It really doesn’t matter how many cold snaps or rain storms there are between Memorial Day and Labor Day because we officially switch over to Iced Coffee and Iced Tea the second that temps rise above 60, and we don’t touch the hot stuff again until well into September.
Luckily, there are plenty of places in New York to get a frosty beverage fix this summer that go well beyond the expected chilled coffee and tea. Think everything from fresh, frozen fruit drinks at Kelvin Natural Slush and Italian Iced Chocolate at Eataly to throwback Cherry Lime Rickey’s at Brooklyn Farmacy and citrusy sippers at Del’s Frozen Lemonade. We’ve got the city’s Best Iced Drinks this season right this way…
Kelvin Natural Slush Truck
The two time Vendy Award-winning Kelvin Natural Slush Truck keeps regular routes throughout the city, and is a reliable favorite at food festivals like Smorgasburg. That’s because the fully customizable beverages at Kelvin’s are made with delicious, all-natural fruit and fresh herbs. Just choose your base slush, like Spicy Ginger, Tangy Citrus, or Green or Black Tea, along with one refreshing mix-in, including fresh chopped mint and basil, pink guava, caramelized pineapple, cherry, pear, mango or strawberry purees. Our go-to concoction? The Arnold Palmer, made with equal parts tea and citrus slush and a layer of fragrant white peach – a killer frozen cocktail (sans the alcohol) you can drink during the day.
After stocking your grocery basket with imported dried pastas, olive oils and condiments from this massive Italian emporium, stop for a pick-me-up at one of their two in-house cafés. Try the Neve Sulla Lava (translated to “snow on top”) at Café Vergnano, a terrific warm weather snack that tempers their signature, Iced Hot Chocolate with cold crème espresso, whipped cream and even more shaved Italian chocolate. Looking for something a little more refreshing (and a little less sweet)? Head to Café Lavazza for the Shakerato, a frosty espresso flavored with amaretto or orange syrup and shot through with tiny shards of ice.Read More
“The Farm,” as locals affectionately call it, faithfully recreates a number of sweet-shop favorites, like extra-thick milkshakes and malteds, towering ice cream sundaes and floats, traditional Brooklyn Egg Creams, and a classic Cherry Lime Rickey, perfect for sipping with your sweetheart on a red swivel stool along the bar. The cherry syrup, lime juice and seltzer-based beverage will transport you back in time, along with the 100-year old building, which is still outfitted with century-old cabinetry stocked with dusty drug and capsule bottles, and an original tiled floor inscribed with the name Lonco’s Pharmacy.
Del’s Frozen Lemonade
This seasonal Rhode Island favorite lit up the blogosphere when it was spotted roaming NYC a few weeks ago. You can follow Del’s Twitterfeed if you want to know where and when to find the refurbished Chevrolet truck, which peddles a variety of refreshing fruit slushes. The original family recipe for the eponymous Frozen Lemonade hasn’t changed since 1948, but a variety of different flavors have since been added to the roster. Choose from watermelon, cherry, grapefruit, mango and pomegranate, made with little more than fresh fruit, crushed ice and sugar.
Hampton Chutney Co.
We love the Indian yogurt-based drink known as the Lassi, but more often than not they can be way too sweet, and not all that refreshing. That’s why we’re psyched about the seasonal Mango Lassi at Hampton Chutney Co., which is made with real fresh fruit and not just canned puree. And there are a number of other exotically spiced beverages to try at the Soho outpost of this Amagansett-based Dosa hut, like aromatic Indian Chai, Iced Cardamom Coffee, fresh Lemonade flavored with Orange Blossom Water, Orange Ginger Iced Tea and even Watermelon Juice. Talk about the essence of summer in a glass!
This charming “country in the city” restaurant is just as cozy as its name would suggest. Think Eggs and Buttermilk Biscuits or “Toad in the Hole” at breakfast, Meatloaf Sandwiches for lunch, and Blue Plate specials like Smothered Fried Chicken for dinner, followed, of course, by homemade wedges of Apple, Lemon Meringue, and Sour Cream and Cherry Pie. So it only stands to reason that they serve a standout pink lemonade, made daily with freshly squeezed lemons. And that rosy tint doesn’t come from food coloring (god forbid!). Kitchenette actually uses handfuls of juicy blackberries and raspberries to give their lemonade its pleasing pink hue and super sweet taste. No wonder they sell more than five gallons of the stuff each day!
Brooklyn Roasting Company
This two-year-old DUMBO roaster and café sources their fair-trade, organic beans from farmers in South America, Asia and Africa. That means you can feel especially good about ordering an iced Americano made with “Iris,” a custom-blended espresso from Peruvian, Sumatran and Ethiopian beans, or their signature Iced Maple Latte called the Shay Shay with two shots of single origin Colombian espresso, maple syrup, and Battenkill Valley whole milk. And you’ll want to pair your caffeinated iced drink with freshly baked donuts from Dough, chocolate croissants and financiers from Colson Patisserie, or flourless cookies and caneles from Fresh Fanatic.
Many bubble tea places rely on powdered milk and mixers to make their chewy, neon-colored concoctions, but not so at the Taiwanese tea company, Ten Ren. In addition to carrying a tremendous assortment of quality bulk teas, this Chinatown favorite keeps it real with all-natural, tapioca-studded cold drinks. Relax in the adjoining café with a freshly brewed Iced Tea (choose from Jasmine, Chrysanthemum, Oolong or Assam), Fruit Tea (like Kumquat, Lychee, Star Fruit or Passion Fruit), Iced Milk (flavored with Taro, Papaya, Black Sesame, or Vanilla Chai), or frosty Shredded Ice, made with Mango, Honeydew, Peach or Sweet Red Bean.