My Caffeine Summer

Some favorite ice-cold, caffeinated beverages to get you through summer.  

A West Coast IPA on the beach. A spritz in a cozy corner. A spicy margarita … anywhere. These are my usual go-tos when the heat descends and I need a liquid treat.

But, alas, I’m currently seven months pregnant and I’ve had to seek out other sources of pleasure. Namely, caffeine.

Here, we’ve rounded up five beverages that will simultaneously take the edge off and give you the zip you need to make it through a Virginia summer.


Ironclad Coffee Roasters

Espresso Virgineola

Made with Ironclad’s Bare-Knuckle espresso, Bermuda-style ginger beer and navel orange ribbons, the Espresso Virgineola is garnished with a house-made ginger and citrus cookie. The drink is a stunner—refreshing, festive and just the right amount of sweet and bitter. It’s also a history lesson in a cup, says Ironclad founder Ryan O’Rourke. In researching the history of Bermuda, O’Rourke learned that when the British landed there in 1612 and established the first settlement it was, “Basically an extension of the Jamestown settlement down the road.” The original name for the settlement on what we now call Bermuda was Virgineola.

Ironclad’s Shockoe Bottom location (1805 E. Grace St.) is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The West End location (2100 John Rolfe Pkwy.) is open daily, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Espresso Virgineola is available through early September.


The Turbo Coffee from Lamplighter. Photo by Scott Elmquist

Lamplighter Coffee Roasters

Turbo Coffee

Sometimes you want a Coke, sometimes you want a double shot of espresso. At Lamplighter, you don’t have to choose. Made with Mexican Coke and Lamplighter’s Swiftwalker Espresso blend, the shop’s Turbo Coffee is not listed on the paper menu but is “typically always available,” says co-owner Noelle Forest. The espresso blend features Colombian and Ethiopian Coffees, “which pair quite naturally with the cola and cane sugar flavors,” says Forest. We’ve tested the “turbo” power of the Turbo Coke on Maymont’s rolling hills and it passes—with flying colors.

Lamplighter Coffee is located at 116 S. Addison St. and is open daily, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.


Espresso tonic from Afterglow.

Afterglow Coffee Cooperative

Espresso Tonic

Afterglow co-founder Alan Smith says their Espresso Tonic started out as a special but was “so popular” that it found a home on the permanent menu. Made with Fever Tree tonic, espresso and topped with an orange peel, there’s an elegant simplicity to the drink. It will have you feeling tres cosmopolitan, even on a drizzly weekday morning.

Afterglow is located at 1719 Summit Ave. and is open Wednesday & Thursday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


The Ojspresso from Perk.



Perk!’s OJspresso is an ode to the best of brunch. Shop co-owner Christophile Konstas says the drink first appeared on the menu a few years ago when they started carrying Natalie’s orange juice. “We had been experimenting with espresso tonics and thought, ‘Why not try orange juice?’” says Konstas. Made with Perk!’s lightly roasted espresso from Recluse Roasting Project and topped with Natalie’s juice, the OJspresso is a cup of Vitamin C, with a kick.

Perk! Bon Air is located at 2620 Buford Road and is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.


The Brazilian Lemonade from Paix in the Fan.

Paix Coffee


Brazilian Lemonade

Striking just the right balance of sweet, bitter and creamy, Paix’s Espresso Brazilian lemonade got its own shout out in our latest Best Of Issue. As we noted there, the owners “make the refreshingly tart — with just the right amount of sweet — beverage by blending whole lemons and coconut condensed milk, then topping it with espresso. Like all of their offerings, the lemonade is served in one size, so fair warning, you may feel compelled to order two.”

Paix is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The Brazilian lemonade is available during the summer—check Instagram for updates onavailability.


A new exhibit at VMFA celebrates the experimental art and books of Ted Joans.
The story behind a local photographer's widely sought-after photo of the total eclipse.
The tormented vamp of “The Vourdalak,” the majesty of “Faye,” and the windy flirting of “Twisters.”
From Mary Timony, Deau Eyes (pictured) and Faye Webster to Plunky Day in the RVA, Loud Night, Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto …

WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW — straight to your inbox

* indicates required
Our mailing lists: