Mazagran is the Original Iced Coffee — Here’s How to Make It

May 11, 2020Brittany Ramjattan
mazagran coffee or die

In a perfect world, we’d be wiping sweat from our brows as we gulped down a tall glass of iced coffee to battle the heat as we chatted with our neighbors on the front lawn. But with the effects of a pandemic still impacting our lives, our summers are likely to be reduced to our places of work and living rooms with few neighbors. 

While this is a sad truth, it doesn’t change one thing: we can still enjoy iced coffee, wherever we may be. For those impatient for the hot days and beaming sun of summer, a mazagran may be just the thing to cure your isolation woes. 

Mazagran is credited as the “original iced coffee” and has its origin in the throes of war, as so many coffee beverages do. It was conceived in the 1800s in the coastal town of Mazagran, Algeria, where more than 100 French soldiers were held captive in an Algerian scramble for liberation against their French colonialists. 

mazagran coffee drink lemonade coffee or die
Recipe by Brittany Ramjattan/Coffee or Die. Graphic by Erik Campbell/Coffee or Die.

While French soldiers were used to cutting their coffee with brandy, the Algerians had nothing to offer beyond pitchers of cold water. The French soldiers were rescued within a few days of their capture, but the drink remained a crucial part of France’s daytime beverage selection for years to come. 

As with many drinks, the methodology of its making has been adapted several times over to suit consumers. Neither France nor Algeria care much for today’s mazagran. Rather, it’s a popular summertime beverage in Portugal, where it utilizes lemons as a flavoring component. While the combination sounds odd, the addition of a varied acidic component helps emphasize the notes in coffee beans for a rounded flavor to iced coffee. 

For those who enjoy their iced coffee black, this delectable beverage hits the sweet spot between lemonade and cold brew, making it perfect for those sunny days.

Brittany Ramjattan
Brittany Ramjattan
Brittany Ramjattan is a freelance writer with a background in film. Brittany is currently a graduate student at Stony Brook’s Television Writing program in Manhattan, and when she’s not slaving over her computer, she’s slaving over her French press, working on her perfect cup. 
More from Coffee or Die Magazine
navy seal training
Navy SEALS Training Plagued by Massive Problems, According To Investigation

Medical oversight and care were “poorly organized, poorly integrated and poorly led and put candidat...

memorial day arlington
Memorial Day Is a Day of Remembrance, Not Celebration

Memorial Day was created as a remembrance to honor the fallen by decorating graves — a holiday meant...

air force joint chiefs
Air Force Fighter Pilot Tapped As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman Has History of Firsts

The Air Force fighter pilot about to be nominated as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ...

sowf special operations warrior foundation
BRCC Donates $500K to Special Operations Warrior Foundation

In an effort to continue Black Rifle Coffee Company’s mission of supporting the veteran community, B...

Coca Cola 600
BRCC to Honor Fallen Marine During NASCAR’s Legendary Coca-Cola 600

Black Rifle Coffee Company will honor Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa during NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day. Menusa was killed in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

uss gerald r. ford oslo
US Aircraft Carrier Arrives In NATO Member Norway, To Take Part In Drills

The nuclear-powered ship USS Gerald R. Ford entered the Oslo fjord escorted by a rapid dinghy-type boat with armed personnel on board.

adam driver indy 500
Marine Vet, Actor Adam Driver Named Honorary Starter for Indianapolis 500

Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam Driver, who will soon be starring as Enzo Ferrari in a biopic of...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved