Plain old iced coffee is passé. These five takes on coffee and cubes promise to chill us out without any of the same old, well, grind(s).
In A Growler
Once you taste cold-brewed iced coffee, there’s no going back to those leftover percolated pour-overs. Now, Birch Coffee (5 E. 27th St., 212-686- 1444) and Nolita Espresso Mart (156 Mott St., 212-966-8883) are both selling 64-oz. growlers of their house cold-brews. For $3.99, you can buy the glass growler, and each refill is $13.99 at Nolita and $15 at Birch. At Birch, they’re filling the jugs with their Coffee Lab Roasters cold-brew blend, the shop’s bestseller. Co-owner Paul Schlader says he likes the "moonshineish effect." At Nolita, introducing the growler of Stumptown cold-brew was a no-brainer, as they already sell growlers of microbrews.
Classic Coffee Soda
You know that feeling when you can’t decide between iced coffee and Diet Coke to quench your thirst and satisfy your fried nerves? Well, there’s really no need to choose. Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda— made in Brooklyn since 1895—has all the punch of coffee but all of the invigorating bubble action of a soda. It’s on tap at Ferdinando’s (115 Union St., Brooklyn, 718-855-1545) in the Columbia Street Waterfront District, and available by the bottle almost anywhere.
Coffee Ice Cubes
Most people would rather toss their drink unfinished than power through those last few sips of watered down, diluted iced coffee. What if that never happened, and instead your cold drink melted uniformly to the last drop? That’s the appeal of coffee ice cubes. Boerum Hill’s One Girl Cookies (68 Dean St., Brooklyn, 212-675-4996) freezes Stumptown decaf to toss in your mug, while Il Laboratorio del Gelato (188 Ludlow St., 212-343-9922) serves cubes made from Café Grumpy coffee and its new Upper Lower East Side location, on East Houston Street.
Modern Coffee Soda
Wish there were a sparkling coffee that didn’t have the shelf life of a Manhattan Special? Head to Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Label (180 Franklin St., Brooklyn, 718-389-2806) and order the Franklin Soda, made with Stumptown espresso, housecarbonated seltzer and simple syrup.
Owner Lynde McCormick explains the inspiration behind the drink: "We were turned off by Frappucinos and other drinks like that and wanted to make a cold, espresso-based drink that doesn’t disguise the flavor of the espresso itself."
Over Ice Cream
Need something a little more decadent than a cup of coffee with a Splenda and skim? At both Van Leeuwen stores (632 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, 718-701-1630, and 81 Bergen St., Brooklyn, 347-763-2979)—and sometimes at one of the luxury ice-cream-maker’s roving trucks—you can order an affogato, which means your Intelligentsia espresso comes splashed over ice cream. We recommend you go with the hazelnut.