Summer is in full swing, and bars across the country are flexing with their best takes on refreshing beverages. Whether you’re looking for a updates on the brunch cocktail, a boozy iced coffee or a drink worthy of a day on a boat, we have you covered.
This rooftop mezcaleria in downtown Raleigh is known for the smoky stuff, but that doesn’t mean they can’t knock it out of the park with other spirits as well. Case in point: the Trapper Keeper (which might be the best name ever). The combination of Evan Williams 1783 bourbon and El Dorado 12-year-old rum suggests intensity, but lemon juice, muddled cucumber, habanero-infused honey and soda shift it toward summer drinking.
This stunning Art Deco oyster bar has already established itself as Houston’s hottest brunch spot, partially thanks to a top-notch cocktail program. Opt for the La Parilla, a Margarita made edgy with the flavor of the grill. Reposado tequila is infused with blistered serranos, then mixed with grilled lime juice, triple sec and a mezcal floater.
A classic G&T is damn near perfect, which makes it catnip for the tinkering minds of bartenders. Sometimes, this leads to Franken-drinks that should never have seen the light of day. But sometimes, as with the Out to Lunch, the newfangled version hits it on the nose. Made with St. George Terroir gin, Salers aperitif, sugar cane syrup, bitters and house kaffir lime tonic, it’s a drink worthy of its lineage.
No secret here: Rosé is summer’s best friend. And at the newly revamped Rose Cafe, the bartenders are capitalizing on this fact in cocktail form. The Rosé All Day features a bone-dry rosé mixed with gin, pisco, lime, grapefruit and orange bitters.
In the dead heat of summer, our drink cravings have no shame. Give us pirate drinks with lots of rum and coconut cream. Give us pineapple flavors and paper umbrellas. Give us boozy slushies. Thankfully, the delightfully retro-leaning menu at Super Six is like Kate Middleton in an airbrushed unicorn T-shirt: great ingredients with low-brow appeal. We can’t get enough of the Shark Bait, with vodka, house-made Meyer lemon cordial, coconut milk and ginger beer.
Need a Stumptown coffee fix? Look no further than your nearest Ace Hotel location. But if you’re looking to your coffee as a hair-of-the-dog day starter, you’ll have to go to the Pittsburgh location. The geniuses behind the hotel’s restaurant and bar, Whitfield, have paired génépy, the relatively new-to-the-States Alpine herbal liqueur, with an iced mocha (featuring Stumptown beans, natch).
Summer cooking is all about minimalism (see: ubiquitous heirloom tomato salad), and summer drinking should be equally as simple. At The Dabney, bar director Tyler Hudgens is careful to let pristine fresh produce shine against the backdrop of top-notch spirits. So with berry season at its peak, try her Summer Cobbler, with Henriques e Henriques Rainwater Madeira, lemon, summer berries and ice.
This stunning Peruvian restaurant debuted a rooftop bar last month and added this frozen concoction of strawberry puree, pisco, red wine and lemon juice to mark the occasion. When paired together, you could close your eyes and almost forget you’re in the city.