Do you love coffee? Elevate your routine an iced coffee shake! Aerate, dilute, and chill your coffee with a Greek-style Freddo Espresso to unlock a smooth, mellow, and refreshing morning or afternoon treat.

A close up of Freddo Espresso in a glass with a straw next to a bowl of coffee beans and some coffee beans on the table.
Photo Credits: Ali Redmond

Freddo espresso, meaning cold espresso, is leisurely sipped in Greece by locals and tourists alike. And it's easy to make at home–Ideally with an espresso machine, but you can make this with an espresso pod or even drip coffee if you’d like!

Whenever I arrive at the Greek International Terminal, I first order a slice of Spanakopita and a Freddo Espresso–my first coffee fix once landing in Greece after a long flight. Off I go, caffeine-pumped and ready to hit the Athenian roads. 

For those who can’t get to Greece, there is no need to miss out; you can make this coffee in the comfort of your home. Simply shake a double shot of espresso in a cocktail shaker or jar until it’s cold and foamy, then serve over ice with, if you prefer, a dash of milk.

Table of Contents
  1. What is a Freddo Espresso? Difference between Freddo, Frappe, Shakerato, and More
  2. How to Order a Freddo Espresso in Greece
  3. Ingredients to Make Freddo Espresso 
  4. How to Make Freddo Espresso 
  5. What Coffee is Best for Greek Freddo Espresso?
  6. What to Serve with Greek Iced Coffee
  7. More Mediterranean Drinks to Try!
  8. Freddo Espresso (Greek Iced Coffee) Recipe
A close up of Freddo Espresso in a glass.

What is a Freddo Espresso? Difference between Freddo, Frappe, Shakerato, and More

A Freddo Espresso is always made with a double shot of espresso. It's not for the faint-hearted! You can try it with or without sugar or whole milk. And if you’re sticking to the traditional, cream is never an option.

  • Italian Shakerato: Combines one or two shots of coffee and ice, which is also shaken in a tumbler but strained and served in a glass without ice and milk. 
  • Shaken Espresso: Inspired by the Shakerato, a popular drink in the U.S., but with the addition of flavored syrups and some milk or cream. 
  • Frappe: Greece's original cold beverage. Made using instant coffee, usually Nescafe Blend. The recipe was first created by a Nescafe representative in 1957. On a break, an employee of Nestle couldn't find hot water and mixed instant coffee with cold water and ice in a shaker, resulting in this surprisingly delicious beverage. 
  • Freddo Cappuccino: Freddo cappuccino is the same as a Freddo Espresso, except it is finished with a layer of cold foamy milk poured over the ice and coffee mixture. It is made by blending cold milk and ice cubes until a very lush and silky foam is achieved. Cinnamon powder is usually dusted over the top before serving. 

To put it simply: Freddo Espresso is for the true coffee-lover craving something extra chilled and refreshing, but still wants that strong coffee taste. 

How to Order a Freddo Espresso in Greece

True, you can easily make Freddo Espresso at home with this recipe. But just like there’s nothing quite like Ouzo by the seaside, there’s nothing quite like a Freddo Espresso on a sweltering day in Greece. Here’s a quick guide on how to order one like a local:

  • Sketos: No sugar.
  • Metrios: Medium sweetness, two teaspoons of sugar.
  • Glikos: Very sweet, with four teaspoons of sugar.
Ingredients for Freddo Espresso including espresso, sugar, ice, cold water, and milk.

Ingredients to Make Freddo Espresso 

If you make coffee at home, you probably have everything you need to make this easy Greek iced coffee.

  • Ice: Any shaped ice will do.
  • Coffee: I typically use a double shot of espresso, but see below for more options. You will need approximately 2 ounces of liquid. 
  • Sugar (optional): Note that this is a strong coffee, hence two espresso shots, so you may require a slight amount of sweetness to offset the bitterness. Medium sweetness is the most common preference.
  • Cold water: Increases the volume and mellows the bite. If you prefer a milkier coffee, omit the water and add only milk instead.
  • Milk (optional): A dash of milk of your choice (whole milk, low fat, plant-based all works). Do not stir the milk or you may lose the frothiness you made from shaking. Instead, let the layers slowly mingle with each other. 

