Recipe of the Week

Main Ingredient - Beverages
Alcoholic Beverages

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Simply put, I love coffee. My morning coffee is my favourite part of the day. I even travel with a mini espresso maker so that all my mornings can start with a steaming shot of rich, dark coffee.

And last summer I became obsessed with a fresh approach to my favourite beverage — cold brewing. It's no more complicated than it sounds. Instead of running hot water through ground coffee, you use cold. And instead of straining the water through it quickly, you steep the grounds in it for longer, as much as 8 to 12 hours.

The result is a rich coffee concentrate that is so worth the wait. You then dilute the concentrate with either hot or cold water (more on that later) to produce a cup of coffee that is light, yet rich and virtually acid-free. This is because the grounds steep slowly, which is a gentler extraction process than traditional brewing. And it quite naturally makes the most amazing iced coffee, one of my favourite summer drinks.

When I started experimenting with making it at home, I made it in canning jars and old milk jugs. But straining the grounds at the end was always a bit of a hassle. A light went off in my caffeine-charged brain when I thought of my somewhat abandoned French press. The coffee press could brew and filter the coffee in one piece!

Of course, I'm hardly the first person to think of it. In fact, French press maker Bodum even has a model designed for cold brewing. That version comes with a lid for the overnight brew and the plunger part has a locking pourer "spout," which allows you to keep the cold brew in the refrigerator for as long as it lasts. You just clean it and get rid of the coffee grounds when you are ready to make a new batch.

There are a few points to consider when making your perfect brew. For cold-brewed coffee, you must use coarsely ground coffee. If you use a fine grind, it will be difficult to strain the coffee and your iced coffee will be filled with sediment. I use a 4-to-1 ratio of water to coffee. It is easy to remember and makes a good strong coffee "concentrate," but not too strong.

One of the reasons I love to use cold-brewed coffee for my iced coffee is that it doesn't get watered down when poured over ice. Traditionally brewed coffee loses its punch when the ice melts. But if you use the cold-brewed concentrate straight up, it can handle the ice without losing its flavour.

Another iced coffee tip along those lines — whenever you have leftover coffee (no matter how you make it), pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Then when you make iced coffee, use those cubes instead regular ice. This way as the ice melts, your coffee just gets better and better rather than watered down.

A final note about sweeteners. Anyone who loves iced coffee surely has noticed that granulated sugar doesn't dissolve well in cold beverages. So instead use simple syrup (sugar and water mixed at a 2-to-1 ratio, simmered, then cooled), agave syrup or even maple syrup.

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Simple syrup is the basis of homemade lemonade and many cocktail recipes. It is a “lost art” in many homes today, but very simple—thus the name—to make and great to have on hand.


Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Nothing quenches our thirst like homemade lemonade. It is just as easy as using frozen concentrate and to our way of drinking, sooo much better! We like to make a whole pitcher full and float thin slices of lemon in it because it looks refreshing and pretty!


Created by Elizabeth Karmel

It may not be authentic, but it sure is good. This non-alcoholic sparkling treat is a nice with spicy food, or just on its own. Leave out the cilantro and you can also use it to substitute for ginger ale in your favorite mixed drinks. It is particularly good in a Pimm’s Cup.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

This country-club classic is easy to make and easy to drink. It's not too sweet and is just the thing to help a harried cook cope with the heat coming off the grill grate. It's also non-alcoholic, but we won't tell if you decide to spice it up with a little extra "ooompf."

hi elizabeth3
a food fanatic and the Grill Girl from North Carolina who has seasoned, basted and tasted my way across the country. Please join me on my non-stop, culinary journey...


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