The Vanilla Wet Dog: The Summer Coffee Drink You Never Knew You Needed

Vanilla Wet Dog recipe

In my post Head Tea: The Greatest Cold Remedy Known to Man, I mentioned a funky little coffee shop on the main street of the historic town where I went to college. As far as shops go, it's definitely part of the pre-hipster wave of hippie shops: you're likely to find ratty couches, a castoff mannequin dressed according to the season, a take-a-book-leave-a-book shelf, and cryptic messages like “Evolution is not bound by recipes” scrawled on the walls.

Speaking of recipes, most of the drinks you can order are on the “underground” menu because rather than having a comprehensive list on display, there are only some house drinks scribbled on small chalkboards suspended above the front counter. By far the best of these official house drinks is the Vanilla Wet Dog, which certainly does not smell like man's best friend after it jumped in the lake.

Here's how to make the summer coffee drink you never knew you needed.        

How to make a Vanilla Wet Dog

How to Make a Vanilla Wet Dog


• Ice

• Seltzer water, chilled

• Vanilla syrup

• Heavy cream

• Fresh espresso

1. Let's begin. To start, ice goes in the cup first. Then fill it 3/4 full with seltzer water.

Step 1 | Vanilla Wet Dog coffee drink

2. Add in a “finger” width of vanilla. For the vanilla syrup, I made a modified simple syrup by bringing 1 cup of water and 1.25 cups of sugar to a boil, stirring in 2 tsp. vanilla extract, and letting cool. If you're in a rush, you can also purchase it from the store.

Step 2 | Vanilla Wet Dog coffee drink

3. Add in a dollop of cream and stir.

Step 3 | Vanilla Wet Dog coffee drink


Step 3 | Vanilla Wet Dog

4. Finally, add the espresso and stir. I substituted Turkish coffee here because my espresso machine is currently out of commission. The idea is to add strong coffee with a bit of froth for the seltzer to catch and hold onto.)

Step 4 | Vanilla Wet Dog coffee drink

How to make a summery coffee drink

Kick back and enjoy!