When I first saw a post about a shaken iced brown sugar latte, I thought “COLOR ME INTRIGUED”. I’m known to make my own iced lattes from time to time, but had never thought to shake the mixture. And yet, it makes perfect sense and I knew I had to try it.
Why should you shake espresso or coffee? There are a few answers to that, and it’s very similar to why you shake certain types of cocktails (but not others).
First, it blends and emulsifies the ingredients so they are truly mixed and take on a kind of creamy mouthfeel even without any dairy. The shaking also aerates the mixture, which releases flavor compounds (esters??) and really highlights the different flavor notes in the coffee.
And it chills it quickly, preventing it from getting watered down—CLUTCH.
I believe without milk this would be called a “shakerato“…and it achieves a similar effect to using or “pressing” my Aeropress directly over ice cubes to make my favorite iced coffee ever (releasing flavor!).
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And apparently this is a copycat recipe of Starbucks’ iced brown sugar oat milk latte (which I’ve never tried), but I feel confident that this homemade version is healthier, it’s definitely cheaper, and I’d personally hazard a guess to say it’s yummier too.
One key is to shake all the ingredients EXCEPT the milk. I tried shaking it with the milk as well, but it deadens the strong flavors of the espresso and brown sugar syrup—I was not a fan. Simply pour your shaken, foamy mixture into the milk and stir a bit instead.
To make the syrup, dissolve the brown sugar into the water, add the cinnamon stick, and bring it to a brief boil. Add the vanilla and let the cinnamon stick steep while it cools (then discard the cinnamon stick). It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
To make your drink, make 3 “short” shots of espresso (on a Nespresso machine it’s the left-hand smaller button).
Fill a cocktail shaker or large mason jar with ice, add 2-4 tablespoons of syrup (to taste…I tend toward the lighter end) and the espresso.
Shake vigorously (original recipe says for 1 minute but I’m lazy, and 15 seconds yields great results).
In a glass add some ice and the milk you want. The biggest difference is I don’t use nearly the amount of milk the original recipes calls for, because I really want the espresso and brown sugar flavor to punch through.
Strain the shaken mixture into your glass over the milk, making sure you keep some of the foam.
Stir to combine, and enjoy!
Because it’s crazy easy, this shaken iced brown sugar latte has become my midday pick-me-up on my craziest WFH (work from home) days, those ones where you have 12 hours of Zoom meetings back-to-back.
Other coffee or coffee-inspired recipes you’ll love:
- The Best, Easiest Iced Coffee at Home
- Citrus Cardamom Coffee Spritzer
- Black Raspberry Irish Coffee
- Try other flavors like this Easy Cardamom Simple Syrup
- Coffee Cardamom Cake with “Bulletproof” Icing
- Espresso Chocolate Coffee Cake
Adapted slightly from Half-Baked Harvest
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- BROWN SUGAR VANILLA SYRUP
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
- 1/2 tablespoon of real vanilla extract
- 3 shots of espresso ("short" shots, not lungo)
- 2-4 tablespoons of the brown sugar syrup
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk of your choice
- To make the syrup, dissolve the brown sugar into the water, add the cinnamon stick, and bring it to a brief boil. Add the vanilla and let the cinnamon stick steep while it cools (then discard the cinnamon stick). It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
- To make your drink, make 3 "short" shots of espresso (on a Nespresso machine it's the left-hand smaller button).
- Fill a shaker glass or large mason jar with ice, add 2-4 tablespoons of syrup (to taste...I tend toward 2 tablespoons) and the espresso.
- Shake vigorously (original recipe says for 1 minute but I'm lazy, and 15 seconds yields great results).
- In a glass add some ice and the milk you want. Strain the shaken mixture into your glass over the milk, making sure you keep some of the foam. Stir to combine, and enjoy!
- Any espresso machine will work, I'm just partial to Nespresso because it's SO easy and produces amazing crema