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This sparkling coffee (aka coffee soda or carbonated coffee) has a shot of espresso topped off with sparkling water! It’s refreshing and light, perfect for sipping throughout the last bits of summer.
How to Make
First, pull an espresso shot.
I typically use a Moka pot (it doesn’t take up much storage space, I like the flavor, it’s easy to use), even though I know it’s not technically espresso. Still works well in most espresso-based drinks, including this taro latte and this coffee milk tea!
To use a Moka pot, fill up the bottom reservoir with hot water. Hot water is better since you get a head start on the water temperature, rather than having to wait for the water to boil and the coffee potentially getting bitter.
Then, measure out some espresso or finely ground coffee into a little basket shaped like a funnel, and screw that onto the bottom and cover with the top collecting chamber. Place on the stove and let it percolate.
Pressure from the expanding air within the system and the steam from the hot water forces the water into the coffee grounds, then spews the coffee into the top containing piece. Voila, coffee!
Once the espresso is made, mix it with a sweetener and a pinch of salt. If you’re using granulated sugar, the heat from the fresh espresso will help it dissolve.
Then, prep a tall glass with as much ice as you would like, preferably at least half a glass full. Pour the espresso over the ice, then top off with the sparkling water.
Give it a stir before serving to ensure that the water gets incorporated with the coffee.
Maybe you're scared because you normally have your coffee with a hefty dose of milk and cream (hey hello it’s me). Don't worry though, the sparkling water mellows out the coffee without tasting like an Americano or a watery cup of bitter black coffee.
It’s pretty smooth, and as long as you pick a coffee that you like, it should be tasty. The sparkling water also makes the drink so much more refreshing than a creamy coffee.
Flavors – H3
Any flavor goes here!
If you use rosewater (big fan of rose + coffee, see this rose caradamom ice coffee), almond or vanilla extract or something else this concentrated in liquid form, you can measure and add directly to the beverage.
Otherwise, for citrus peel, herbs or spices, I’d recommend infusing it into a simple syrup. You probably don’t want to stop your sipping to munch on a lavender bud.
The base for simple syrup starts with one part granulated white sugar and one part water, then mix in the flavoring. The amount of flavoring depends on whether the ingredient you’re using is dried or fresh, as well as how much you want to taste this flavor.
For example, when I did a test batch with lavender simple syrup, I used 1 part dried lavender buds to 24 parts sugar and 24 parts water (about ⅛ teaspoon lavender, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon water for 1 serving). Dried seasonings tend to be stronger than their fresh counterparts, so you likely won’t need to use as much.
My favorite version recently has been a little bit (about ¼ teaspoon) of almond extract. It’s not a flavor I typically have in iced coffee, and it’s easy to stir into the drink!
Any sweetener you have on hand works well here; I typically add granulated white sugar since that’s easy, but maple syrup and honey would also be good picks.
If you’re making a simple syrup, you could use maple syrup or honey in place of the sugar. Lavender honey or cardamom maple simple syrup, anyone?
Simple syrup is less sweet than other sweetener options (since it’s diluted with water), so I would recommend adding more than you would with straight sugar/honey/maple syrup.
Sparkling and Tonic Water
I prefer using sparkling water because it’s not sweetened and you can better control how sweet the final beverage ends up being.
That said, you could pour in tonic water instead, so long as you’re okay with a coffee that might be on the sweeter side.
You could also go for flavored sparkling water, but I personally am not a fan of how artificial and mild these are.
This recipe as written requires a shot of espresso. Recent favorites of mine have been San Pablo espresso from Nomadic Coffee, and the East Fourteenth blend from Red Bay Coffee, both based out of Oakland, California.
However, you can opt for another kind of coffee should you have something else on hand or prefer the flavor that comes from another method of making coffee.
Cold brew or cold brew concentrate would likely yield the closest variation, since it’s also pretty strong (although it can taste a little more sweet naturally).
It’s fine to use brewed coffee; just note that you likely won’t top off the drink with as much sparkling water (not to mention that the beverage won’t be as caffeinated/strong).
I wouldn’t recommend assembling this coffee too far in advance, to prevent the bubbles in the sparkling water from going flat.
Maybe you have an early morning though, and want something exciting to get you through the day. You could brew the espresso the night before, mix in any sweetener and flavoring, then stick it in the fridge to chill overnight.
Add ice and sparkling water at the last possible moment, and you’re good to go!
- 1 shot espresso
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or to taste
- 1 pinch salt
- Flavoring of choice optional
- Plain sparkling water
Pull a shot of espresso.
Mix the sugar, salt and flavoring if using into the espresso until combined.
Fill a tall glass half full with ice, then pour in the espresso. Top off with the sparkling water. Stir before enjoying.
You can use any flavoring you would like; if you’re using a ground spice or an extract, you can add it straight to the drink. For an herb, spice or citrus peel, I would suggest making a simple syrup with 1 part water and 1 part sugar, then adding the flavoring to taste and letting it infuse into the syrup.