The hot weather and relaxed vibes that accompany summer calls for cocktails made with crisp seasonal fruits, fresh herbs and tons of ice. Order these refreshing specialty cocktails for this season’s coolest way to cool off in New York City. By Sarah Shaker.
Strawberry Blonde, The Darby
Live music upstairs, fancy cocktails served alongside spinning DJs in the downstairs lounge — that’s how it’s done at the Darby. Dance into summer with a Strawberry Blonde, featuring Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and muddled strawberries. And if you’re a fashionista, the Glamour Girl, mixing Grey Goose Vodka, lime and mint over watermelon ice cubes may just be your most stylish accessory this season.
Huckleberry Lemonade, Berry Park
Berry Park, which sits on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, is one of Brooklyn’s best rooftop bars — making it a great summer spot to enjoy their 14 beers on a tap and theater-sized projection screen with stunning Manhattan views. Their popular Huckleberry Lemonade is an ideal way to cool off, featuring a simple yet succulent blend of 44 North Huckleberry Vodka and lemonade. This sweet and tangy cocktail stirs up feelings of summer and is fittingly served in a mason jar.
Hudson Caribbean, KTCHN Restaurant
Enjoy a staycation at KTCHN that tastes like a trip to the islands with this summer’s Hudson Caribbean cocktail. The sweet drink with a licorice flavored bite features muddled tarragon and grilled pineapple, Zu bison grass vodka, star anise syrup, lemon juice, dandelion bitters strained over ice, topped with Star Anise Foam.
Affogato Cocktail, 83 1/2
For those of us who like to drink our dessert in the heat, Italian restaurant 83 ½ on the Upper East Side offers an Affogato Cocktail. Inspired by the Italian summer staple consisting of ice cream and espresso, this decadent cocktail is made with vodka, Frangelico, espresso, milk, Pernod-scented zabaglione, garnished with sliced hazelnuts. They’ll also be cooling off diners this season with their Monkey Mint Tea cocktail, brewing Golden Monkey Tea, adding a squeeze of lemon, mint and Maker’s Mark Bourbon.
The Lion In Summer, The Toucan & The Lion
For something spicy and fierce this summer, opt for The Lion In Summer at The Toucan & The Lion in the East Village. Tequila, sriracha, simple syrup, lime juice and ginger beer are shaken and served over ice, then garnished with an orange wedge. This cocktail is light and crisp with only hints of spice at the tail end of the drink, to keep it feisty. The Toucan & The Lion boasts a great summer happy hour, including half off all house cocktails and $4 beers on Sundays and Mondays.
Grilled Pineapple Mojito, JIMMY at The James
Served with a beautiful downtown rooftop view, Mixologist Johnny Swet has crafted a Grilled Pineapple Mojito at JIMMY at The James this summer. Caliche Rum, Agave Nectar, pineapple juice, lime juice, grilled pineapple and a mint sprig combine for a tropical twist on a traditional mojito. Pair your cocktail with their gourmet bar snacks or small plates for a light summer meal or start to a late night out.
Potable Summer, Junoon
Junoon, one of our favorite date night restaurants in Flatiron, has launched a full list of summery cocktails to refreshingly imbibe all season long. Start with the Potable Summer, a fruity tincture on the rocks with rum infused with pineapple and white pepper blended with lime and coconut syrup. There’s also a list of non-alcoholic mocktails to try, like Coconut Soda with coconut syrup sweetened with sugar cane blended with soda.
Sweet Tea Cocktail, Sweet Afton
For a taste of a Southern favorite order the Sweet Tea Cocktail featuring Tea Infused Vodka, Honey-Ginger Syrup and lemon at Sweet Afton. This Astoria bar is popular among neighbors, not only offering perfectly crafted cocktails, but also gourmet bar food and a solid brunch. They’re also known for having one of the best happy hours in Astoria, so don’t miss out on their great specials to imbibe this summer.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.