I love iced coffee season. Lucky for me, it lasts about seven stifling months here in the Carolinas so I can sip chilled caffeine to my heart’s content.
I like to make mine at home so I can micromanage the ice-to-liquid ratio, but there are plenty of enticing alternates around town when I’m out and about.
Here’s where to go to get your iced coffee fix this summer… and into the fall when it’s inevitably still 90 degrees.
HEX Shandy at HEX Coffee
Bright, effervescent homemade lemon soda meets deep, robust coffee with cold brew floated over muddled mint, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and sparkling water.
Related story: Lemon in your coffee? Yes. Try the HEX shandy immediately
Gym and Tonic at South End Grind
A morning-appropriate play on the classic gin and tonic cocktail — espresso, tonic, honey lemon syrup and mint over ice. It’s a seasonal offering so stop by before it’s rotated out for something else.
Iced dirty chai latte at Smelly Cat
A personal fall favorite — a chai latte kicked up a notch with a shot of espresso — gets a summer makeover on ice.
Espresso Mule at Not Just Coffee
A caffeinated twist on a popular cocktail — Fever Tree ginger beer, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and Counter Culture’s Hologram coffee. Co-owner James Yoder calls it one of his “all-time favorite Not Just Coffee signature beverages.”
Strange Brew at The Punch Room
A boozy, literal interpretation of iced coffee featuring a frozen block of coffee swimming in Old Scout bourbon and housemade hazelnut milk. You’re supposed to take a sip every two minutes to see how the melting coffee ice slowly but significantly alters the taste profile.
Cold brew at Central Coffee
The indisputable best straight up iced coffee in town is Central Coffee’s cold brew, which is robust enough to stand up to melting ice without getting overly watered down.