As soon as the temperature breaches 70°F in New York City, iced coffee season begins. It’s almost like an unofficial mid-spring holiday to signify the summer to come. This season I’d like to recommend a simple spin-off that’ll knock your flip flops off. It’s orange juice iced coffee, and you should make one immediately. 

I stumbled upon this chilled treat when I was in Bangkok last fall. I thought it was a funky original idea from one coffee shop, but then I couldn’t stop seeing it. Orange juice iced coffee was everywhere. I admit, my first reaction was revulsion. But the more I saw it, I figured, how bad could it be?

My partner and I bought one to accompany our chili-packed lunch from a food court stall (which also sold strawberry juice iced coffee), and sipped away. We drank the whole thing. Though strange at first, I couldn’t believe how great it tasted. I can only describe it as fun to drink. In the humidity of Bangkok, this icy drink provided me with the cooling thrill I was looking for. Maybe it was just the caffeine and sugar, but I felt alive. The black coffee is bitter but the orange juice sweetens the drink without making it heavy like creamer can. In fact, the whole drink stays light and refreshing until the last sip. If you’re a fan of the orange and dark chocolate flavor match up, this is absolutely the drink for you.

How to make orange juice iced coffee

I use a light roast black coffee in mine, but I’ve seen folks use dark roast and espresso to match their preferences. The orange juice is totally up to you. I used Simply Orange, but any brand or fresh-squeezed is going to work just fine. The procedure is as complicated as I can handle in the morning:

1. Fill a glass with ice and add the orange juice. 

2. Top it off with black iced coffee and add a straw. 

The ratio is up to your preference. I used equal parts OJ and coffee, but if you like it sweeter, use more juice. Do you like to really taste the coffee, then add more of that or try a stronger brew. Drinking it is the second part of the journey because you can keep it a layered drink and use the straw to pinpoint exactly what you’d like to sip. I usually start off sipping different layers, and then halfway through the drink I’ll mix it together. 

The iced coffee celebrations don’t end with orange juice. Your caffeinated beverage explorations are only limited by your supermarket’s juice aisle. I haven’t tried other juice combinations yet, but there are a ton of nectars and juice-ades out there to try. If you’ve tried a different juice/coffee combo that you love, drop it in the comments, I’d love to hear about it.