Of course it’s great to luxuriate with a cold IPA, a chilled Chardonnay, or a frosty lemonade, but that’s just the beginning of possible refreshment. Learn about 12 of my other favorite cold summer beverages in Los Angeles, crafted with coffee, tea, soda and more.
Numbered establishments on the map correspond to information below for easy reference. Establishments also appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
1. Awoolim Slush Sik-Hye ($2): This stall in Koreatown Plaza’s subterranean International food court specializes in Korean snacks and a slushie beverage called Slush Sik-Hye, which the counter woman referred to as “rice juice.” Ski-Hye is actually an icy, rice-y drink blended with barley powder, and the drink helps to tame the heat from their spicy rice cakes.
2. Baco Mercat Bäco Pop ($4): Bäco Pop is a bottled soda with a pop art label from chef Josef Centeno. His globally-inspired restaurant in the DTLA Historic Core started with ginger orange juniper, but he also serves sweet and sour sodas made with fresh fruit like tamarind mango, plus atypical combinations like root beer chocolate.
3. Better Booch Kombucha ($5): Better Booch owners Trey & Ashleigh Lockerbie sell their kombucha at over 40 wholesale outlets, but only Grand Central Market has a booth. They feature four taps of “live and raw” booch, fermented black tea in varieties like Original Gangster, rose, apple ginger, peach and pear. Health benefits include “active probiotics,” “liver detoxification” and PH balance,” but the focus for me is on their distinct, slightly tart flavors.
4. Bird Pick Tea & Herb Goji-Longan White ($3.95 – $4.25) [CLOSED: Visit Pasadena Location]
This teahouse debuted in Pasadena six years ago and expanded to what is now the Westfield Culver City one year layer. Shelves of glass jars and tea making equipment line the lime green walls, and a blackboard menu touts options like Goji-Longan White, which features High Grade China white tea from Fujian. Staffers shake the tea with goji longan puree, natural cane sugar and ice until frothy.