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Iced Coffee, The Italian Way

by Francine Segan, Photos by David Cicconi

Iced Coffee, The Italian Way

Iced coffee isn’t just an American phenomenon. The Italians are into iced coffee, too, but they’ve put their own spin on it.  While Italians love to linger over a meal, that same laid-back attitude doesn’t apply to making their iced caffè. Italians don’t let hot coffee hang around to cool off and,Dio mio, they wouldn’t think of making cold brew. Their choice? A shakerato (shock-eh-RAH-toe): Hot caffè shaken with ice to chill it quickly. What follows is the basic method for making Caffè Shakerato along with five variations.

SEE MORE: The 25 Best Coffee Shops in America

Caffè Shakerato For Two Italians or One American:

- Combine 3/4 to 1 cup freshly-made espresso (2 long shots) or strong-brewed coffee with sugar to taste (the hot espresso helps dissolve the sugar quickly). 

- Add 8 to 10 ice cubes (crack if large; about 1/2 cup total) in a pint-size Mason jar or cocktail shaker, close it, and shake the mixture vigorously until the jar feels cold.

- An American would drink this from the Mason jar with a straw.

- An Italian would strain it into two glasses (no ice). The foam is prized, so if there’s a good amount, spoon off and reserve the foam, pour the drinks, then divide the foam between each serving.

Shakerato latte

Caffe Latte Shakerato

- Make as above, adding milk to taste before shaking

SEE MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Ordering Coffee

Caffè alla Salentina

A specialty of the Salentino area in Puglia

- Make the same way as Caffè Shakerato but sweeten with Italian almond syrup, known in Italy as latte di mandorla (not be confused with American-style almond milk). Orgeat syrup is similar to almond syrup, but some versions include a bit of orange or rose essence.

Caffè Freddo alla Vaniglia

- Make the same way as Caffè Shakerato but sweeten with vanilla syrup or vanilla liqueur.

Caffè Machiato Frio

Caffè Macchiato Freddo

- Think of this as the Italian version of a Frappuccino.

- In a blender combine 3/4- to 1 cup freshly-made espresso (2 long shots) or strong-brewed coffee with 1/4 cup cold milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste, and 3/4 cup ice cubes (cracked if large). Blend until smooth.

Latte Machiato Frio

Latte Macchiato Freddo

- The reverse proportions of a Caffè Macchiato Freddo.

- In a blender combine 1/4 cup freshly-made espresso or strong-brewed coffee with 3/4 cup cold milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste, and 3/4 cup ice cubes (cracked if large). Blend until smooth. 

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