How to Make Freddo Espresso 

The first step to making Greek-style iced coffee is to ready yourself about 2 ounces (¼ cup) of coffee–see options below. From there: 

  • Shake. Pour the espresso into a cocktail shaker or a Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. If you’re adding sugar, add about 2 teaspoons for medium sweetness, or 4 teaspoons for very sweet. Add 3 ice cubes, cover, and shake until the ice has mostly melted and the coffee is cold and frothy.
  • Dilute. Fill a tall, thin glass with ice, pour over the coffee, and add a scant ¼ cup of cold water.
  • Optional: Add a dash of milk on top. Do not stir, or you will lose some of the foam.
  • Serve. Enjoy! Serve immediately with a straw. Sip leisurely. 
A close up of Freddo Espresso in a glass the a straw next to a bowl of coffee beans and a small pitcher.

What Coffee is Best for Greek Freddo Espresso?

Like all coffee drinks, the quality of the coffee matters and is the key to a great coffee. You have some options: 

  • Best option: Espresso (or Decaffeinated Espresso.) The real deal and the best choice since it’s so concentrated and syrupy, so it holds up well to being shaken with ice without getting watery.
  • Drip coffee: An acceptable second choice, but keep in mind it will be a bit more diluted and not as nicely frothy.
  • Espresso pods (like Nespresso): This works well too, simply use the small cup option. 
  • Moka Pot: Also works. Use about 18 grams of coffee to make 2 ounces of liquid.

What to Serve with Greek Iced Coffee

You can serve Freddo Espresso in numerous ways. Enjoy it after a delicious meal or savour it leisurely with a dessert. An excellent idea is to enjoy it alongside a Greek dessert such as Rizogalo (Greek Rice Pudding) and Baklava.

The sweet-bitter notes of orange and coffee are also an excellent pairing. Serve with a slice of cake such as Orange Cardamon Olive Oil Cake or Italian-inspired Orange Ricotta Cake.

  • Best option: Espresso (or Decaffeinated Espresso.) The real deal and the best choice since it’s so concentrated and syrupy, so it holds up well to being shaken with ice without getting watery.
  • Drip coffee: An acceptable second choice, but keep in mind it will be a bit more diluted and not as nicely frothy.
  • Espresso pods (like Nespresso): This works well too, simply use the small cup option. 
  • Moka Pot: Also works. Use about 18 grams of coffee to make 2 ounces of liquid.

More Mediterranean Drinks to Try!

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Freddo Espresso (Greek Iced Coffee)

photograph of author Ruth Bardis.Ruth Bardis
A close up of Freddo Espresso in a glass next to a bowl of coffee beans, a small pitcher and a spoon.
A beloved Greek iced coffee that's easy to make at home! The perfect afternoon pick-me-up, and no espresso machine necessary (see note for more options).
Prep – 10 minutes
Total – 10 minutes
Cuisine:
Greek
Serves – 1
Course:
Drinks

Ingredients
  

  • Double shot freshly brewed espresso (about 2 ounces or ¼ cup)
  • Sugar to taste (optional)
  • Ice
  • Scant ¼ cup cold water
  • Milk (optional, whole milk, low fat, or unflavored plant-based all work)

Instructions
 

  • Shake. Pour the espresso into a cocktail shaker or a Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add sugar to taste (if using, about 2 teaspoons for medium sweetness). Add three ice cubes, cover, and seal. Shake until the ice has mostly melted and the coffee is cold and frothy.
  • Dilute. Fill a tall, thin glass with ice, pour over the coffee, and add the cold water.
  • Optional: Add a dash of milk on top. Do not stir, or you will lose some of the froth.
  • Enjoy! Serve immediately with a straw. Sip leisurely.

Notes

  • What type of coffee to use?
    • Best option: Espresso (or Decaffeinated Espresso.) The real deal and the best choice since it’s so concentrated and syrupy, so it holds up well to being shaken with ice without getting watery.
    • Drip coffee: An acceptable second choice, but keep in mind it will be a bit more diluted and not as nicely frothy.
    • Espresso pods (like Nespresso): This works well too, simply use the small cup option. 
    • Moka Pot: Also works. Use about 18 grams of coffee to make 2 ounces of liquid. 
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 17.9kcalCarbohydrates: 2.6gProtein: 0.6gFat: 0.6gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 1.8mgSodium: 13.7mgPotassium: 87.7mgSugar: 1.7gVitamin A: 24.3IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 19.6mgIron: 0.1mg
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Ruth Bardis is an international award-winning cookbook author, food stylist, publisher, and photographer passionate about all thing’s Greek food.  She was born in Australia to Greek parents. Her strong ethnic heritage and love of nourishing food facilitated her switch from fashion designing to cooking, photography, and writing. 
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