The long, cold winter has finally receded, the sun is out, and even the gym-averse are wearing shorts: it's iced coffee season, everybody. For those of us not equipped for, or patient enough to, make cold brew at home, and for those of you who choose to forego the specialty coffee shop (or Starbucks) near your workplace, it might seem like there's little hope for scoring a cold coffee drink to kill your hot weather blues. Take a look around, though: Whole Foods, Target, and even your fair trade-leaning bodegas are stocking coffee drinks of all types, from the straight-up cold brewed to the coffee and milk (and sugar) to, yeah, stuff that tastes basically like a milkshake.
It can be intimidating — and costly — stuff, figuring out what you want to work in to your daily routine, so we did the tough work for you. We picked up a few of the most common bottles, as well as a few irresistible oddities, and gave our honest, fair opinion. The main takeaway? Most of the drinks on the shelves have their own appeal, but, still: some are better than others. This is by no means a comprehensive list, we know, but it should get you started.