Summer is upon us. And whether you prefer to relax poolside, in a club, on a patio or in the sweet blessed cold presence of an air conditioner, there are two universal truths; the first is that summer is a magical season and though it gets hot, hot, hot, it can make you feel young again, no matter your age. The second is that there’s nothing that can make you feel more refreshed and ready to take on the world than the perfect summer cocktail–and, as we all know, D.C.’s restaurant and bar scene is rife with some of the best mixology-minded professionals in the country so you know you’re in good hands.
Inspired by that hazy, summery, nostalgic feeling we all get around this time of year, we take you back to the days of lifeguarding and your first band; of escaping your job and enjoying long days with your feet in the grass. And what better nexus is there for nostalgia, summer and youth than Pete and Pete? Here is your very adult, very grown-up (NO underage drinking allowed, obviously) portal back to your youth for these long, hot days and the perfect cocktails, alcoholic slushies/milkshakes/popsicles to get you there….
- 9:30 Club Back Bar – Blue Drank
Key Players: Blueness, Ice
Perfect For: Feeling like you could take down the school bully, all grown up.
- Acadiana – The Louisiana Purchase
Key Players: Southern Comfort, Ketel One, Fresh Peach & Mango Puree.
Perfect For: Getting inspired by its namesake and exploring.
- Acadiana – Tchoupitoulas Daiquiri
Key Players: El Dorado Rum, Combier Triple Sec, Lime Juice, and Simple Syrup.
Perfect For: Feeling like you’re embarking on a hunt for treasure.
- Art & Soul – Lauriol Park
Key Players: Strawberries, cucumber, Pimm’s with St-Germain and sparkling rosé.
Perfect For: Sipping on the hottest day of summer.
- Assaggi Mozarella Bar – Wine “Granitas”
Key Players: Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Lagrein and Pinot Noir.
Perfect For: Enjoying while surveying the neighborhood.
- Bandolero – El Mata Amigos
Key Players: Seasonal margaritas. Bandolero’s current flavor: Prickly Pear.
Perfect For: Never losing that lucky-penny feeling.
- Bar Pilar – Cuba Libre
Key Players: Let’s just say this magical alcoholic float starts off in a highball glass made from a salvaged Coke bottle, then is topped with a cherry soaked in brandy and Southern Comfort, and a mound of housemade absinthe whipped cream.
Perfect For: You can’t be King of the Road (no drinking and driving, guys) but you can be King of the Bar with this one. It’s incredible.
- Bar Pilar (starting next week) – Poptails
Key Players: Champagne, st. germain, frozen in popsicle form. Amazing.
Perfect For: Staying up for eleven nights–thus breaking the world record–enjoying poptails and conversations with friends until the morning light.
- Barcode – Alcoholic Sno Cones
Key Players: Three flavor varieties that change on a weekly basis.
Price: $7 during happy hour
Perfect For: Feeling young again–though you’re still a member of the International Adult Conspiracy.
- Beach Bar – Orange Crush
Key Players: Vodka and orange. Where can you go wrong?
Perfect For: It’s like the Orange Lazarus of D.C. but 100% perfect.
- Black Jack – Cobbler
Key Players: RYE, baby. (Plus Rothman Apricot, Peach, Mint and Honey.)
Perfect For: Overcoming your fear of dancing.
- Boqueria – Pink Grapefruit Sangria
Key Players: Fresh grapefruit juice, Spanish Rioga Muga Rose, Gin and Campari. The subtle bitterness in the Campari and grapefruit are balanced by the gentle flavors of the rose.
Perfect For: Making a splash.
- Burger, Tap n Shake – Shaketails
Key Players: Evil EMPIRE with Smirnoff Vanilla Bean Vodka, Red Wing Coffee Liqueur, Vanilla Ice Cream; and the STAG PARTY with Jim Beam Red Stag Bourbon, Leopold’s Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur, Vanilla Ice Cream.
Perfect For: Enjoying, then dancing in a field out of sheer deliciousness (no metal plate required).
