NYC Bartenders Share Their Favorite Summer Cocktails
Looking to upstage rosé? Here you go.
Published Jun 2, 2017 6:00 AM
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Cold libations and warm steamy days go hand in hand, so when deciding on your beverage of choice this summer, make it an epic one. We polled New York City’s best mixologists to find out what they’re pouring (and drinking) this season, so consider one of these upgraded options next time you saunter up to the bar. Cheers!
First Bloom by Micah Woods of
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
“When summer hits most people want a cocktail that’s light, sweet, and refreshing but still gets the job done. I created the First Bloom to do just that. It combines Material Vodka (a distillery whose goal is to support artists through its sales), St. Germain, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and a house-made lavender-thyme simple syrup.”
- 2 oz. Material Vodka
- 75 oz. Lemon Juice
- 75 oz. Lavender Mint Syrup
- 5 oz. St. Germain
- Combine vodka, lemon juice, lavender mint syrup and St. Germain in shaker with ice.
- Shake for 20 seconds.
- Strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with a cherry blossom sprig.
Where The Man-Go Spritz by Anna Wingfield of
“This is a great cocktail to enjoy during the summer since it’s a seasonal take on the classic 3-2-1 recipe, and the easy infusion gives it a nice tropical twist. Being light and low in alcohol by volume also allows you to enjoy more than one.”
- 3 Parts Prosecco
- 2 Parts Aperol
- 1 Part Soda
- 3 Dashes Celery Bitters
- 2 Mangos
- Paprika for Garnish
- Slice two fresh mangoes into small pieces and place in Aperol bottle overnight to infuse.
- Add three parts Prosecco into wine glass filled with fresh ice.
- Add two parts of Aperol infused with mango and then add one part soda.
- Top it off with three dashes of celery bitters and a mango slice dusted with paprika.
Roman Holiday by Julie Reiner of Clover Club, Leyenda, and
“Too often frozen drinks are watered down, overly sweet fruit smoothies. Classic gin lemonade is the base for the Roman Holiday, but when you add the strawberries and bittersweet Campari, it’s truly a grown up slushy—perfect to sip on all summer long.”
- 75 oz. Campari
- 2 oz. Bulldog Gin
- .75 oz. Cinzano 1757 Vermouth
- 2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1.25 oz. Simple Syrup
- 2 Whole Strawberries (Tops Cut Off)
- Orange Twist for Garnish
- Blend with 1.5 cups ice until smooth and pour into a tall glass.
- Garnish with a strawberry and an orange twist.
Truly Italian Margarita by Natasha David of
“This margarita is perfect for a hot summer day: Refreshing and tart and a touch of bubbles from Truly Spiked & Sparkling—everything you need to cool you down.”
- 1 oz. Casamigos Blanco Tequila
- .5 oz. Campari.5 oz. Grand Marnier
- .5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- .5 oz. Simple Syrup
- 4 oz. Truly Spiked & Sparkling Colima Lime
- Combine all ingredients (except for Truly) in a shaker and shake with ice.
- Strain into a double rocks glass (14 oz.) and top with Colima Lime.
- Garnish with a salt rim and lime wedge.
The Baja by Danielle O’Connor of
“Summer cocktails are all about using fresh, seasonal ingredients. With LeGrande’s ‘The Baja’ cocktail, we’re inspired by summer sun and the notion of a tropical getaway. We’ve muddled jalapeño for a spicy kick and added mint as a refreshing complement to these flavors.”
- .5 oz. Lime Juice
- 1 oz. Simple Syrup
- 1.5 oz. Bacardi
- Muddled Jalapeno and Mint
- Splash Club Soda
- Muddle jalapeño and mint, add simple syrup, lime juice, and Bacardi.
- Shake and double fine strain into Collins glass.
- Top with club soda.
Blueberry Cucumber Gimlet by Chad Furuta of
Del Frisco’s Grille
“With floral and tart berry notes, the refreshing combination of Hendrick’s Gin, fresh lime juice, blueberry puree and muddled cucumber makes the Blueberry Cucumber Gimlet a perfect libation to enjoy on a warm summer day.”
- 2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
- .5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- .75 oz. Fresh Blueberry Puree
- 1 Heaping Bar Spoon Diced Cucumber
- Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass, top with ice, and shake for approximately 10-15 seconds.
- Strain into an ice-filled bucket glass.
- Garnish with two thinly sliced cucumber wheels.
