Chances are, it’s hot where you are, and everyone knows that icy cocktails make the best air-conditioning. So consider this your guide to staying cool for the next 30 days. You’re welcome.
At Moruno in Los Angeles’ Original Farmers Market, the Spanish food menu has quickly attracted crowds. But the vermouth bar upstairs, where red and white vermouths are available straight from the tap, deserves equal attention. Try the Inigo Montoya, which combines white vermouth with cardamom, apricot, Meyer lemon and soda.
(image: Sierra Prescott)
Minneapolis’s hometown distilling company, Lawless, just opened a cocktail room adjacent to its distillery, with a menu that showcases its bespoke spirits. The Sea Saw Old Fashioned, made with the distillery’s house vodka, blue curacao, ginger liqueur and bitters, might cause a stink among purists, but during hot summer days, it’s a refreshing alternative to the original.
(image: Darin Kamnetz)
Century Bar is the latest project from one of Portland, Ore.’s most dynamic cocktail teams, and it’s reinventing the sports bar genre in positive ways. Watch baseball games on big screens from bleacher seats (yes, the room is built almost like a stadium), while sipping the Neighborhood Kid, an easy-drinking combo of bourbon, locally made marionberry syrup, ginger ale and lemon.
Tiki doesn’t have to mean complicated. Just ask Yanni Kehagiaras, the bar director for the insanely popular Liholiho Yacht Club and its just-opened basement cocktail den, Louie’s Gen-Gen Room, in San Francisco. On the new menu, Kehagiaras tweaks classic cocktails with one or two tropical flourishes for drinks that are balanced but undeniably escapist. The Last Mango in Paris has the bones of a Sidecar with the bikini-ready addition of mango puree.
(image: Shannon MacLean)
Consider this slushie from Sycamore Den in San Diego the cocktail version of one of those hand-held spray misters. Cold-brew coffee, Jägermeister, aged rum, honey and whipped cream are blended into a hot-weather life raft that’ll help you keep cool on that extra gross and brutal summer day.
(image: Lori Sokolowski)
A Painkiller is a standard, maybe even predictable, summer order. So hats off to the team at Hidden Harbor in Pittsburgh for renewing our love of this classic drink. As part of its ongoing Weird Science Wednesdays series, the team has created a version garnished with Dippin’ Dots, giving us an intense buzz and a heavy dose of childhood nostalgia in one sip.
Just introduced by Tempus Fugit this spring, the Alessio vermouth bianco has already found a place in our favorite summer cocktails. In Austin, bartender Madelyn Kay at VOX Table combines the sweet orange-leaning vermouth with the sharpness of reposado tequila, fino sherry, oregano and black peppercorn syrup.
The bar program at Tavern Road in Boston is in new hands, and the first menu from bar director Tenzin Samdo extends the global influences of the kitchen to the cocktails. His version of a Gin & Tonic, the Limbu Pani, includes masala seasoning and salt, which ties it to the salty limeade (nimbu pani) found all over India.
Yes, summer is for being outdoors, but when the heat is oppressive and our clothes are sticking to our skin, we’re grateful for spaces that provide indoor fun. Enter Bar Mash, in Charleston, S.C. Think indoor bocce courts, arcade games, a giant whiskey collection and cocktails with a sense of humor such as the Feral Pigeon. This riff on a Jungle Bird features black strap rum, lemon juice, Campari, hazelnut, Kahlua and pineapple.
The combination of seasonal summer melon and lemongrass turns a simple sparkling cocktail into something we want to drink all day. Luckily, at Radio Bar on Miami’s South Beach, that kind of behavior is celebrated, not frowned upon.