- Cuba Libre – Daiquiris
Key Players: Papa Doble Daiquiri contains Bacardi Solera Cuba Libre 10 Year Anniversary Rum, Luxardo Maraschino
liqueur, red grapefruit juice and muddled lime; their Apricot Daiquiri is full of Oronoco Rum, Rothmans Apricot Liquor, Falernum and muddled limes.
Perfect For: Feeling like you could change your world with resolutions to only drink daiquiris this refreshing.
- Donovan House Rooftop – Frozen Dark ‘n’ Stormy & Frozen Hurricane
Price: $5 during happy hour all this week except on July 4th
Perfect For: Enjoying during sunny summer weather–dark, stormy and power-outage-inducing or not.
- El Chucho – Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita
Key Players: Pro Tip: also available as swirl with lime.
Perfect For: Feeling like you can take on an intramural dodgeball team.
- Estadio – Slushitos
Key Players: Grapefruit with Bourbon, chamomile or coconut with Rum, lemongrass, and lime.
Perfect For: Feeling like the king/queen of the pool and all things refreshing (whether or not you’re lifeguarding).
- Estadio – Tiki Tonic
Key Players: Rhum Neisson Blanc and a tonic made of coconut milk, ginger syrup, lime juice and red cinchona powder. Adam says he was inspired by Todd Trasher’s love of rum and tonics and Thrasher’s incredible tiki drinks.
Perfect For: Entering a staring contest (if, of course, this means you staring at how pretty this drink is).
- Et Voila – Belgian Beer Float
Key Players: Hoegaarden beer ice cream with Belgian Kasteel Rouge beer, a deep red ale made with sour cherries; a Lindemans Peche Lambic with housemade Peach ice cream and hot Sichuan pepper; a Hoegaarden beer with a housemade calamansi sorbet, made with the unique citrus fruit native to the Philippines.
Perfect For: Coming of age in the most fun/delicious way possible (beer PLUS ice cream and so many options? Heavenly.)
- Fiola – Sgroppino
Key Players: A slushy mix of lemon sorbet, prosecco and black raspberry. Sweet, tart and refreshing, the sgroppino is a multi-tasker working as a tasty cocktail or a light dessert.
Perfect For: Feeling like you’re on a winning streak (which, let’s face it, you are if you wind up here with one of these in-hand).
- Graffiato – SWIZZLES (crushed ice)
Key Players: The Waterfront is a mix of coriander infused rum, mango, ginger; Derby Day combines woodford bourbon, lime, mint, angostura bitters; Down the Shore is bols genever, averell, pineapple and lemon.
Perfect For: Taking your crush out for crushed ice, grown-up style but with a wink at childhood (a perfect playful date drink).
- The Heights – The Frozen Doly
Key Players: Their house-infused pineapple vodka (Stoly Doly), the pineapples used to infuse the vodka (frozen), brown sugar, and ice.
Perfect For: Feeling as sassy as Petunia.
- The Heights – Frozen Arnold Palmer
Key Players: Firefly vodka.
Perfect For: Having a refreshing, tangy drink race (but watch the brain freeze).
- The Heights – Frozen Strawberry Lemonade
Key Players: Kettle One Citron and frozen strawberries.
Perfect For: Sipping by the pool.
- Hill Country – Shiner Float
Key Players: 16-oz. Shiner draft with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Seriously.
Perfect For: Everything. Look at this photo.
- Hill Country – Spiked Frozen Lemonade
Key Players: A combination of Tito’s vodka and house-made lemonade, frozen.
Perfect For: Fueling your escape (via tunnel out of your house or otherwise) to get out and enjoy the summer.
- Jack Rose – Alcoholic Sno Cones
Key Players: Flavors include Mojito + Mint Julep and use house-made syrups.
Perfect For: Making you want to use a bull horn to declare how crazy-delicious these sno cones are. Go on, let the world know.
- Jimmy Valentine’s – 100 Proof Root Beer Slushie
Key Players: Vodka, root beer, magic.
Perfect For: Attempting Artie-level feats of strength.
