Some people mark it with the first BBQ of the season, but I know summer is just around the corner when I stop ordering my coffee "hot, and, oh, can you throw a couple of ice cubes in there to cool it off?" — does anyone else do this? I'm sure someone does! — and start ordering it "iced, but with very little ice. No, less than that. A little less. Even less! Haha, I know. Almost no ice." (I like my beverages within a few degrees of room temperature. Someone once told me this was a European thing, so I will go with that.)
Anyway, I find this iced coffee order really distressing because I'm positive the baristas think I'm cheap and just want the most caffeine bang for my buck, so I end up exerting a lot of physical energy during my order making self-deprecating hand gestures, and then say, "yeah, that's fine" even when there are still clearly at least eight ice cubes in the cup, and then put like $9 in the tip jar because I hate myself. So for that reason, among others, I tend to have my first cup of the day at home. Which means that not only can I add or throw out as much ice as I want, I can also add as much booze as I want.
There are lots of spiked coffee recipes out there, but here are two (yes!) of my recent favorites, one with coffee and one with espresso. One of those small 200ml bottles of Kahlúa is plenty to make both drinks, but I will say that I’ve found that the size of the liquor bottle and the frequency with which you visit your local liquor store correlates with what the liquor store cashier thinks of you.
Anyway! On to the recipes. Resist the temptation to add sugar to either of these — the Kahlúa adds the perfect amount of sweetness. Disclaimer: You don't have to drink these in the morning and, in fact, I encourage you not to if you have the sort of job that requires you to operate machinery or sit mostly upright.
Kahlúa Iced Coffee
2 parts Kahlúa
2 parts chilled coffee
1 part milk or cream
Directions: Serve over ice in a tall glass.
Kahlúa Espresso Martini
1.5 parts Kahlúa
1 part Absolut Vodka
1 freshly brewed espresso (I interpret “freshly brewed” to mean from the coffee shop around the corner.)
Directions: Fill a shaker with ice, add Kahlúa, Absolut, and a fresh-brewed espresso. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Ta-da — simple and delicious. Now when you make plans to meet friends for coffee you can make air quotes around the for coffee part.
Previously: DIY Apple-Infused Spiced Rum.
Diana Vilibert is a freelance drinker and writer in Brooklyn.
Photos courtesy Kahlúa.