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The Drinks Bartenders Serve When It's Way Too Hot Out

GQ logo GQ 6/24/2018 Paula Forbes
a person sitting at a table with a glass of wine © Gabriela Herman

Save the heavy bourbon drinks for fall, because summer drinking is all about refreshment. Summer cocktails do not mess around: they need to be light and crisp and packed with ice. Think citrus, think gin, think rum, think low-alcohol beauties you can nurse poolside all day. Below, bartenders recommend their favorite refreshers to keep you cool—and tipsy—all summer long.

Okay, Rosé

Wine is a great pick for summer cocktails, since it keeps the alcohol levels low-ish without skimping on the flavor. Rupert King of Park MGM in Las Vegas says homemade sangria is “the perfect cocktail to cool you off in the Las Vegas heat,” while Maxime Heitz of Le Coq Rico in New York has a rosy outlook: “I like to pour some rosé on top of plenty of ice (the ice cubes should cover at least 1/4 of a large wine glass!) and simply enjoy this ‘rosé piscine’ with a splash of club soda and a thin slice of grapefruit.” And Brian Floyd of the new Line Hotel in Austin keeps it simple: “When it's 105 humid degrees in Austin, my treat is a cheap, happy Vinho Verde rose.”

Ginned Up

Gin may officially be the liquor of spring, but it’s still delightful in the muggier months. Adrienne Miller of the Halyard at Sound View on Long Island recommends a classic Corpse Reviver No. 2: “It’s like an amped-up adult lemonade, and lemonade and summer go hand-in-hand.” Meanwhile, Juyoung Kang of the Dorsey at the Venetian is a fan of “pretty much any Collins or Fizz variation. It’s citrusy, light, airy and easy to make. You can get creative and use lots of great liqueurs to flavor whether it’s fruit based like a Creme de Peche or bitter based like Campari. Even sub out the soda water for other effervescent alternatives like champagne, flavored tonic or a light beer.”

On the Rum

Blake Arthur of Bastion in Nashville “really can’t imagine a more refreshing drink” than a Queen’s Park Swizzle, a cocktail made with rum, lime juice, bitters, and mint. And Juan Coronado of Bresca in DC recommends a Hemingway Daiquiri: “There is something about rums—just one sip makes me imagine I am on the most pristine beach with the most amazing weather.” Even if you're just sitting in front of your A/C unit on full blast.

Tequila Time

And, last but not least, tequila. Summer is a spectacular time for tequila, and it’s a go-to for Jhonel Faelnar of Atoboy in New York: “I go for any light and citrus driven cocktail. A classic Paloma with tequila and grapefruit is a sure way to cool down.”

Related video: A Perfect Party Cocktail



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