When the temperatures rise in Chicago, there’s no better way to start each day (or get a little afternoon or evening boost) than with a refreshing iced coffee. And while there’s nothing wrong with just adding cream, an extra jolt of energy or flavor doesn't hurt. Ahead, six out-of-the-box takes on iced coffee offered by Chicago cafes and restaurants.
It’s no surprise that Old Town’s artisan chocolate shop, Cocoa + Co, knows chocolate. So it only makes sense that they’d use some of their bean-to-bar chocolate to amp up an iced coffee drink. The “dirty” Salted Caramel Mocha is essentially a caffeinated frozen hot chocolate. The mix already contains espresso powder, and the drink gets its “dirty” moniker from the extra shot of espresso. 1651 N. Wells St., 312-624-8540
Cindy’s rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel provides the happy hour pick-me-up you need—a coffee-based cocktail. The Roman Holiday was contrived by Cindy’s Spirit Guide, Nandini Khaund, who was inspired by Italy’s historic Art Nouveau café, Meletti. There, poets like Hemingway would order “anisetta con la mosca,” meaning, “with the fly;” the “fly” being a roasted coffee bean drenched in amaro. In that spirit, the Roman Holiday includes La Colombe’s “Pure Black” Coldbrew Coffee, as well as Amaro Meletti, Campari, pineapple, and lime. Is it happy hour yet? 12 S. Michigan Ave., 312-792-3502
Seattle-based artisan coffee shop Caffè Umbria has debuted a host of new drinks for the summer at their River North location (the first in the Midwest), including the Espresso Shakerato. Though the cool beverage is booze-free, it certainly gives off a classy, cocktail vibe. The drink is made with a double shot of espresso and simple syrup, shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker, then strained into a sugar-rimmed martini glass. 346 N. Clark St., 312-877-5166
If you need an extra jolt during your boozy brunch, look no further than Kanela Breakfast Club’s Eye Opener. The spiked iced coffee contains bourbon, Bow Truss espresso, sugar, and Angostura bitters, and is served on the rocks with a cherry and orange twist. Sounds like the perfect complement to French toast or eggs, if you ask us. 3231 N. Clark, 773-248-1622 (All locations listed here)
Presidio’s Winter on the Equator doesn’t simply combine coffee with booze—it mixes chicory and coffee-infused vodka, and a Vietnamese, cold-brewed coffee and condensed milk mixture with dark rum. The treat is topped off with a pinch of cayenne pepper. If that doesn’t rev you up, we’re not sure what will. 1749 N. Damen Ave., 773-697-3315
Goddess and the Baker’s June special, the Summer Brew, adds a unique twist on standard iced latte: steamed half and half. “We’re adding a hot element and using it in an iced coffee beverage, which is totally out of the box,” says master barista Georgia Tookey. The addition of the lightly steamed half and half gives the drink a creaminess often missing from iced drinks. When combined with the cold brew coffee, double shot of espresso, and just a dash of syrup, it creates the perfect, lightly sweetened coffee drink to kick off a busy Chicago summer day. 33 S. Wabash Ave., 312-877-5176 (All locations listed here)