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Espresso-Ice Cream-Cordial⎮Perfect Summer Coffee Recipes

by Allen Burt May 21, 2019

Espresso-Ice Cream-Cordial⎮Perfect Summer Coffee Recipes

Espresso is an exquisite drink and ice cream is a summertime favorite.  The combination of the two results in rich decadent blends that can be served either as drinks or desserts.  What is for sure, is that they will be smooth, cold and refreshing on hot summer days.

The recipes that follow combine these two complementary ingredients – espresso and ice cream which together make some divine blends.  The addition of some tasty liqueurs or cordials elevates the drinks making them perfect to serve alone or after a meal.

What is Cordial

Cordial is a term which can be used to described sweet syrupy liquid.  It is often used interchangeably with liqueur to describe sweet spirits.  Specifically, cordial is often used to describe distilled spirits that are dessert-like.  You may see the term used to describe liqueurs that are chocolate or cream based.

It is also a term used to describe nonalcoholic, syrupy drinks such as lime cordial or elderflower cordial.  

Where the term cordial is used in the recipes that follow,   feel free to experiment or add a liqueur or nonalcoholic syrup that suits your palette. 

Examples of Alcoholic Cordials

  • Coffee flavored  alcoholic cordials:  Kaluha, Baileys or Tia Maria
  • Orange flavored cordials: Triple Sec, Gran Marnier, Cointreau, Curaçao.
  • Hazelnut flavored cordials: Frangelico or Amaretto.

Non Alcoholic Cordials 

Based on definition of a cordial provided above, a simple syrup qualifies as a type of cordial and when you add coffee you have a great coffee syrup.

Simple Syrup

  • 5 cups of soft brown sugar
  • 17 oz of boiling water

Combine the two ingredients. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Leave it to cool.  Add to a sterilized bottle and refrigerate for up to 4 months.

Coffee Syrup

A coffee syrup is also useful to have on hand and can be used in any of the ice cream and coffee recipes that follow.

  • 5 ½ cups of coarsely ground coffee of your choice to
  • 23 ½ ounces of water in a saucepan
  • 5 cups of superfine or castor sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Add coffee to the saucepan. Slowly heat to simmer for about 3 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve then add sugar and salt.  Return to the heat and gently bring to simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.   Don’t allow it to boil heavily.

Taste to ensure it has the correct coffee concentration or continue to boil a few minutes longer. Remove from the heat and strain through a paper coffee filter or cheese cloth.  Allow to cool.  Funnel into a sterilized bottle and refrigerate for up to 2 months.


The other critical ingredient in the recipes that follow is ice cream.  It is easy enough to buy at your local grocer but try making your own.  It is easier than you think. 

Making your own ice cream is easier than you think especially if you have an ice cream machine. If you don’t you can blend all the ingredients listed here and place in the freezer. Be sure to mix and blend every hour or so until the mixture is frozen.

Many of the drink recipes here use hazelnut ice cream which pairs beautifully with espresso. Of course, you can use coffee flavored ice cream which will further enhance the coffee taste of each of the recipes provided.  Another classic ice cream that pairs seamlessly with espresso is Gianduja or Nutella which is a combination of hazelnuts and chocolate- two of espresso best sidekicks.

Hazelnut Gelato


  • ¾ cup of hazelnuts (skins removed)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • Scant half cup of milk 


Finely chop the hazelnuts with 3 tablespoons of sugar. The grit of the sugar aids with the chopping of the hazelnuts.  Mix the remaining sugar, milk and chopped nuts with the cream, then pour into the gelato bowl.  The gelato is ready in approximately 25 minutes if using an ice cream maker.  Otherwise it will take a couple of hours in the freezer.

Now that you have all the base ingredients, let's start blending them into special drinks to be enjoyed all summer long.

Drowned Espresso known as Espresso Affogato in Italian

Affogato Espresso with Ice Cream


  • 1 espresso
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream


Put the ice cream in a glass and top with freshly brewed, unsweetened espresso.  Adding a wafer straw and serve.

Espresso Frappé


  • 1 espresso
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • Whip cream


Pour the espresso, ice cream and sugar syrup in a blender. Blend until the frappe is creamy and dense.  Top with whip cream. In the summer months, coffee frappe is a nice alternative to a cappuccino.


This recipe is an excellent example of how espresso’s aromas are enhanced when combined with creamy ice cream.  The drink is sublime, the combination of cold , fat and sugar enhance the espresso molecules.  The pleasing taste and tactile sensation tones down the alcohol.


  • 1 espresso (best to chill before adding to ice cream)
  • 1 serving Hazelnut chocolate ice cream
  •  ¾ oz. Crème de Cacoa liqueur


Put a few ice cubes in a shaker and then add the ingredients, shake vigorously until the ice cream is well combined with the liquids and then strain into a glass.  If preparing several drinks at a time use a blender, adding some crushed ice and a little sugar syrup.  

Coffee Smooth 

The Coffee Smooth is aromatic; the ice cream’s fats reinforce the sugar’s ability to enhance the fragrances of both the Cordial and the espresso.  If you can find it, the Italian brandy of raspberries is highly recommended.


  • 1 espresso
  • 1 oz. Cognac
  • ¾ oz Cordial
  • ¾ oz Sugar syrup
  • 1 or 2 servings Vanilla ice cream


Beat the ingredients until you have a soft and velvety smooth drink.  Pour into an old-fashioned glass and serve with straws and an ice cream spoon if the drink is very thick.


Smooth, soft and velvety and the coffee liqueur, usually made with vanilla essence rounds out the body to the great satisfaction of the senses that this drink stimulates.


  • 1 espresso (if you want the drink to less dense  with more of a drink type consistency- use a long espresso)
  • ¾ oz Brandy
  • ¾ oz Coffee Liqueur
  • ½ oz Sugar syrup
  • 1 serving hazelnut ice cream (or Nocciola gelato) 


Use an ice cream maker and prepare genuine hazelnut ice cream if you can.

Sweeten the coffee according to taste or not at all if the sugar syrup is sufficient for your taste.  Blend the ingredients carefully and you’ll get a really lovely smooth texture.

Biscotti & Caffé (Translated as coffee and cookies)

  Cookies and Cream made with espresso

This recipe ca be adapted to suit other ice cream flavors based on your preference.  Salted Caramel or Belgian Chocolate are quite suitable.

Ingredients for 2:

  • 3 oz. Bourbon
  • 1 long espresso
  • 4 scoops cookie dough ice cream
  • 4 oz. milk
  • 2 oz. maple syrup
  • Pink of salt
  • Garnish with whipped cream, a cookie and cookie crumbs. 


Blend the ingredients and pour into a large glass ideal for sharing. Include two straws.

Of course the basis for all these drinks is a great tasting espresso.  If you need help finding the perfect espresso machine for your home or office, contact us.




Allen Burt
Allen Burt

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