Before I make any claims as to the deliciousness of this drink and its ability to put you into a joyous coffee orbit while you kick yourself for ever turning over your money to Starbucks for the lesser “Frappacino,” make sure you have a substantial blender; you know, a blender that can handle the grinding of ice cubes. Grinding ice will destroy a lesser blender’s blade and may disintegrate the rubber gasket which will then leach into your coffee drink and make you very sick (this happened to me when I used a cheap blender in a rental unit on the Cape). You may also want to invest in some decent earplugs.
Warning: you may not get to drink this for several hours after you’ve brewed your coffee, so if you are really jones-ing, you’ll have had to start the night before. You dig?
Also, a disclaimer: I never measure any of this. I’ve tried, but by the time I’m thinking about making my coffee blended, I’m too excited to keep track of measurements.
First, brew up some of your favorite delicious-ass coffee (could be espresso, for instance). You’ll need about 2 C. Let cool.
Fill an ice cube tray with your cooled brew (you don’t want to pour boiling hot coffee into a plastic tray nor make your freezer work that hard), then FREEZE.
Chill the remaining (cooled) coffee in a jar (I prefer a large glass one) in the fridge-o-rama.
Once dem cubes is frozen, stick some in dem blender. I use about 8 (this is quite a buzzy amount).
Pour in about a TBSP of cream (heavy, half-and-half, light–whatever your preference).
Pour in about 2 TBSP of good maple syrup (more or less depending on your tolerance for sweet and the strength of the coffee). I use good local Massachusetts or Vermont syrup when I’ve got it, but the Trader Joe’s stuff from Canada is cheaper, Grade B, comes in a glass container rather than a plastic one, and just fine o fine. And don’t even try to cheat by using sugar. It won’t dissolve in ice or give you a subtle depth of sweetness. (Plus, they say maple syrup contains trace minerals). (I know,”subtle” and “depth” seem incompatible, but trust me).
Top it all off with about a half cup of the chilled coffee.
Blend on “high,” “liquefy,” “ice crush,” or “puree.” Experiment. You want a smooth and uniform result. You may need to add more liquid coffee if the cubes remain chunky; you may need to add more cubes if it’s too liquidy. Stick a straw in there and test for your fave sweet/bitter combination as well as for your fave texture. Keep adjusting.
It gets easier and soon you’ll be a pro, making these for your listless friends who need a jolt and don’t yet notice that the blood coursing through their veins is far too slow and steady.
I also recommend finding a few really good, wide straws with which to sip your concoction. A too-small diameter just won’t do. You could ask for a couple of the very wide straws at the concoction counter at a Panera Bread store. They come in 4 fabulous colors. I stick mine in the dishwasher, too, and reuse them again and again. I’m not afraid that they are a bad, leaching plastic. Who knows, though? The red straws at Bruegger’s are wide enough, too, but not all of their shops stock them.
Now the next time you order a $4 (or more depending on your proximity to NYC or Provincetown, MA) drink at a fancy java shop, remember to ask how they make it. This is often met with puzzlement or a defensive stance. Stand your ground and don’t buy it if it is made from a powdered mix. This is pure crap and it tastes like pure crap and I bet is costs 3 cents to produce. Some coffee shops do make an honest frozen drink, however.
Even though it’s made from a (liquid) mix containing some high fructose corn syrup, I am partial to the Bruggeracino (sp?) from Bruegger’s (no mocha, please, I am a purist). I occasionally allow some of the Monin vanilla syrup if a drink is made without sweetener and the shop only has sugar.
Best wishes and let me know how it works out after you calm down a bit. I’d love to hear about your adventures once the buzz wears off. Oh, and don’t forget to send me 50 cents every time you make this. I probably saved you $3.50 at Starbucks.