June is here, it’s getting hot (even in the chilly Midwest where I live) and I thought it was high time to provide you with an easy and fun recipe that you might find in Callie’s Kitchen (from On the Chopping Block, my recently released culinary cozy mystery). So here it is: the Greek frappé!
The frappé is a mainstay of warm and sunny Greece, but you can also find these at most Greek festivals, usually held at your local Greek Orthodox Church throughout the summer. Frappé stands keep festival-goers cool and of course, caffeinated, all the better to enjoy the food, dancing and shopping found at one of these events. Greek frappés are known for their sweet, creamy flavor and distinct foam topping. These drinks are so iconic, there is even a Wikipedia page devoted to them!
Basically, the Greek frappé is a blended coffee drink. If you’re thinking it sounds like a Frappucino, you’re right. However, as people familiar with frappés will be quick to tell you, these drinks have been around for a much longer time than the Frappucino.
Before I get to the recipe, one more note: a frappé is made with instant coffee. Some people might be thrown off by this but trust me — it’s tradition. And it’s good. If you can find a strong instant coffee, all the better. In Greece, they use the European version of Nescafe, called Nescafe Classic, which is stronger than the one we sell here in the U.S. I found some Nescafe Clásico (same thing) in the Mexican foods section of my local grocery store. So check there too, or if you have a store that sells international foods nearby, you should be able to find something close to it.
OK, onto the recipe!
Use a blender or immersion blender for best results/most blended drink. In Greece, the drink is usually shaken in a jar or drink mixer.
3 -4 teaspoons instant coffee (preferably Nescafe Classic or Clásico (above))
2 -4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
2 -6 ounces water
2 -6 ounces milk
Ice, crushed or in cubes