Berries & Bubbles by Kevin Flannery of
Ocean Prime New York
“Berries & Bubbles is a great summer cocktail because the flavors of the berries pair well with the crisp, refreshing Domaine Chandon sparkling wine.”
- 1.25 oz. Belvedere Cytrus
- .75 oz. Crème de Cassis
- 1.5 oz. House Made Sour Mix
- 1 oz. Domaine Chandon Brut
- Combine Belvedere Cytrus, Crème de Cassis, and house made sour in mixing glass.
- Add pellet ice to mixing tin.
- Shake vigorously.
- Add dry ice and marinated berries to chilled service glass.
- Strain mixture in service glass.
- Finish with Domaine Chandon Brut float and mixed berries.
Watermelon Rosé Cooler by Trevor Ierien of
W New York – Downtown
“Watermelon is rich in electrolytes so it helps you detox while you retox. It’s also the ultimate summer cocktail to drink under the sun on a New York City rooftop.”
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Belvedere Vodka 1.5 oz. Fresh Watermelon Puree .5 oz. Antinori Scalabrone Rosé .5 oz. fresh Lime Juice. 5 oz. Simple Syrup 1 oz. Club Soda
- In this order, add watermelon puree, rosé, lime juice, simple syrup, and vodka to mixing glass.
- Add ice and shake vigorously.
- Add club soda, but do not mix.
- Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass.
The Perfect Daiquiri by Jesse Vida & Jillian Vose of Blacktail
“This daiquiri has the perfect balance of sour, sweet, and spirit. It’s also the perfect combo of texture, brightness, and depth.”
- 1 oz. Lime Juice
- .5 oz. Rich Cane Syrup
- 2.5 oz. BT Rum Mix
- Shake well.
- Pour into sour glass.
Scottish Whisper by James T. Fransioli at Parker & Quinn in the Refinery Hotel
“When working with gin, I’ve been very partial towards using Botanist Islay Botanical Gin. With its fragrant, yet delicate, notes and botanicals, I was careful in my choice of flavors and found honeydew to be perfect for this task. It lends unique and elevated components and beautiful colors to this summer cocktail.”
- 3-4 Cubes Muddled Honeydew
- 2.5 oz. Botanist Gin
- 1 oz. Yuzu or Fresh Lemon Juice
- .75 oz. Orgeat Syrup
- 1 oz. egg white
- Lemon Peel for Garnish
- In a medium mixing tin, muddle 3-4 cubes of honeydew (depending on size and ripeness).
- Add Botanist, Yuzu or lemon juice (dependent on availability), Orgeat syrup, and egg white.
- Fill tin half way with ice and shake vigorously for at least five full seconds.
- Strain into a couple (top should be nice and frothy).
- Cut a fresh lemon peel, zest, and float on the foam top.
Blackberry French 75 by Johnny Swet at The Skylark
“A summer berry spin on a classic cocktail, plus we go the extra mile by pouring it over blackberry ice.”
- 1.5 oz. Plymouth Gin
- 1 oz. Combier Rouge Fruits
- 4 oz. Prosecco
- .75 oz. Lemon Juice
- .5 oz. Simple Syrup
- Lemon Wheel and Blackberry Ice for Garnish
- Add all ingredients (except for Prosecco) into a tin with ice and shake.
- Strain into a wine glass and pour in the Prosecco, then stir.
- Garnish with blackberry ice and a lemon wheel.
Miami Vice by Ted Kilpatrick for the
Roof at Park South
“The beverage program on the Roof offers drinks that would appeal to the cocktail geek and cocktail novice alike. If we can wow the novices with the best version of something as, usually, run-of-the-mill as a Strawberry Daiquiri or Pina Colada (frozen drinks that are usually made with syrupy, store-bought pre-mixes), then they’re usually more likely to trust us and try something a little more esoteric.”
Strawberry Daiquiri Ingredients:
- 1.5 oz. Strawberry-Infused Plantation
- 5-Year Barbadian Rum
- 1 oz. Strawberry Demerara Syrup
- .5 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1 oz. Water
Pina Colada Ingredients:
- 1 oz. Plantation
- 5-year Barbadian Rum
- .25 oz. Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum
- 1 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
- 1 oz. Coconut Milk Syrup
- 1 oz. Water
- For either drink, whip all ingredients with a whisk and pour into a frozen drink machine.
- If you don’t have a frozen drink machine, omit the water and add the ingredients plus 5 oz. of ice to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
- Then layer both of the aforementioned drinks in a glass and garnish with wild abandon.