Beat the Heat and Stop the Sizzle: Best Bets for Summer Cocktails

Unless you wear an air conditioned body suit, you may have noticed that summer is back and in full swing. D.C. is notorious for its muggy summers, and our recent record heat wave has shown that this year is no different. During these hot days, there is perhaps no better way to chill than with a crisp and refreshing summer cocktail. Since there are still many hot days left in this summer, and Dining in DC knows that 4 brains (and palate’s) are better than one. So we’ve put our heads together to compile our top picks for cool and refreshing summer cocktails. Some with recipes! Enjoy!

Sean’s Picks:

Photo courtesy Ted’s Bulletin

White Russian Milkshake- Ted’s Bulletin (505 8th St., SE)

As a child, my summer drink of choice was a milkshake (and I have the slow Mile Run time to prove it). A milkshake never fails to keep you cool and the wide varieties of flavors provide plenty of options. Ted’s Bulletin has decided to take this up a notch by adding an adult version of a milkshakes to their menu. Any one of these 9 alcoholic milkshakes is worth your dime, but I suggest going with the White Russian. This blend of Vodka, Kahlua, and ice cream is sure to cool you down on a hot day. And the Dude abides!

Orange Crush- Mussel Bar (7262 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD)

Call me crazy, but I am going to assume that most of y’all have been to the beach. When I think of the beach, for better or worse I think of 2 things: Dewey Beach and Orange Crushes. The Orange Crush is iconic in Dewey for one reason: it is delicious. Combining fresh squeezed orange juice (never trust a place not squeezing it), Triple Sec, and Sprite, the Orange Crush is as simple as it is refreshing. I recently had a great one at Mussel Bar in Bethesda, MD, and it was just as good there as it is sitting on the beach.

Lisa’s Picks:

Mojito - Zengo (781 7th St., NW)

The more I drink, the more I learn about myself. No, I don’t mean what crazy things I say and do when I’ve had too many. I’m talking about what I like! This summer while trying to keep cool in this crazy heat wave, I learned that I love the Mojito! Luckily, I’ve found the best place to get one — Zengo! Located in the heart of Gallery Place/Chinatown, ZENGO is walking distance to the Verizon Center and has a beautiful 2-level lounge and dining room, the perfect spot to grab a cocktail after work or enjoy a bite with friends, especially if you crave a deliciously refreshing Mojito! Voted #1 for best Mojito, Zengo makes their signature Mojito with fresh mint, rum, sugar can, lime, and club soda. It’s delicious and is perfect to beat the heat!

Forgetfully Fernet – Hank’s on the Hill (633 Pennsylvania Ave., SE)

Hank’s Oyster Bar has opened it’s third location (as of today Monday, July 23rd!) and the centerpiece of the New England beach cottage-esque space is the stunning 20-seat “Eddy Bar” where “Mixtress” Gina Chervsevani, (formerly of PS 7’s Lounge), a partner in the restaurant, will prepare her signature cocktails to pair with chef and owner Jamie Leeds signature seafood dishes. On Saturday night I had the esteemed opportunity to sample her soon-to-be famous Forgetfully Fernet - the deliciously refreshing frozen concoction which she makes by freezing Jameson Irish Whiskey and giving it a herbaceous Fernet float with Comb White (mead), marigold tea, and lemon.

Jessica’s Picks:

Photo Credit: Greg Powers

Organic Cucumber Delight - Founding Farmers (1924 Pennsylvania Ave., NW)

Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than the cool taste of a boozy cucumber drink. Founding Farmers is getting more and more attention on their cocktail selection which is all hand-crafted mixtures with fresh, organic fruits and veggies. This thirst-quencher is a mixture of Cap Rock Organic Vodka, cucumbers and cantelope. Summer in a glass.

Organic Cucumber Cocktail – Recipe courtesy of Founding Farmers

makes 1 drink

1.25 oz Square One Organic Vodka
.75 oz Domaine Canton
.75 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz sparkling water
2 balls cantaloupe
Muddle 1 slice of cucumber, add lemon juice and simple syrup.

Add vodka, Domaine Canton and ice, cover and shake vigorously.
Strain into a double old fashion glass, add ice and garnish with cucumber slice and cantaloupe. Enjoy!

Allure - Co Co. Sala (929 F St., NW)
Wine is the way to my heart so any cocktail with a little bit of bubbly always attracts my attention. Also, the light effervescence wakes up those tastebuds in this light, refreshing cocktail. Consisting of lychee, sparkling wine, rose water and lime juice, this is an ideal summer cocktail. Bitter from the lime juice and fruity from the lychee, it’s a perfect combination of sweet and sour that just screams summertime.

Ashley’s Picks:

Photo courtesy of

White peach tarragon Sparkling Sangria - The Hamilton (600 14th St.,NW)

Nothing says summer to me quite like peaches. Growing up in North Carolina about an hour north of the Outer Banks, my family spent most Saturdays shopping at the farmer’s markets on our way down to the beach. We’d buy huge baskets of peaches and make everything from peach lemonade to peach cobbler. The Hamilton makes me reminisce of these golden days with its Sparkling Sangria – a Spanish Cava blended with peaches and tarragon. It’s the perfect refreshment for DC’s infamous humid summer days.
Farmer’s Fizz - Founding Farmers (1924 Pennsylvania Ave., NW)

With Plymouth Gin, St. Germain Elderflower, orange bitters, and Prosecco brut, with fresh lemon spiral this hand-crafted cocktail is a great way to a cool down. An excellent pre-dinner drink, the Farmer’s Fizz is a perfect combination of bitter and sweet, bubbly and smooth. It’s great for toasting to this summer’s graduations, birthdays, engagements, and more!

Farmer’s Fizz - courtesy of Jon Arroyo, executive bar chef for Founding Farmers

makes 1 drink

1 ounce Plymouth Gin
½ ounce St-Germain liqueur
3 dashes of orange bitters
1 sugar cube
3 ounces Charles de Fere sparkling wine

In a cocktail napkin place a sugar cube and soak with orange bitters. Drop sugar cube into a champagne flute. In a mixing glass add gin, St-Germain and ice. Cover and shake vigorously, strain into the champagne flute and top with sparkling brut wine.


No comments.

Leave a Reply