Whether you’re partial to gingery Moscow mules or tangy margaritas, there’s no question that an icy cold cocktail hits the spot on these sunny summer days. We drank our way around the city’s best watering holes to find the most refreshing summer concoctions.
Fire at the Art Hotel offers a rotating seasonal cocktail list and stunning fourth-floor patio views. Try the Capitol Love: Bombay Sapphire gin, Lillet Rose, lime, agave syrup, GT’s Synergy Passionberry Bliss kombucha, and Peychaud’s bitters served in a martini glass. Not only is this drink both beautiful and tasty, it’s also unique thanks to the unexpected addition of kombucha. 1201 Broadway
Stoic & Genuine keeps Union Station visitors cool with a variety of house-made sodas. Head in for happy hour and sit on the patio overlooking the fountain. Then, order one of the three-dollar vodka sodas, with soda flavors like cantaloupe, strawberry, vanilla, and squirty (citrus) to choose from. With prices that low, why not throw in a few two-dollar oysters while you’re at it? 1701 Wynkoop St.
Brider’s spicy margarita; photo courtesy of Brider
It may not be a Mexican restaurant, but Brider has a margarita worth seeking out. A seat on the large patio is the perfect spot for enjoying the spiced margarita, a blend of tequila, Ancho Reyes liqueur, apple, lemon, and aromatic bitters. 1644 Platte St.
Asbury Provisions has a fruity cocktail worthy of a beach on its happy hour menu. The Schuykill Punch is a tiki-inspired blend of spiced rum, cognac, peach brandy, lemon juice, orange juice and grenadine. And yes, it comes with the requisite paper umbrella. 2043 S. University Blvd.
Palenque Mezcaleria is a new Oaxacan-inspired bar on South Broadway from the owners of Adelitas Cocina. As the name suggests, the focus here is on mezcal. Sit under an umbrella on the wide patio and order the paloma, which combines smoky mezcal with tart grapefruit. The servers here are knowledgeable and happy to help you find the agave spirit or cocktail that suits your palate. 1294 S. Broadway
Mister Tuna’s Brighton Smash; photo courtesy of Mister Tuna
The Brighton Smash at Chef Troy Guard’s new RiNo restaurant, Mister Tuna, is a fruity spin on a classic whiskey smash. This porch pounder combines seasonal berries with Bulleit rye, lemon, and golden demerara sugar. 3033 Brighton Blvd.
If the heat has sapped your ability to decide what to drink, go to newcomer Hudson Hill. The bar features a new cocktail every day, which is paired with an album on vinyl. Concoctions like Another Friday Night (rum, lavender, grapefruit) or The Baptist (Pimm’s, gin, blackberry liqueur) are simple yet balanced. 619 E. 13th Ave.
It’s nice and cool in the underground Crimson Room in Larimer Square. Here, the creative bartenders are making cool cocktails with liquid nitrogen that you can eat with a spoon. Try the Watermelon Man (gin, lemon, watermelon cordial). Imagine Dippin’ Dots with booze and you’ve got the idea. 1403 Larimer St.