I had no clue what Vietnamese Iced Coffee was until I ordered it out recently, just because it sounded fun. Turns out it tasted as fun as it sounded. So much so, that I made a batch at home this week.
My friend Sarah came over yesterday & documented some of the process. If you love coffee (with some sweetness), maaaaake this. It's delicious, simple, & worth your time.
I knew almost nothing about the Vietnamese culture before making this drink, but this sparked me to start learning the culture—beginning with their origin of coffee. Turns out...a French Catholic priest introduced coffee to theVietnam (way back when, in 1857). The introduction consisted of a single coffee arabica tree. Soon enough, surrounding regions were drinking it too (hashtag, why not? coffee rocks). Since fresh milk was difficult to come by because of the just-beginning dairy industry, they started making their coffee with sweetened condensed milk (less perishable), balanced with a dark roast brew. You can definitely make it hot, but the combination of smooth & sweet in its iced form is unique & delicious.
what you need:
△ cold brew coffee concentrate. (I made mine myself using a process similar to this, but you can also buy a pre-made concentrate from Whole Foods or a local coffee shop. Just call first to see if they carry it.)
△ can of sweetened condensed milk
what to do:
Mix equal amounts of water & concentrate together. This ratio depends on the strength of your concentrate of course, but mine turned out to be strong enough to use a 1:1 ratio. I am perhaps the least exact person there is (when it comes to food & drink...& a few other things but shhh), so I just poured-tasted-poured-tasted until it tasted right. Measuring is overrated :) Stir the coffee together. Add about 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk to the mix. Again—I don't measure this. I just eyeball-pour-taste. Add a handful of ice cubes. Stir well & enjoy!
sidenote: If you decide to make the concentrate yourself, the shelf life is about 2 weeks. Conveniently, an open can of sweetened condensed milk is good for the same timeframe. Kyle & I will be drinking this until then (if it lasts).