If adults could still earn merit badges — and I think we should be able to — I would have every award for drinking absurd quantities of coffee. I am an expert at acquiring coffee and getting it into my body. In my town, I know the gas station with a two-for-one deal and when the hipster coffee shop gives free refills, and I never miss a Double Star day.
That's why when Ree Drummond (aka the Pioneer Woman) said she had the "perfect iced coffee" recipe that would keep a person supplied for several weeks, I scoffed.
"You'll never buy iced coffee again! Or if you do, you'll buy it a lot less often," Drummond's Facebook page announces.
Clearly Ree Drummond has no idea how much coffee I can drink.
But I hit "play" and, as I watched Drummond make coffee to happy music, I realized she was really onto something. Because she wasn't just making a batch of coffee — she was making a huge batch of coffee.
Watching Drummond bring out a 12-quart plastic bucket and fill it with coffee and water was like watching a sunrise. This must be what it felt like to be the first person to hear Isaac Newton explain gravity.
Before I saw Drummond make coffee this way, I'd been using pitchers designed for making coffee — like a chump. But Drummond is a genius. There's no reason you have to stick with a pitcher! As I watched her stir her coffee concentrate, I remembered I have a 52-quart under-bed box full of sweaters right upstairs.
"Make a big batch of this cold brew concentrate, stash it in your fridge, and you'll have iced coffee at your fingertips for two to three weeks, depending on how tall your glass is!" Drummond says.
Drummond's method takes 12 hours to make, and if you used her measurements she says you'll wind up with 24 to 30 servings of coffee.
She starts by pouring a whole pound of freshly ground coffee into her bucket, followed by eight quarts of cold water over that. Then she stirs it and seals it with a plastic cover. (Not as willing as me to use an under-bed box? You can buy 12-quart plastic containers like Drummond's from Amazon for $22. You could even get bigger ones, if you wanted to.)
Buy: 12-Quart Square Food Storage Container, $22
"Let steep at room temperature for 12 hours or longer," the video instructs.
After the coffee is finished steeping, Drummond takes out a second bucket and places a mesh strainer over it, then covers the strainer with cheesecloth and slowly pours all her coffee over it. (That's when I realized my ability to physically lift the container would be a limiting factor in this process. Maybe Drummond is right not to go over three gallons at once.)
With all that coffee, the possibilities are endless. You could even freeze some in ice cube trays. Drummond chose to decant her cold brew concentrate into an attractive dispenser and put the whole thing in the fridge. Whenever she wants coffee, she just pours it into a Mason jar full of ice and adds milk, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk.
"This is my favorite way to enjoy iced coffee, my favorite drink on Earth!" she writes. Cheers to coffee.