Sri Lankan Iced Coffee Includes A Splash Of Brandy

You've heard of Irish coffee, you've heard of dirty chai lattes – now get ready for the ultimate mix of coffee, alcohol, and warm wintery spices: Classic Sri Lankan iced coffee. Called ayis kōpi in Sinhalese, literally translated to "iced coffee", this delectable treat involves a mix of condensed milk, some vanilla extract, a generous dose of cardamom and cloves, and a splash of brandy to tie it all together. 

There are a few different ways to make ayis kōpi, but the general flow follows the steps of making a chai latte at home. First, you crush whole cloves and cardamoms before adding it to a saucepan and boiling it alongside some ground coffee. After about five minutes of boiling the spices, add the condensed milk and sugar (if you're using instant coffee instead of grounds, you should add that during this step as well). Take the mixture off the heat, let it cool, and then strain it and serve over ice with a generous dash of brandy.

Healthy and tasty variations to consider

If condensed milk isn't really your style, you can absolutely use fresh milk or milk alternatives instead; you'll just want to add in the milk with the water from the start so that all the spices and coffee notes can brew right into the mixture. Similarly, you can use honey as a substitute for sugar so long as you remember to add it while everything is still hot to give it a chance to mix in properly. Another fun addition is to gently place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top like it's a root beer float, really bringing all the sweet notes of the brandy and spices together into a delicious summer treat. 

One important thing to note is that a version made with condensed milk, instant coffee, and no spices is considered an easy option that's just as legitimate and authentic as a fully spiced ayis kōpi. If you're ordering one from a Sri Lankan restaurant, be prepared to be served the simplified variety that, while still delicious, might not be what you were hoping to pair with your meal.