Nice Ice, Baby
by Emily Kovach
1. Milkshake Lattes at River Wards Cafe
3118 Richmond St.
In a stroke of genius, Joe Livewell at Riverwards Cafe in Port Richmond blends three scoops of Bassetts vanilla ice cream with milk and a double shot of espresso to create a creamy, sweet and caffeinated treat. If chocolate is what you crave, try the Mocha Milkshake, similar to the above but with a hefty dose of Ghirardelli syrup.
2. Barista Signature Drinks at Function Coffee Labs
1001 S. 10th St.
Inspired by a rotating list of of single-origin coffees each week, the coffee geek crew at this Bella Vista shop dream up a special iced beverage to complement the tasting notes. Recent favorites include the creamsicle-esque Orange is the New Black: a citrusy, brown-sugary shot of Colombia El Mirador from NEAT Coffee that is mixed with a splash of cold water, a splash of half and half, and a housemade orange syrup, shaken in a cocktail shaker until frothy and served over ice.
3. Lavender Light & Sweet at Square One Coffee
1811 JFK Blvd. and 249 S. 13 St.
Square One’s hot-bloomed cold brew coffee is as smooth, robust and nuanced as it gets, which makes sense, since the staff roasts all of their own beans from their production space in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In this floral iteration, cold brew, local half and half, and housemade lavender syrup are shaken together and then poured on ice in an adorable, Instagram-worthy “Light & Sweet” banded Mason jar.
4. The Elixir at Elixr Coffee
207 S. Sydenham St.
Wake up on the double with this new specialty drink at Center City’s hippest café. The Elixir is a fizzy coffee soda made with Ethiopian Konga espresso and housemade syrup made from chamomile, smoked peppercorn and orange—and a splash of soda water. If that didn’t sound “mixologist” enough, the pint glass is garnished with candied orange peel. Don’t wait—the Elixir is only available in the summertime.
5. Chai Draft Latte at La Colombe
This homegrown (now national) company is back again with another canned drink sure to develop a cult following: the Chai Draft Latte. The “first and only canned chai tea latte in America,” according to La Colombe, this to-go beverage combines cold-brewed chai and a heady blend of herbs and spices, including ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Four-packs are available in La Colombe’s brick-and-mortar cafés, in select grocery shops and on its website.