Fourth of July weekend always goes down as being the best weekend of summer, and this year’s was no exception. America’s birthday is my favorite holiday, hands down, and it’s also Chaser’s favorite, and the favorite of pretty much every single one of my friends. It’s days like these that remind us why we endure the cold, desolate winters living in this sleepy little seaside town. We’re so lucky that we get to enjoy summers at the shore without ever having to sit in traffic or pack up and go home. It’s the ultimate stay-cation.
But, man oh man. This weekend chewed me up, spit me out and left me feeling sunburnt and sleep deprived. It was one of those long weekends that requires another long weekend just to recover. I ate too much, drank too much, spent too much, got way too much sun, and displayed way, way, waaaay too many bad dance moves. But it was all so much fun, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
So, today is rightfully dedicated to getting life back together. There are are chores to be done, to-do lists to be made, e-mails to be sent and vegetables to be eaten. God, I need vegetables. And I’m also needing way more coffee than usual to function. Luckily I have these Vietnamese coffee popsicles in my freezer to help put a little pep in my step with as little effort as possible. They’re cold and strong and sweet and just what I need to push through this Tuesday that feels a lot more like a Monday, and the worst kind at that. This was one of those mornings where even making coffee felt like too difficult a task. These pops absolutely saved the day.
Vietnamese coffee is known for being very strong. It’s always made with dark French roast coffee, and oftentimes with the addition of chicory, just like they do in New Orleans. It’s served in small portions, much like espresso, only with a dose of sweetened condensed milk to mellow it out. Vietnamese coffee is typically brewed hot, then poured over ice, but I opted to use the cold brew method for these instead. Mostly out of sheer summertime laziness. But also for flavor. Cold brew coffee is much less bitter and absolutely my preference. Why bring heat into the equation if we don’t need to?
These popsicles come together so easily, they just require time. Get your cold brew started right now, and you can have one of these babies dripping down your arm as early as tomorrow evening. Go ahead and make a double batch, wrap them tight, and keep them on hand for caffeine emergencies and mornings just like these.
One Year Ago: Cherry Vanilla Ricotta Crostata
- 1 cup French roast or chicory coffee grounds, such as Café Du Monde
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Stir the coffee grounds and water together in a large jar, then cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 72. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line it with a coffee filter, cheese cloth or a few layers of paper towels.
- Pour the coffee mixture through and allow it to slowly drip. Discard the coffee grounds (compost them!), then mix the liquid with the sweetened condensed milk.
- Pour into a popsicle mold, cover, and insert popsicle sticks. Freeze for at least 6 hours to be sure they're completely frozen solid (overnight is best).
- Run the popsicle mold under hot water for about 30 seconds to loosen the pops, then remove them and serve immediately. Wrap extras tightly and store in the freezer, in a zip-top bag for up to 3 months.