Make Pistachio Milk, the Perfect 'Creamer' for Your Summer Iced Coffees
Summer is (almost) here, and many folk are switching from hot coffee to icy cold brew. Not me though. I've been drinking iced coffee this whole time. My caffeinated summer switch is a little more subtle: Instead of changing the temperature of my coffee, I switch from half & half to a plant-based "milk."
Drinking dairy when I'm hot and sweaty makes me nauseated. It's just too rich for temperatures over 75?. Oat milk works fine, but it doesn't bring a ton of flavor. I was thinking about playing around with cashew milk, until a friend and fellow food writer posted a meme about pistachio milk. I had not considered pistachio milk until that moment, and I found myself considering it hard.
Making your own pistachio milk is cheaper than buying it
Unlike almond, oat, or cashew milk, pistachio milk is hard to find, even at hippy-centric markets and health food stores. It's also predictably pricey, as nuts are not cheap. The most popular brand of pistachio milk--Tache--runs around $8 for 32 ounces. But like any other nut milk, it's easy to make yourself. All you need is raw pistachios and water (and maybe a little salt and vanilla, as a treat).
Blend everything together and strain it through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. That's all you need to do. Sourcing the pistachios will probably be the hardest part. I went to three different stores in my pursuit of raw pistachios, but eventually ended up ordering them on online, because I was tired of going to stores.
I was able to get roughly four cups of pistachios for $22.50, enough to make four 32-ounce batches of pistachio milk, which translates to less than six bucks per batch, a couple bucks cheaper than Tache, and about the same price as a single beverage from Starbucks.
How to use pistachio milk
Pistachio milk is like any other nut milk. It's lightly creamy, and tastes like the nut from which it came. You can drink it straight, pour it over your morning Wheaties, or stir it into a coffee. Be aware, however, that dumping it into hot, acidic coffee can cause it to curdle. I didn't have any issues with my iced coffee, but adding it to hot drip coffee caused it to form the tiniest little curds. To prevent this, try adding the coffee to the milk to gradually warm and decrease the pH, instead of shocking it with sudden changes.
Like I said, I didn't have any issues with iced coffee. I added cold coffee to a shaker with ice, along with some fresh pistachio milk and a little simple syrup, then shook it all up to make an, icy, frothy, slightly sweet beverage that tasted like pistachios (which happens to be one of my top-three nuts). It was delightful, and is now poised to become my official Beverage of the Summer, along with Diet Coke, which is really my official Beverage of Eternity.
DIY Pistachio Milk
Ingredients:1 cup raw shelled pistachios3 cups water, plus more for soaking1 big pinch of salt3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Add pistachios to a bowl or large measuring cup and cover with a few inches of water. Let soak in the fridge overnight.
Drain and rinse the pistachios, and transfer to a high-powered blender. Add everything but the vanilla, and blend on high until as smooth as possible. You should see some pistachio grit, but no discernible chunks. Stir in the vanilla. Strain through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Store in the fridge for three to four days, and shake well before each use.