Friday, August 6, 2010

Cleo Coyle's Coffee Milk + Homemade Coffee Syrup

Cleo Coyle, author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries. Learn more
about Cleo's national bestselling
mystery series by clicking here.

Coffee Milk. I know it sounds odd, but I assure you it is one amazingly delicious drink. It tastes like a tall, cold chocolate milkshake but with a deep, earthy dimension and a nice little kick of caffeine.

I haven't made this uniquely delicious drink for some time. Then Nancy P., one of this blog's many supportive followers, asked me to share the recipe. She recalled reading about it in one of my earlier titles, and she was right.

In book #5 of my Coffeehouse series, Decaffeinated Corpse, I introduce a struggling fine arts painter who begins to work part-time as a barista for Clare Cosi.

Clare is the main character of my amateur sleuth series. Her day job is managing a landmark coffeehouse in the picturesque historic district of Greenwich Village. (Her moonlighting gig is solving murders, but that's another blog post.)

Anyway, this part-time barista named Dante Silva is a fairly minor character in most of the Coffeehouse books with one exception. If you read my latest mystery, Roast Mortem, you'll see that he plays a much larger role in the story.

Coffee Milk also happens to be the official state drink of Rhode Island, which is the state where Dante was born and raised. This little point of coffee trivia was brought up by the characters in Decaffeinated Corpse and that's how Coffee Milk ended up being included in the book.

So here is my recipe, along with a shout-out to Nancy P. (aka booklover) for remembering the Coffee Milk and asking me about it. You have inspired today's blog post, Nanc, thanks!

Cleo Coyle's
Coffee Milk


Ice cold milk
Coffee Syrup (recipe follows)

Directions: Pour Coffee Syrup into a glass of cold milk (about 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces or to your own taste). Stir and enjoy!

You can purchase Coffee Syrup from companies famous for making it like Rhode Island's Autocrat. Or you can make your own.

In the photo to the right, you'll notice what looks like a pancake syrup dispenser. But that's not maple syrup in there -- it's coffee syrup! (What did you think? It is chez Coyle, after all.)

We love this easy-pour method of storing the coffee syrup. It's a fast and easy way to add it into milk or fortify hot coffee. Try splashing some into your own morning joe for an improvised red-eye. It's delicious, and my husband and I really do enjoy it.

What follows is the recipe I use to make my homemade coffee syrup, an ingredient that's very useful in recipes beyond Coffee Milk. Examples to come in the weeks ahead.

The syrup should thicken enough
to coat the back of a spoon.
Cleo Coyle's
Coffee Syrup


1 cup of ground coffee
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar

Step 1: Brew coffee (regular or decaf) in your drip maker at the ratio of 1 cup of ground coffee to 2 cups of cold water. Depending on your coffeemaker, your final yield will be a little over one cup of very strong coffee.

Step 2: Place all of this very strong coffee into a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, slowly stir in one cup of sugar. At no time should you allow this mixture to boil, which may give the coffee a bitter taste.

Step 3: Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly to help dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clearly simmering, continue cooking for about five minutes, stirring often and not allowing the syrup to boil. The mixture will thicken a bit as you cook it.

Step 4: When it's done cooking, remove the pan from heat and allow the syrup to cool. This method will yield about one cup of syrup. Coffee syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, for up to a month.

Drink with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
culinary murder mysteries set in a
landmark Greenwich Village coffeehouse,
and each of the ten titles includes
the added bonus of recipes!
To learn more, click 
this link:

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure
Book #1 of
The Haunted Bookshop
that Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. Sounds delicious - I had been curious about the concoction too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the chance!
    ricettebarbare at gmail dot com

  3. Logan loves coffee milk he likes to have it a few times a week. He is going to be my little coffee addict lol. Thanks for sharing Cleo :)

  4. Hmmm... Thanks for the reminder! My daughter is a struggling artist who currently works as a barista. I think maybe I'll get her a copy of Decaffeinated Corpse!


  5. I love iced coffee in the summer. This syrup sounds like the perfect way to make it. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Sounds like a good drink; I just wish I could handle the aroma of coffee.

  7. This sounds like the perfect way to enjoy coffee when it's as hot as it is now! All I want these days is cool drinks--and this is exactly what I need!

    Congratulations on "Roast Mortem!" I'm really enjoying Clare's latest adventure. :)

  8. Sounds delicious! I'm going to make some coffee syrup!

  9. My 13 year old son has made his own version of coffee milk for years (thanks to a fellow army wife who got him hooked on it.) But your recipe sounds so much better. Today is his birthday. Maybe I'll surprise him with some to go with his cake.

