Maybe it’s the heat, but coffee professionals who never put sugar in their espresso and believe milk is for cereal will loosen up when it comes to summer drinks. Here, in no particular order, are six iced coffees (actually, five iced coffees and one from a chilled keg) that are inventive, refreshing and delicious.
Black & Blue, Cuvée Coffee in Austin, Texas
What a difference some bubbles make: This cold-brew coffee is nitrogenated and kegged so it flows out of a beer tap with the creamy body of a Guinness and the thick head of a stout. Sip it like a beer and savor the bittersweet chocolate notes. Cuvée Coffee will open its own shop this summer and hopes to introduce a canned version soon. Until then, the Black & Blue is available at a number of locations in the Austin area (the roaster sells more than 80 kegs a week) including Seventh Flag Coffee.
About $4; 2000 E. Sixth St. (set to open at the end of July), Austin, Texas; (512) 264-1479; cuveecoffee.com.
Kaffe Tonic, Saint Frank in San Francisco
A crisp and refreshing play on the bitter and sweet flavors found in both espresso and tonic water, the Kaffe Tonic is simply a shot of espresso poured over a glass of Fever-Tree tonic and ice. It tastes like a refined take on the Fernet-Branca and soda you drink in the afternoon in Buenos Aires. Inspired by a similar drink at Koppi, a microroaster in Helsingborg, Sweden, the name is an homage to its origin.
$5.50; 2340 Polk St., San Francisco; (415) 775-1619; saintfrankcoffee.com.
Kenya Cola, Mockingbird Hill in Washington, D.C.
Kenyan coffees are prized for their complex acidities, especially phosphoric acid, which is a key flavor in Coca-Cola. In this intricate drink, Kenyan coffee with a little sugar is chilled in an ice bath, mixed with three kinds of bitters (tiki, Spanish and black walnut), then poured in a glass with ice and topped with soda water. The result is less cloying than a soft drink.
$7; 1843 Seventh St. NW, Washington, D.C.; (202) 316-9396; drinkmoresherry.com.
Thunderbolt, Smith Canteen in Brooklyn
First came the freshly made lemonade, a taste of the Arkansas childhood of Rob Newton, the chef and an owner. Then came a shot of Haru, a citric coffee with gingery flavors that is grown in Ethiopia and roasted by Counter Culture Coffee. The two partner beautifully for a captivating flavor that’s part iced Americano, part American South.
$4; 343 Smith St., Brooklyn; no telephone; smithcanteen.com.
Intelli Egg Cream, Intelligentsia Coffee in Manhattan
The Intelli Egg Cream is a shot of espresso shaken over ice with whole milk and chocolate ganache, then strained into a glass and topped with sparkling water. The sweet-and-bitter fizz of a classic egg cream is rounded out by a shot of espresso that’s more elusive than aggressive. It tastes of the soda fountain, not the coffee bar. Served only at the company’s New York shops for the time being.
$5; 1333 Broadway; (212) 244-4320, and 180 10th Ave. (inside the High Line Hotel); (212) 933-9736.
Iced Almond Macadamia Latte, G&B Coffee and Go Get Em Tiger, Los Angeles
The owners Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville challenged themselves to make an iced latte – a shunned drink in the world of high-end coffee – that they would actually want to order. The result: a shot of espresso shaken over ice with house-made almond-macadamia milk, then strained into a chilled Mason jar filled with fresh ice. The key is the almond macadamia milk, which they make fresh every day, for a drink that is more elegant and subtle than you thought a latte could be.