How to Make the Best Sweet Iced Coffee (Easy Recipe)

How to Make the Best Sweet Iced Coffee (Easy Recipe)

Discover the secret to perfect sweet iced coffee! This easy guide will show you how to create a refreshing summer treat on hot summer days or an afternoon pick-me-up with just the right touch of sweetness. Indulge in the ultimate cold brew coffee experience that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

A glass of iced coffee with cream on a table

Are you a coffee drinker? 

I enjoy a hot cup of morning joe with my breakfast but for later in the afternoon or evening, I prefer a homemade cold brew. 

Making a homemade version of your favorite Starbuck’s cold drink at home is easier than ever.

All you need is a few basic ingredients and a coffee maker to make your own creamy iced coffee.

Save time and money and make the most delicious iced coffee at home. 

Your wallet will thank you!

So say goodbye to coffee shop lines and hello to homemade iced coffee with every sip.


You’ll need these main ingredients to make the perfect iced coffee. Pick up what you don’t have at home at your local grocery store. 

Coffee: A strong brewed coffee or espresso shot, cooled to room temperature.

Water: A few cups of water.

Sweetener: Simple syrup, sugar, or flavored syrup like vanilla or caramel.

Milk or Cream: Regular milk, half-and-half, or a dairy-free alternative for creaminess.

Ice: Regular ice cubes, or for an extra touch, coffee ice cubes to prevent dilution.

Ingredients to make iced coffee on a tabletop

How to make sweet iced coffee

For the best way to make sweet iced coffee, follow these simple steps and see the recipe card below.

  1. Brew Strong Coffee: Start with a good quality coffee as it will be diluted when poured over ice. 
  2. Cool the Coffee: Allow the coffee to cool down to room temperature, or place it in the fridge to chill. I’ll often make the coffee in the evening so it’s ready for the next day.
  3. Sweeten the Coffee: Use a simple sugar syrup, which is a mixture of sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves, then cooled. This blends smoothly into the cold coffee. You can also use flavored syrups like vanilla or caramel for added taste.
  4. Add Milk or Cream: Depending on your preference, add whole milk, almond milk, heavy cream, half-and-half, or a dairy-free alternative to your coffee.
  5. Serve Over Ice: Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and pour the sweetened coffee over the ice.
Cream being poured into a glass of iced coffee.

How to make simple syrups

Making simple syrup for iced coffee is easy and can be done quickly.

You’ll need water and sugar and added extracts like vanilla, almond, or mint if you want a flavored simple syrup. 

Then boil the water until the sugar dissolves.

Next, add your extracts and allow the syrup to cool down before adding to the iced coffee. 

Store the syrup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

A jar of cream and a simple syrup next to a bag of ground coffee on a table

What kind of coffee should I use?

For iced coffee, you have a variety of options depending on your taste preference.

Medium roast coffee offers a balance of flavor and acidity, often with nutty or chocolatey undertones, which is perfect for iced coffee.

Dark roast provides a rich and robust flavor that stands up well to the dilution from ice.

No coffee maker? Instant coffee can be used too. Just use a bit more coffee than you would for a regular cup to ensure a strong flavor.

Some brands offer coffee blends specifically designed for cold brewing, which can result in a smoother and less acidic iced coffee.

If you’re looking for convenience, there are also pre-made iced coffee options available, such as Keurig K-Cup Pods or ready-to-drink iced coffee bottles. 

However, if you prefer to make it from scratch, using freshly ground beans of your chosen roast will result in a bolder coffee strength. Brewing it stronger than usual will give you the best flavor for your iced coffee.

How to make strong coffee

To make a strong cup of coffee, you can try the following tips:

Select a Dark Roast: Dark roasts are often considered stronger due to their bold, bitter taste.

Use Fresh, Whole Beans: Freshly roasted beans provide a more powerful flavor. Store them in an airtight container away from light.

Grind Fresh and Fine: Grind your beans just before brewing. A finer grind results in faster flavor extraction, but be careful not to overdo it as it can become bitter.

Increase Coffee-to-Water Ratio: For a stronger brew, use more coffee grounds per unit of water.

Use Hot Water: It’s best to use hot water to brew for iced coffee. Once brewed, cool the coffee in the fridge to retain the strength.

Cold coffee being poured into a tall glass of ice.

Can I pour hot coffee over ice?

Pouring hot coffee over ice is one way to make iced coffee, but it might result in a diluted and less flavorful drink as the ice melts quickly. 

Here’s a better method to ensure a strong and chilled iced coffee:

Brew Strong Coffee: Make your coffee stronger than usual since it will be diluted with ice.

Cool It Down: Allow the coffee to cool at room temperature for a few minutes after brewing.

Use Ice Cubes Made of Coffee: If you have time, freeze some coffee in ice cube trays. Using coffee ice cubes prevents dilution as they melt.

Chill Your Coffee: Place the brewed coffee in the fridge to cool it down faster without dilution.

Pour Over Ice: Once your coffee is cool, pour coffee over a cup filled with regular ice cubes or coffee ice cubes.

What to serve with great iced coffee

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A glass of iced coffee with cream on a table

How to Make the Best Sweet Iced Coffee (Easy Recipe)

Ali Randall
Discover the secret to perfect sweet iced coffee! This easy guide will show you how to create a refreshing summer treat on hot summer days or an afternoon pick-me-up with just the right touch of sweetness.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • 1 cup coffee, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons half and half, cream or milk

For the simple syrup:

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part white sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of almond mint or vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or caramel sauce


For the simple syrup:

  • Boil water in a saucepan.
  • Combine the hot water and sugar in a glass or heat safe container.
  • Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Add in the extract or flavoring of your choice.
  • Allow the syrup to cool down before using it in your iced coffee.

For the iced coffee

  • Serve the chilled coffee over ice with cream or half and half and simple syrup, adding 1 teaspoon at a time, according to your taste.
Keyword Sweet iced coffee
Sweet Iced Coffee Recipe

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