  10. Another great coffee drink recipe for the hot summer days. Congratulations on ROAST MORTEM. Each new adventure with Clare is always a thrill and learning experience. I'm on pins and needles to see how this one ends.

    Thoughts in Progress

  11. Thanks for the great recipes. Good Luck on the book. Would love the cookbook to add to my collection. Happy Friday.

  12. Thanks for the chance...sounds great!

  13. Yippee, Yahoo, Huzzah, Hurrah and Boy Howdy!!!! I'm so excited to get this recipe!! Thank you so much for fulfilling my little request ;-) I happen to have some fabulous new coffee, a new coffee maker and a fresh jug of sugar all waiting for me to create! Being one to take decadence to a new level whenever possible (life in small town MI gets pretty boring!!) I'm going to mix in a big dollop of French Vanilla ice cream to my glass of milk. After I recover from the shock of sugar overload I will get a syrup dispenser so that we are never out of this yummy treat!
    I'm wondering if our local firehouse would like a jug as honor of the cookbook, Roast Mortem and all that they do...
    Thanks, Cleo for making my Friday!!!

  14. Blast from the past here! I grew up in South Louisiana dunking my toast into cafe au lait (coffe milk) for breakfast. Thanks for a great memory.

  15. Coffee milk sounds great! Plus, I think this syrup is just what I'm looking for. I have one of those little Bullet blenders to use to make smoothies and have tried and failed numerous times to make good coffee smoothies. I think this syrup will make all the difference. Thanks!

  16. Sounds like a great book.

  17. I grew up in CT and remember getting coffee milk
    on trips to RI. Wow, what a memory blast. Thanks for reminding me, Cleo! Love that stuff!

  18. Thanks to everyone for their wonderful comments (and entries in today's drawing)!

    Some replies to...

    @Elizabeth – Curiosity and cuisine go so well together. As I always say, eat (and drink) with joy.

    @Barbara – You’re welcome. I think you’ll find this recipe easy, tasty, and fun to make.

    @Babs – A future coffeehouse beatnik, eh? Or could be you’re raising the next Great Coffee Guru. :)

    @Julie -- LOL! Sounds like your daughter could be in one of my books. No kidding. I’m always especially happy when I hear a barista has picked up one of my Coffeehouse Mysteries.

    @Janel – You're right. This syrup is a great base for an iced cofee drink. Throw in a scoop of ice cream and you've got a java float.

    More replies to come...

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  19. Replies to...

    @Dru – Like flowers in spring, and like flowers, some of us are allergic.

    @Elizabeth – The syrup is a perfect hot weather treat. It's great over ice cream, too, or you can add ice cream to your coffee milk. (This is called a Coffee Cabinet or simply a “Coffee Cab” on Rhode Island diner menus.) Thanks so much for the kind congrats!

    @Diana – Your kitchen will smell like caffeine heaven, and this syrup provides a pleasing jolt, too.

    @Bookwoman – Oh, please wish your son a happy birthday from me, too. (And many java returns.)

    @Mason – I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying Roast Mortem. The ending is a real roller coaster ride, lots of twists. I hope you enjoy it!

    More replies to come...

    ~ Cleo

  20. I do something similar with half cold coffee and half cold milk....I lurve this drink!

  21. Replies to...

    @Susan e. – It's a wonderful cookbook and if you win, I'm sure you'll agree. Good cause, too.

    @PoCoCat – Good luck!

    @Kathi – You’ll love it. In fact, I’m thinking of having some coffee milk right now!

    @Erin – You are - thanks for dropping by.

    @Louanne – Good luck, the Terry Ferrell Fund has created a wonderful cookbook, and for a good cause.

    @Nanc – My pleasure and thank you again for the inspiration. (The French Vanilla ice cream idea sounds like bliss) :)

    @LSUReader – I’ve enjoyed the same! And beignets are another great pastry for dunking in warm coffee milk. Makes me feel like I'm back in the French Quarter.

    @Pattie T – A COFFEE SMOOTHIE – Excuse me, I’m off to my own blender! :)

    @AveryAames – Sweet! Thanks for dropping by.

    @Joan – Thank you! This one was a lot of fun to write.

    @Jenn - You are most welcome. Glad it brought back some good memories.

    Cheers, everyone, good luck on the drawing.

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  22. Mmmm...that sounds delicious and a great drink to have with a summer time brunch!

  23. Okay, just did the random drawing and the winner is... Scroll back to the top of this blog post and you'll see. Thanks to everyone for leaving a comment today and entering to win The California Firehouse Cookbook. My *ROAST MORTEM* RELEASE PARTY is still going on full steam at my *virtual* coffeehouse. Be sure to stop by and enter more fun contests there...

    Drink with joy!

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter