Whomever said life in the mediterranean is a life of pure bliss, 10 months per year summer, vacation, tanning on the beach, bikinis, swimming, cocktail parties and maxi dresses, is quite but not entirely right. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life here in Malta, which I think is pretty close to paradise, but my wardrobe doesn’t exactly consist only of maxi-dresses, nor do I float around the islands like a Mediterranean goddess from cocktail (party) to cocktail (party) while the sun sets over the calm deep blue sea every single evening….
Why you may ask? Isn’t the mediterranean lifestyle all about being stress-free, relaxed, beach, sun, swimming, healthy mediterranean food, partying, being on vacation 24/7 and not having a care in the world? Apart from the practical day to day activities (laundry, groceries, and you know…a job to provide me with an income), it is also simply too hot!
I’m pretty much ok with the heat day or night, but I’m sorry to say, I’m not up for a lot more than sitting in front of a fan whilst the sun is beating down on the asphalt roads outside, and the quicksilver rises easily over the 37 degrees mark on my thermomether…. Aside of said fan (which died the other day – the horror! – and was quite quickly replaced), the other thing that I find very effective in keeping me cool and writing articles such as this one, would be my humble attempt to Greek Frappé.
The original Greek Frappé is a foamy cold coffee drink made from instant coffee (favourite brand Nescafe) and water. This mix is shaken up to foam over ice cubes to render it ice cold, and optionally sweetened up with sugar and/or rendered more creamy with milk. According to Wikipedia, the drink was accidentally discovered by a Nescafe employee named Dimitris Vakondios in 1957 in Thessaloniki. Frappé is among the most popular drinks in Greece and Cyprus. Several variants (which I have only heard of, and which I’m yet to try duplicate) have derived from the original Frappé; some more resembling an ice-cold cappuccino, others resembling a cold espresso that would raise a dead man from his grave.
The process to make one, as detailed by a fellow foodie and ice coffee loving Greek colleague of mine one morning at work, is an easy and quick one, not requiring any hot coffee to be cooled down over ice, or brewed and cooled in advance. No worries for those who are lactose intolerant; the cows milk can easily be replaced by other milks, so you can also join in.
- Fresh water
- Instant coffee – I use Nescafe Gold Blend
- Milk – full fat or semi-skimmed milk
- Ice cubes
- Cocktail shaker
- Sugar (optional)
First take your shaker, and add on 1-3 teaspoons of instant coffee, depending on how strong you want your frappé to be (you know, a gentle latte or proper rocket fuel)
If you like your frappé sweetened, this would be the moment to add on a teaspoon of sugar, 1 if you like it slightly sweet, or 2 (or more) for really sweet. I prefer unsweetened because I really like the taste of coffee, but you can try either and see what you prefer. The soluble grains do give a bit of a bitter taste, so some sugar may be advised for your first round of this.
Now add on a little bit of cold water, enough to significantly cover the instant coffee but to a maximum of about 2cm high. Put the lid on the shaker and ensure this is properly closed. Now shake for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to get your instant liquid coffee all foamed up.
In a tall glass, add on a few ice cubes. Open up the shaker with the coffee and poor the content into your glass. (if you open up the shaker, it is easier to get the foam out). To fill the glass to the top, you can add either water or milk if you like your coffee a little creamier. Add on a straw, and enjoy sipping away for the next half an hour or so from liquid bliss.