Summer Coffee Beverages: A Cup of Inspiration, Cool and Frosty

By , Contributor

"When we drink coffee, ideas march in like the army." - Honore de Balzac

Coffee is a multi-tasking wonder beverage. A waker-upper, a stimulating conversation starter, part of our national morning routine; it keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. What is it about the wonder brew that sparks creativity?

Many literary and artistic greats famously hung out at Caffe Greco in the center of Rome for their inspiration. Many were known to have scribbled literary masterpieces on napkins and tablecloths there while sipping away. The list goes on and includes Keats, Hans Christian Andersen, Byron, Goethe, and many more. Today the cafe still remains a hangout for writers and artists, hoping to be inspired not only by a sip of the brew but by the spirit of those who have sipped before them.

Caffe Greco is a fashionable hangout, a place where style and coffee meet. It's located at 86, Via dei Condotti, the street that is lined with boutiques of top designers in the fashion world.

If you didn't think coffee was a suitable beverage for the hot and steamy days of summer, sip these in the shade and be inspired.

Coffee Cooler

(from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking)

2 oz. vanilla syrup

2 oz. syrup of your choice

2 cups of espresso

3 oz. whipping cream

1 ½ cups chopped ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve in a martini glass or other decorative glass.

Coffee and chocolate make such a perfect pair, sure to stimulate even the non-creative.

Coffee Shake

(from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking)

1 espresso

4 oz. water

2 oz. milk chocolate melted in double boiler

½ cup vanilla gelato

Place coffee, water, and melted chocolate in a blender till well blended. Add gelato and blend till creamy. Decorate inside of a tall glass with chocolate syrup, pour in shake. Serve immediately.

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Celebrity chef and award-winning author Maria Liberati is considered one of the foremost experts on Italian cuisine and culture in the United States. Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her best-selling recipe novel series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and her blog. Maria divides her…

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