How To Sweeten Iced Coffee [With 9 Things You Already Have]

I recently made the switch from hot coffee to iced coffee and quickly discovered that my normal method of adding a tablespoon of sugar to sweeten the drink doesn’t work.

sugar just doesn’t dissolve in cold liquids and just sinks to the bottom of the cup. annoyance.

Reading: Best sweetener for iced coffee

This gave me a bit of a dilemma. I decided to conduct an experiment to find out the best way to sweeten iced coffee.

I tried and tried 9 methods. I explained my results and what I thought about each method below.

A note about my experiment:

For consistency, I ordered two venti-sized iced coffees (the largest) from starbucks. I portioned them into smaller cups for each sweetener. I then documented the flavor, texture, and overall effectiveness of each sweetening ingredient.

This isn’t one of my more scientific experiments, as sweetness is largely a personal preference. but I hope it helps you discover some interesting and creative ways to sweeten your coffee without the plain and simple syrup.

more sweeteners: how to make cranberry juice taste better

how to sweeten iced coffee

To sweeten iced coffee, make a simple syrup by heating sugar and water in a 1:1 ratio until the sugar has dissolved. agave or maple syrup are good alternatives to sugar. To sweeten your unsweetened iced coffee, add vanilla extract, coconut milk, or unsweetened cocoa powder.

The following methods are traditionally sweet and contain sugar in some form (but not necessarily pure sugar).

however, not all of them are unhealthy, like honey.

if you want to avoid sugar altogether, skip the section on how to sweeten iced coffee without sugar.

make a simple sugar syrup

This is the most common way to sweeten iced coffee.

dissolve sugar in hot water to make sugar water. you can then add this sweetened water to your iced coffee. it will mix well.

how to make sugar syrup at home

Sugar syrup (also known as simple syrup) is very easy to make and will last at least a month in the fridge, so you can make a large batch and save it for later.

  • 1 part granulated sugar
  • 1 part water
  • additional flavorings (optional)
  • method:
    • mix the sugar and water in a saucepan
    • heat the mixture over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved (if you have added more flavorings, leave the mixture heating for an additional 1-2 minutes)
    • remove from heat
    • allow to cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge
    • You can play around with the sugar:water ratio if you want a sweeter or less sweet syrup. adding more sugar will result in a thicker consistency and will also increase the shelf life of the syrup.

      One of the best things about making your own sugar syrup is that you can customize it however you like.

      You can add additional flavor notes in the form of spices, herbs, citrus zest, vanilla pods, and even a little espresso powder. These extra ingredients will reduce the shelf life of your sugar syrup, but you’ll probably drink so much iced coffee that it won’t be a problem!

      how long does simple syrup last?

      syrup with a 1:1 sugar:water ratio will last a month in the fridge. syrup with a 2:1 sugar:water ratio will last about 6 months.

      Any flavoring you add to the syrup can reduce its shelf life.

      Your simple syrup should be completely clear. if you notice it starting to get cloudy, that’s a sign your syrup has run its course, that’s better.

      store-bought syrups

      that’s fine, so don’t bother making your own syrup. It’s okay, people have busy lives.

      For a quick fix, you can buy ready-to-use syrups at the store. there is a wide range of brands and flavors to choose from.

      You can even buy syrups from starbucks (available on amazon) to use at home. cool, right?

      honey/agave/maple syrup

      honey is a good alternative to regular sugar and will add a subtle flavor to your coffee.

      See also: 5 quán cà phê đường Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai mà bạn nhất định phải ghé – Cuối Tuần Của Tui

      however, it does not dissolve well in cold liquids.

      To sweeten iced coffee with honey, you must first make a honey syrup. this is the same as making simple sugar syrup. Add equal amounts of honey and water to a pan, heat until honey has dissolved, and set aside to cool. the mixture will last a month in the fridge.

      You can add the honey syrup directly to your coffee from the refrigerator.

      For a single serving, you can dissolve the honey in a small amount of hot water before adding it to the drink.

      Agave and maple syrup are excellent alternatives to honey because they dissolve well in cold liquids. there is no need to make a syrup with these options, you can add them to your coffee straight from the package.

      Perfect if you’re in a hurry.

      sweetened condensed milk

      In Vietnam, it’s standard to have sweetened condensed milk in your coffee and I don’t blame them. It’s delicious.

      milk sweetens the coffee and gives it a slightly thicker consistency.

      I would add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk per glass of iced coffee.

      You’ll need to stir the mixture well to make sure the condensed milk is fully mixed with the coffee. it tends to sink right to the bottom if not stirred well enough (see image above).

      ice cream

      this one is pretty forgiving, but everyone deserves a treat once in a while!

      a few spoonfuls of your favorite ice cream will sweeten your coffee.

      my personal favorite is mint chocolate chip or plain vanilla.

      again, be sure to stir the drink well to completely melt the ice cream and mix it well.

      chocolate ice cubes / sweetened coffee ice cubes

      There’s nothing worse than letting yourself drink for two minutes only to come back to find your ice cubes melted and your drink watered down.

