I know being basic is supposed to be some sort of bad thing, but when it comes to my coffee drinks, I will embrace any title thrown at me. Because yes, my coffee habits make me about as basic as they come.
For some reason, Italy hasn't gotten on the iced coffee train. We don't have Starbucks here — at least anywhere near where I live. And as the temperature gets warmer and my pant hem gets shorter, my coffee needs to get colder, which is basically the only thing Starbucks is good for (PSLs excluded). So my coffee consumption was in a bit of a funk until I discovered the magic that is the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Marker.
This cold brew system is easy to use, and the best part — it's cheap. The filter comes with directions that make a coffee concentrate that lasts me about a week (though I have an extreme white girl relationship with it) and comes with a fantastic carafe that fits in the fridge.
So, Theresa and I have been experimenting with iced coffee syrups to perk up our caffeine fix and thought we'd bring you the deliciousness that is burnt sugar syrup. It resembles the taste of a bonfire-toasted marshmallow or creme brulée — basically, extremely tasty things. Take that sugar and your coffee and have a jittery, basic kind of day. The simple syrup is even great in whiskey. But you know us and whiskey.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- Place the sugar in a pot with high sides on medium heat. Melt the sugar, stirring often (I used a silicone spatula) so it does not burn. To achieve the burnt taste, heat until the sugar turns a darker color and just until it starts to smoke and smell a bit. The sugar may also form strange chunks in the beginning, but do not worry – these will melt.
- Once the sugar is melted, quickly pour the water over the sugar, but stand back and be careful, as the process is quite dramatic and may sputter. Stir and melt on low or medium-low until any remaining chunks of sugar are dissolved.
- Set aside to cool and then store in an airtight container. The syrup should keep for 2 weeks. Add two tablespoons to your iced coffee, or even bourbon-based cocktails!
*Be very careful when making this simple syrup, as it can burn quickly and also get to a smoke point if you're not paying attention. I would suggest watching a few YouTube videos on the process (similar process to caramel simple syrup) before attempting it, especially if this is your first caramel. Also make sure to be constantly stirring and do not walk away from the pan while it's cooking.
Syrup recipe adapted from Reclaiming Provincal. Photos and text © Katie Currid 2015.