty amaretto, to a warming whisky cream, it turns the innocent looking milky drink into a powerful, adult concoction. So go ahead, enjoy an iced coffee, without feeling like you’re missing out on the real thing.