I really, really wanted to save this recipe for fall. But dangit, I am excited about it now! So excited, I want to all-cap this from the rooftops and use copious amounts of exclamation points.
ORANGE SPICE ICED COFFEE!!!!
Kind of like that.
I know that fruit in your iced coffee sounds weird. Oh, how I get that. The first time I saw a promo sign at Starbucks, I thought, huh. Weird. I mean, one, fruit in your iced coffee, really? And then I checked the calendar. Why, yes, it is July, yet Starbucks is promoting a decidedly December flavor, orange spice. Well, then again, it is iced. Which I guess is why they’re launching it now. Okay, fine, I thought. I’ll try it.
There you go, folks. A scintillating peek into the typical thoughts that float ’round my brain.
So here’s the thing. This particular fruit and spice combination totally works in iced coffee. It sounds cliche, but seriously: one sip and I was pretty much hooked. I think it works because, to me, a really great iced coffee brew has a pretty significant chocolate note. Orange and chocolate together are magic, so this sort of makes sense. And then the warming, wonderful cinnamon and nutmeg – well, those just belong in coffee.
I’m not really sure how Starbucks makes theirs, but naturally, I set out to make my own version at home. And I’m totally, completely, utterly in love with this iced coffee.
With two hits of orange (once in the syrup and then a few pinches of zest in the drink itself), it’s decidedly orange flavored, yes – but not cloyingly so. It’s just right. The spices – cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg – lend warm fuzzy notes that help bring this all together in a swirl of creamy, caffeine-packed, entirely-too drinkable pure goodness.
And now I have an orange obsession. Fruity iced coffee is a thumbs up, my friends. The possibilities might just be endless.
Orange Spice Iced Coffee
For the orange spice syrup:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 large strips fresh orange peel
- 1 4- inch cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Make the syrup:
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and water. Using a paring knife, peel two large (about 2 - 3 inches long) strips of peel from a fresh orange. Be careful to avoid the bitter pith (the white part) as much as possible. Add the orange peel, cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg, to the sugar-water mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Pour syrup over a sieve into a small bowl or jar and discard solids.
- Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Make the iced coffee:
- Fill a 12 ounce or larger glass with ice. Pour coffee concentrate and syrup over ice, stir in cream, if using. Top with orange zest and a dash of cinnamon. Serve with a straw.