You know when you try something and immediately think “I can never live without this. Ever.”? Don’t deny it, you’ve been there.
That’s how I felt a few weeks ago at Da Matteo in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a sunny afternoon, and I was visiting Da Matteo for the first time. Of course, when visiting a cafe for the first time, you want to be able to objectively judge the coffee. In my mind that means pour-over or espresso. No milk, no extras, just coffee. So I was ready to order the V60.
But then I saw it. Kaffelemonad.
I couldn’t stop myself. I had to have it.
Result? Immediate addiction. So addicting that when I returned to Da Matteo a few days later early in the morning before a day at World of Coffee, I debated ordering one. Because who doesn’t want coffee lemonade at 7:30 a.m. on a Wednesday? According to the Da Matteo website, the coffee lemonade made its debut last summer and it was so popular they brought it out again this year. I can understand why.
Since consuming this drink, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. So I did what any rational person would do: I made my own version. While the original wasn’t fizzy, I do like the extra kick of tonic water, but you can also make it without. And for some extra lemon action, I made the simple syrup infused with lemon zest. You can also get extra fancy and use coffee ice cubes. Because, coffee ice cubes. Enough said.
For all you coffee purists out there who want their coffee with nothing but, I challenge you to try this drink. It’s sweet without feeling like you’re guzzling some weird, high-fructose corn syrup induced frappy thing, caffeinated enough to make you feel like you are drinking the best of cold brews, and refreshing enough to pick your melted self off the asphalt on even the hottest day.
Because you’re probably going to want to make a lot of this stuff, I’ve done this recipe in ratios. Make as much as you think you will need, and then some.
Refreshing Iced Coffee Lemonade
Lemon Zest Simple Syrup
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup water
Zest of one medium-sized lemon
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon zest and place on medium heat. Stir regularly until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat. Let cool, then pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.
Iced Coffee Lemonade
3 parts brewed coffee (cold brew is great, but the leftover from your morning French press is fine too)
2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 part lemon zest simple syrup
2 parts tonic water
Ice cubes (coffee ice cubes if you’ve planned ahead)
Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir vigorously. This is, of course, the “basic kitchen option.” If you happen to have a shaker on hand, combine all the ingredients in that, and use your fanciest shaking method, then pour into a glass. Add more tonic water if needed.
Sit out in the sunshine and enjoy. Then go serve yourself another.
Anna Brones (@annabrones) is a Sprudge.com staff writer based in Paris, the founder of Foodie Underground, and the co-author of Fika: The Art Of The Swedish Coffee Break, available now from Ten Speed Press. Read more Anna Brones on Sprudge.