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Need a quick pick me up? Try an iced espresso! This espresso drink is cool and refreshing, with a stronger flavor than iced coffee.

Iced Espresso

Want a cold coffee drink pick me up? Try Iced Espresso! This spin on iced coffee stars the bold, rich flavor of espresso. Drizzle in a little milk and a hint of simple syrup to balance out the flavor. It’s robust and beautifully refreshing: like a heightened take on your favorite iced coffee! Here’s how to make it.

What is iced espresso?

Iced espresso is espresso served over ice, often with milk. It’s similar to iced coffee, but it uses espresso instead of brewed coffee. Starbucks calls this drink is an iced shaken espresso: the espresso is shaken with ice and sweetener before serving. Either way, the bold flavor of the espresso makes the coffee flavor more concentrated than in a standard iced coffee. Here’s what you’ll need for this drink:

French press espresso
There are many methods for making espresso, including a French press!

Making the espresso

The main skill you need for an iced espresso? How to make espresso! Start with an espresso roast coffee: the roast is important to get the right dark, bitter flavor to an espresso shot. Some espresso coffee brands we recommend: IllyStarbucks or Intelligentsia. Then, use your espresso making method of choice. There are lots of methods that work without a machine! Here’s what we recommend:

Go to How to Make Espresso for the full instructions for each method.

Best milk to use

With an iced espresso, you can use any type of milk because you’re not steaming or frothing it. Whole milk adds a nice richness, but you can use 2% for a lighter drink. If you’re looking for a vegan iced espresso, oat milk is a great option! It has as creamy flavor and a thicker body than other non-dairy milks. You can also use it to mimic Starbucks shaken oat milk iced espresso!

Iced espresso

For the sweetener

An iced espresso is great with just a hint of sweet to balance out the bitter coffee. Here are our coffee sweeteners of choice:

  • Simple syrup: It’s easy to make at home, and you can use for coffee or cocktails
  • Maple syrup: A great natural sweetener for drinks! It adds sweetness but not maple flavor
  • Honey or agave syrup: A few other natural sweeteners
  • Vanilla syrup: Add a hint of vanilla with this homemade coffee syrup

How to make iced espresso

Once you’ve got the required ingredients, it takes no time at all to make an iced espresso. Here’s what to do:

  • Make the espresso. See above!
  • Drizzle in sweetener and milk.
  • Serve over ice!

Want to step it up? A fun way is to add a dollop of cold foam on top! Go to How to Make Cold Foam for instructions.

Variation: iced brown sugar oat milk espresso!

A delicious variation on iced espresso? Try the Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Espresso! This Starbucks special is a shaken espresso, which is an espresso that’s shaken with brown sugar syrup before adding the milk. With a hint of cinnamon, it’s incredibly satisfying! Head to the recipe for more.

Iced brown sugar oat milk espresso

More cold coffee and tea drinks

Love a good cold coffee? Here are all our favorite iced coffee drinks and tea lattes to try!

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Iced Espresso

Iced Espresso

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Need a quick pick me up? Try an iced espresso! This espresso drink is cool and refreshing, with a stronger flavor than iced coffee.


  • 1 doubleshot espresso (2 ounces)
  • 1 ounce* milk of choice (dairy or oat milk)
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup or maple syrup


  1. Make the espresso using your desired method: go to How to Make Espresso.
  2. Stir together the espresso, milk, and simple syrup in a glass, and fill with ice. Add additional milk if desired. Serve immediately. 


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Espresso
  • Cuisine: Coffee
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Iced espresso

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. Could you use this recipe to make an espresso or double espresso frappe, without using the mocha in it? Like at Starbucks, it’s my favorite! 😊

    Thanks Shirley