Cold Brew Coffee with Mint Syrup / by Cynthia Raub

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A couple of months ago when I made Chopped Herb Salad with Farro, I had a serious surplus of mint. It sat in the refrigerator, sad and unused, until my husband came to its rescue. He made a simple syrup with the languid, leftover bunch of mint, and chucked it back in the fridge. A few mornings later, with a cup of cold coffee in my hands, I remembered the mint simple syrup and added it to my coffee on a whim. It was . . . weird. And . . . a revelation! I happily added it to my coffee the rest of the week, until it was sadly gone. A month later, I went out to coffee with a friend, and she recommended the mint iced coffee at her regular spot. I was so confused! I thought I had invented mint iced coffee! Then the other day, as I was chatting with Amy about what we should drink with her yummy Blueberry Streusel Muffins, I mentioned my mint coffee discovery. She mentioned that her favorite drink at Philz Coffee was the Mint Mojito. What?! OK, maybe I didn't invent mint iced coffee after all. Even though I pretty much live under a rock, (trend? what trend?!) it was just surprising how I was inadvertently still in the mix of the world without even knowing it.

Notes: Cold brew coffee concentrate is so convenient to have on hand and is usually more enjoyable for people like me, who rarely get to drink coffee hot. The recipe is simple, but here are a few ideas to make your beverages special. Coffee ice cubes are a special addition to iced coffee, when you are concerned about watering down the potency of your cup of joe. Also, to get beautiful herbs to float in your ice cubes (mint, anyone?!), fill the tray halfway and add small mint leaves. Freeze for a few hours and then top with more water to encase the leaves. I would also recommend trying this delicious beverage with coconut milk in lieu of cow's milk or cream. The combination of mint and coconut milk made this drink fun and almost tropical.

Time: 12-24 hours (inactive)
Yields: 2.5 cups coffee concentrate

For The Cold Brew Coffee:
1 cup coarse ground coffee
3 cups filtered water

Fill a large jar or pitcher with 3 cups of filtered cold (or room temperature) water. Carefully pour in coarse ground coffee and stir to combine. Cover and store in the fridge for 12-24 hours. 

Strain grounds from steeped coffee twice: first through a fine mesh sieve to separate the large grounds; and second, though a coffee filter to remove the fine debris. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

For The Mint Syrup:
1 bunch mint (about 1 cup, packed)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Combine mint, water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature and store in a container with an airtight lid. Mint syrup keeps for 1 week. 

To Serve:
Fill a glass with ice. Leaving room for simple syrup and cream, pour one part coffee concentrate to one part water over the ice. Top with mint simple syrup - stir and taste, adjusting sweetness to your preference. Add cream or milk to taste and stir. Garnish with mint leaves and enjoy!