Surprisingly, iced coffee is obviously a beverage that has significant cultural variation. In Australia an iced coffee (or ice coffee, both are used) is a cold milky coffee drink served in a tall glass (often a milkshake glass).
In relation to coffee it's more like a caffe latte, as the liquid is primarily milk rather than water. Interestingly, iced coffee's popularity pre-dates the widespread drinking of caffe latte here by at least 20 years.
Ours is a lot more appealing than the (I presume) US version which is merely chilled coffee.
Recipe, Australian style:
- Put 1-2 scoops of vanilla ice cream into a tall glass.
- Make a shot (or double shot) of espresso coffee.
- Pour the shot over the ice cream, which will melt some of it.
- Fill the rest of the glass with milk.
- Add 2 ice cubes, stir.
- Optional toppings include whipped cream, and a dusting of cocoa powder.
- Drink with a straw, or from the glass if you want a milk mustache.
The ice cubes are necessary for sufficient cooling, due to the heat of the espresso. You can make it with chilled espresso coffee, but you'll have to either wait longer for the ice cream to melt or just eat the ice cream while it's solid. If you ask me it's not as nice that way.
If you really don't like sweet coffee you can omit the ice cream, in which case chilling the coffee first is essential.
In the mid 1990s (and possibly still), the Nestle company sold what were essentially cocktail shakers under the Nescafe instant coffee brand. The (bad) idea was that you could make iced coffee by simply adding all the ingredients into the device and shaking sufficiently. Even ignoring its inherent evil, it isn't easy to get instant coffee to dissolve in cold milk.
Australian flavored milk brand Big M has an "Ice Coffee" flavor, which has been available since the 1970s and is one of their 4 staple flavors (the others being Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana). Since it's marketed to kids, it does not contain any caffeine, rendering it essentially useless.