      A smart way to avoid this and sweeten your coffee at the same time is to use flavored ice cubes.

      Chocolate ice cubes or ice cubes made from sweetened coffee work wonderfully. Another option is mint-flavored ice cubes.

      To make chocolate flavored ice cubes you can use chocolate milk, or mix milk with cocoa powder and sugar. With coffee ice cubes, you can sweeten your coffee however you like, then freeze it and add the cubes to your coffee the next time you drink it.

      It’s like the start of coffee!

      Because you have to wait for the ice cubes to melt before you get the full sweetened effect, this option is best for those looking for just a touch of sweetness.

      almond milk (sweetened)

      Instead of regular milk, you can switch to a non-dairy alternative that has been pre-sweetened.

      Vanilla flavored almond milk will add even more sweetness.

      other non-dairy alternatives include coconut and soy; whatever you have in the fridge is fine (as long as it’s sweetened!)

      milk chocolate

      Chocolate milk is every child’s dream, it sweetens the milk and makes it taste much better.

      does the same with coffee.

      effectively turns your drink into a mocha by adding chocolate flavor. what more could you ask for?

      caramel sauce

      See also: Im a Food Scientist, and This Is How To Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee at Home

      at starbucks, i always like to have an extra drizzle of caramel in my drink. Although it does not dissolve well in cold drinks, if you stir it enough, the caramel incorporates well and you will be able to taste it with each sip.

      This works best if you add the caramel to your cup before adding the coffee. this way you can drizzle it down the sides of your cup and it will sweeten the whole drink. if your candy is too hard to sprinkle on, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften.

      how to sweeten iced coffee without sugar

      If you simply lack sugar in your pantry, hopefully you’ve found a suitable option above.

      but if you’re trying to completely avoid sugar in all its disguised forms, here are some healthier options for sweetening iced coffee.

      use water/coconut milk (no sugar)

      Coconut is naturally sweet, so swapping a little water for coconut water or using coconut milk instead of regular cream will add a touch of sweetness without the need for sugar.

      It also gives the drink an exotic flavor. while you drink it, the coffee will transport you to a white sand beach somewhere in paradise!

      coconut cream will also work. these are great natural options to sweeten your iced coffee.

      cocoa powder without sugar

      If you like mochas but not sugar, swap the sweetened chocolate syrup for unsweetened cocoa powder.

      The powder will not directly sweeten the drink, but it will have a sweet, chocolatey aftertaste!

      The powder will not dissolve if you put it in a cold drink. what I do is make a suspension with some hot water and the powder, then add an ice cube to cool it down. once it’s cold I put it in the drink and stir it well.

      extracts (mint, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut)

      It can be difficult to get a punchy sweet flavor without using sugar, but pure extracts do it.

      simply mix 1-2 drops into your coffee and stir.

      The extracts will also add another dimension of flavor. vanilla is better if you want a simpler sweet flavor. hazelnut or almond will add a nutty sweetness. mint will go well with unsweetened cocoa powder.


      Cinnamon is a spice, but it has a nice sweet aftertaste that can be nice after a sip of coffee. It’s also a ketogenic spice, so it’s a great way to sweeten your iced coffee for anyone on a ketogenic diet.

      Unfortunately, cinnamon doesn’t dissolve in cold drinks, so you have to get a little creative. you can add the spice to your coffee grounds (but be careful not to mess

      or you can leave a cinnamon stick in the coffee while it cools. it won’t dissolve, but the oils will leach out and flavor the coffee.

      be careful not to overdo it because the drink can get quite spicy with too much cinnamon.

      unsweetened vanilla and almond milk

      I already mentioned using sweetened almond milk, but it does contain sugar.

      If you opt for the vanilla version of unsweetened milk, the vanilla flavor will add a touch of sweetness to your drink.

      again, you don’t have to stick to almond milk. you can use any vanilla flavored dairy alternative, you can also stray from vanilla to chocolate or nuts if you have that option.

      skinny syrups

      skinny syrups are sugar-free alternatives to traditional simple syrups.

      you can buy them at your local grocery store or online (like these yummy ones on amazon).

      Instead of sugar they use sweeteners such as sucralose. they are zero calories and keto-safe.

      how to sweeten iced coffee at starbucks

      ordering at starbucks can be a stressful experience, even more so if you’re not sure exactly what you should order!

      if you want a sweet starbucks iced coffee you have a few options:

      • Ask for sweet vanilla cream instead of regular milk/cream. Works great with cold drinks. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?
      • Ask for additional pumps of syrup. Each drink size has a specific number of pumps they use
      • use a sweet-tasting syrup. white mocha is one of the sweetest. there are a lot of different flavors and some are sweeter than others. ask the server which syrups are the sweetest and then order a couple of pumps of that.
      • If you buy a flavored syrup, be sure to buy the classic syrup as well. Sometimes when people ask for flavored syrups, they substitute the classic sugar syrups. if you want a sweet drink, it’s best to keep both
      • get an extra drizzle of caramel.
      • content of other drinks: how to make flat soda

        See also: How many beans to make a cup of coffee


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