Why You Should Be Mixing Your Iced Coffee with Lemonade

When I got a tip that the new Brooklyn coffee roaster Supercrown Coffee was serving a drink called the Laura Palmer, and it was a mix of lemonade and iced coffee, I can't say that I was immediately swept up in excitement. You don't go throwing around a Twin Peaks reference for just anything. Also, let me be clear: I'm not above a smart pop culture reference, just cautious.

But I was intrigued. So I called on Darleen Scherer, founder and CEO of Supercrown, to give me the lowdown. (You might know Darleen for a different bag of New York coffee beans: she also founded Gorilla Coffee back in 2002.) As she was putting together her thoughts for some iced coffee drinks for warmer months, Darleen immediately recalled a visit to Sweden last summer, where she happened upon a coffee roaster making "Kaffelemonad," a 2:1 mix of iced coffee and lemonade.

"The flavors work really well together," Darleen explains. "It's super refreshing, and a little bit like a shandy."

I asked our video guru Gabriella, who lives nearby, to report back after trying one for herself. The verdict? A bit of a journey on the first try, and something wholly new, a little weird, a lot interesting, and definitely refreshing. The lemon flavor comes on strong at first, but then settles into something almost caramel-like—rich but not like a liqueur, and a little sweet and fruity because of the style of coffee.

"A lot of coffees have lemon or citrus notes in them, so [those flavors are] not so far-fetched," Darleen says. The mixture is not so foreign of a concept, either, if you think of another popular summertime staple: the black tea-and-lemonade Arnold Palmer. Hence Supercrown's inspiration for the name of their new drink: They like to think it's just a stronger, more badass version of the Arnold Palmer. I'd agree, and not just because I'm more of a David Lynch fan than a links buff.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I'm confused by this line: "Brew the coffee using 6 ounces of water (so that you'll have 12 ounces of coffee total)" How do I get 12 ounces from 6 ounces exactly?”
— Jeff F.

Here are some of her tips on how to achieve this iced coffee technique, and a perfect Laura Palmer, at home.

Brush off cold brew: Use the pour-over method for the best iced coffee. Photo by James Ransom

1) The key to the drink is the coffee used and the way it's brewed. So first, choose a coffee that will complement lemonade. Supercrown uses a fruity, sweet Peruvian blend for their Laura Palmer, and Darleen says you'll want to stay away from dark roasts that might produce an ashy, extra roasty flavor when mixed with lemonade.

2) Once you've chosen your coffee, prepare it using the Japanese-method. Darleen and her baristas brew iced coffee using the Japanese method—put plainly, it's double strong and brewed right over ice so the coffee doesn't get watered down. While cold brew mutes brightness and flavor, the Japanese method brings out these characteristics in delicate coffees, says Darleen.

Preparing pour-over coffee is the easiest way to replicate this at home, and it's the best way to end up with full-bodied, flavorful iced coffee. Lucky for us, Darleen shared exactly how she'd prepare 12 ounces of iced coffee so you don't have to guess:

  • Weigh out 6 ounces of ice and add to your pitcher or Chemex.
  • Measure out 24 grams of coffee and grind it to medium (it'll look like table salt).
  • Brew the coffee using 6 ounces of water (so that you'll have 12 ounces of coffee total), making sure the double-concentrated coffee pours directly onto the ice. This will produce a beautifully extracted and nuanced cup of iced coffee!

3) Make homemade lemonade. Darleen's recipe is very simple. In a one-gallon container, mix 2 cups sugar and 1 cup hot water until the sugar dissolves. Add 2 cups of lemon juice and enough cold water to render 1 gallon. Stir until well mixed.

4) Layer it up. Mix up two parts concentrated iced coffee, one part lemonade, and serve over ice with a slice of lemon.

Then put this Twin Peaks-inspired playlist on and shimmy around the living room like you're at the Roadhouse while you sip on your new warm weather go-to drink. Because wouldn't you rather be a Laura than an Arnold?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • FlowerChild
  • Lindsay Christians
    Lindsay Christians
  • AI
  • Ivah Urbanski
    Ivah Urbanski
  • Maureen Ferguson
    Maureen Ferguson
I love oysters and unfussy sandwiches.


FlowerChild May 20, 2019
😂 This is not new. I am in my 60’s and My grandmother would make this for me. I have been drinking this for years. Nice article though. 😊
Lindsay C. July 22, 2017
Tried it this morning with two very fast shortcuts: pre-bottled cold brew concentrate (from Let It Ride in Madison, Wis) and Simply Lemonade, leftover from a recent baby shower.

It was delicious!
AI July 20, 2017
This not such a new thing. The original, genuinely authentic Italian espresso is served with a twist of lemon peel which is squeezed into the coffee, then swirled around the rim of the denitasse cup, releasing the essential oil of lemon into the espresso for aroma and flavor.
AI July 20, 2017
This is not altogether a new thing. A genuinely authentic Italian espresso has always been finished with a twist of lemon; it is un ristretto.
Ivah U. July 10, 2017
Hot or cold coffee with a lemon wedge is good if you don't want the sugar. Espresso with a twist of lemon peel rubbed around the rim of the cup is good, too.
Maureen F. July 8, 2017
In Portugal, this is common in the south and called 'mazagran.' We add fresh mint too.
Steven W. July 8, 2017
I keep hearing about this, but I only like iced coffee with a splash of light cream or half and half. I don't think it would be good with lemonade!
Muriel April 30, 2017
Love all your recepies!!!! 👏👏👏
Muriel April 30, 2017
Hi, I would like to see your videos,thanks
Jeff F. April 27, 2017
I made a lime cordial that is pretty fantastic. I put three squirts into my glass of iced tea and call it an Arnaldo Palmer.

One question on your recipe. I'm confused by this line: "Brew the coffee using 6 ounces of water (so that you'll have 12 ounces of coffee total)" How do I get 12 ounces from 6 ounces exactly?
Jeff F. April 27, 2017
Oh I see, the ice - duh.
Edith K. May 8, 2016
I've been mixing Coffee Ice Cream with Lemon Sherbet/Sorbet for decades :) I get funny looks every time I order it in public ...
Ryan P. April 18, 2016
o_O i am intrigued by this.... my two favorite drinks. IN ONE.
Emily L. April 14, 2016
I'm so intrigued! I fell in love with radler (beer mixed with lemonade) when visiting Austria a few years ago and I definitely plan on trying this!
april April 13, 2016
I'm assuming you pour hot water over the grounds?
Samantha W. April 14, 2016
Yes! Brew the coffee by pouring 6 ounces of hot water over the grounds right over the ice.
Alex W. April 13, 2016
Here's how you might drink this drink:

Faster and faster. And for a long time you wouldn't feel anything, and then you'd burst into fire, forever. And the angels wouldn't help you, because they've all gone away.
Annabel L. July 11, 2017
Connor B. April 13, 2016
I can't believe that the playlist neglected Julee Cruise's "Falling" but I'll let it pass. This sounds really refreshing, though. Def going to try it out this summer.
Samantha W. April 13, 2016
I feel your pain -- but but -- other Julee favorites are in the rotation.
Connor B. April 13, 2016
I'm glad she got some representation, even if it's not the definitive track.
xolp April 13, 2016
As a Laura Palmer (no seriously, I am Laura Palmer!) this is my favorite part of this (super great) article: "They like to think it's just a stronger, more badass version of the Arnold Palmer." I've always wanted to be a more badass Arnold. Now off to try out this crazy concoction.
Samantha W. April 13, 2016
If I could *heart* a comment, this would be one on the list.