Fall is fast approaching, but rest assured, we’re definitely in the dog days of summer, where water ice consumption sky rockets and two showers-a-day is still a necessity.
Scorching heatwaves call for thirst quenchers from sun up to sundown.
For some, iced coffee season is a year round deal, and while cold brews have become part of coffee drinkers’ lexicon—as they can be found made in-house locally at assorted coffee shops or in to-go cans and bottles—cafes and coffee shops have gotten creative and debuted a new assortment of caffeinated and non-caffeinated options for the warmer months.
Something that we’re seeing more of this year are iced teas being made to order—although when you've come from walking around on a super hot day your patience might be a bit thin—which offer bolder flavors and are great if you're into herbal teas. Give it a try at Double Knot (120 S. 13th St.)
La Colombe (1335 Frankford Ave.) introduced a new line of teas last Spring and any of them can be ordered iced, the Golden Turmeric is particularly good on the rocks.
Over at Bodhi (263 S. 10th street), on their menu this summer is the “Berry Blast,” made with berry tea, cherry bitters and vanilla. The drink is shaken to order and is deliciously fruity and revitalizing.
Elixr Coffee Roasters (207 S Sydenham St.) has cold brewed iced tea, along with some interesting seasonal iced drinks like, “The Elixr” which is made with Konga espresso, chamomile and peppercorn syrup, seltzer water and orange. There's also the thirst quenching “Herbal Tonic,” made with lavender, chamomile and mint infusion, seltzer and simple syrup.
Nitro Cold Brews started to pop up on coffee shop menus in the last few years, they are a super smooth version of a cold brew and they look and taste more like a non-alcoholic stout, a pour comes with a frothy head too. Rival Bros. (1528 Spruce St.) took it up a notch with their Nitro Float which comes with two scoops of Weckerly’s ice cream.
Long heralded as a hangover cure, coffee mixed with coconut water hasn't quite caught on yet, but the mix of energizing caffeine and hydrating coconut water will have you feeling back to normal in no time. I highly recommend this concoction the morning after a couple of frosés. Try it at P.S. & Co. (1706 Locust St.) or grab a whole young coconut from them or at Saté Kampar (1837 E. Passyunk Ave.)
For happy hour check out Mission Taqueria’s (1516 Sansom St.) “Coco Loco” cocktail, a take on what else but the Piña Colada, made with blanco tequila, coconut milk, fresh pineapple and lime.
Over at V Street, they've got an invigorating Brazilian-inspired cocktail called the "Nightboat to Recife" which is made with Cachaça, Aperol, coconut water and lime. The tasting notes are citrusy and a bit vegetal, it's a great one to order after coming off the scorched summer streets.
Keep the tropical vibes going and venture into South Philly to Boba & Company (600 W. Moyamensing Ave.)—a pop-up that specializes in Cambodian street food—and try their freshly squeezed sugar cane juice or one of their tempting tropical drink creations (over 30 to choose from!).
Rosé has been having a moment for the past few summers and now we're in full blown Frosé territory. This style of wine comes in a variety of pink hues, from a blush pink to a dark rose; and in an array of tasting notes, ranging from tart to super fruity; variations range from dry to slightly fizzy.
This type of wine was created to be drunk leisurely at all times of the year but it's come to signify summer for Americans. It pairs really well with summertime favorite foods like grilled meats and burgers, ceviche, raw oysters, lobster, grilled veggies, seasonal heirloom tomatoes and tapas. From appetizers to dessert you can enjoy Rosé throughout your meal.
Try a Frosé at Assembly (1840 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.). It’s made with Rosé, Petal & Thorn vermouth and strawberry. Over at Bud & Marilyn's (1234 Locust St.) they churn out a version made with a French rosé, strawberry-tarragon syrup, vodka and citrus. Don't be fooled by these, they pack a punch and a sugary hangover.
A few summers ago I was introduced to Txakolina (pronounced chock-oh-LEE-nah), and it's become a personal favorite; it's crisp, cool and a nice alternative to Rosé. Originating from the Basque region in Spain, it’s a slightly sparkling, dry white wine, noted for its salinity; it pairs well with seafood, cured meats, and hard cheeses. A great option to add to your summer wine rotation due to its low alcohol content, ideal for sipping from late in the afternoon into the evening. Over at Tria Taproom (2005 Walnut St.) they serve Txakolina Arabako, Xarmant, ‘16, which has notes of lemon, lime and a bit of salt.
For beer lovers, this the season of crisp pilsners, pints of kolsh, Berliner Weiss and cans of Gose. Gose is a tart and citrusy style beer. It is everything you never knew that you wanted on a super hot summer day. The salinity makes it a perfect summer brew as it can give you back some electrolytes; averaging 4-5 percent ABV this is a great sessionable choice for day drinking – try it at The Foodery (1710 Sansom St.).
Stay cool, Philly!