- Johnny’s Half Shell – Climate Change
Key Players: Vodka infused with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a splash of cranberry. This drink is available all week long but available on courtyard terrace only. (But drinking outside with a drink that refreshing? Not a problem.)
Perfect For: A cool-down outdoors.
- Lauriol Plaza – Margaritas
Key Players: Pitchers and swirls — Margaritas frozen or on the rocks, lime or strawberry — any way you choose is a win win!
Perfect For: Staying more (comfortably) frozen than a game of freeze tag.
- Lincoln – Crushed Ice Mai Thai
Key Players: Chairman’s Reserve rum, orange curaçao, almond syrup, fresh lime.
Perfect For: Becoming your own superhero (with great taste in cocktails, naturally).
- Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar – The Awesomeness
Key Players: Sweet Tea Vodka, sour mix, magic.
Perfect For: Contacting life from another planet. This could be the universal drink of peace & partying.
- Ritz Carlton – Alcoholic Sno Cones
Key Players:Ttart lemonade thyme, sweet strawberry basil and candy-like blueberry mojito.
Price: $14 for one, $38 for all three
Perfect For: Savoring summer.
- Rock and Roll Hotel – RED RUM
Key Players: RUM. So much Rum.
Price: $8 for the 9-oz portion or $12 for the monster 16 oz portion!
Perfect For: Getting so sauced you feel you could legitimately attack the ocean.
- Rugby – several flavor crushes
Perfect For: Using your new camera to take photos of theses pretty crushes.
- Tackle Box Georgetown – Margaritas (hey-2 DOLLAR MARGARITAS, in fact)
Key Players: They use a “double secret probation recipe,” though we CAN tell you that you get a choice between frozen or on the rocks.
Price: $2 margaritas any day it is over 90 degrees (and, let’s face it, that feels like always right around now). $6 in 90-degree-and-under heat.
Perfect For: Devouring in the heat–and delicious enough to warrant licking any spilt drops off any surface–even Little Pete’s desk.
- Ted’s Bulletin – Boozy Milkshakes
Key Players: Grasshopper is a mix of Kahlua and creme de menthe; White Russian is a cool standard with vodka and Kahlua; Twisted Coconut gets tropical with coconut rum, Key Lime Pie, coconut rum Bananas Foster, and banana rum; Buzzed Berries is sweet and tangy with raspberry schnapps and rum; Dirty Girl Scout is, well, made of peppermint schnapps. What’s not to love?
Perfect For: Making you want to start a prank war. No matter your age, you’ll feel young again.
- Tortilla Coast– Stars and Stripes Margarita
Key Players: a swirl of red, white and blue made with Sauza Silver Tequila and Blue Curacao
Price: $10 (Frozen)
Perfect For: Feeling all sorts of patriotic.
- The Commissary– The Rasputin
Key Players: with raspberry sorbet and vodka.
Perfect For: Planning a revolutionary summer.
- The Commissary– The Mind Expander
Key Players: with Sobieski Caramel vodka, Patron Coffee tequila, espresso, and milk.
Perfect For: Plotting your antics were you to enter a time/mind warp.
- The Diner – The Chocolate Chip Thin Mint Shake
Key Players: Bailey’s Mint Liqueur, blended with chocolate ice cream, and chocolate chips. Topped with whipped cream and more chocolate chips!
Perfect For: Escaping your grownup job of mowing the grass or otherwise.
- The Diner – The Georgia Peach
Key Players: House-infused cinnamon orange bourbon, blended together with a slice of honey bourbon peach pie and vanilla ice cream. It’s like a cinnabon milkshake. Let’s recap. It’s a boozy milkshake with a piece of PIE in it. Perfect. Enough said.
Perfect For: Befriending all walks of ice cream life, be it your local freezer aisle or your neighborhood ice cream mascot.
- The Front Page – Orange Crush + Grapefruit Crush
Price: $8 every night (Pro Tip: except on Tuesdays when they are $5 all night long)
Perfect For: That post-practice refresher after you’ve just started a new band.
Stay Cool Out there, D.C.