Summer is nearly here, and the best way to beat the heat is to embrace it—with an ice-cold drink in hand. But you don’t have to snuggle up against sweaty bar patrons to enjoy your booze. You can shake, stir, and pour yourself a delicious cocktail right at home (with the AC set to your preference). We asked Eater Drinks editor and cocktail expert Kat Odell to select warm-weather cocktail recipes from the best-rated Manhattan restaurants and bars that are doling out stellar sips. So, the next time you find yourself on a rooftop or in a backyard, firing up the grill or lounging on a hammock, you can do it with a delicious drink, courtesy of NYC’s finest.
Summer is the best time for a tropical getaway, and nothing’s more tropical than pandan, a vanilla-coconut scented plant used in a variety of Southeast Asian cooking. When combined with milk and ice, the pandan gives the cocktail a milkshake-like creaminess. To purchase, find frozen pandan leaves in Asian or specialty grocery stores. This cocktail is served up at Betony in NY on the regular.
3 liters pineapple juice
1 liter green tea
400 grams pandan leaves, cut into strips
2 liters milk
1 liter lime juice
Your spirit of choice
In a large bowl or pitcher, mix pineapple juice and green tea. In a medium pot, bring pandan leaves and milk to near boil, stirring the whole time to keep from burning. Steep for about five minutes. Slowly add lime into pandan mixture. Continue stirring slowly to break the curds from the whey. Promptly add tea. Combine and strain liquid into containers. Repeat until crystal clear.
To use pandan milk, freeze, stabilize with the alcohol of your choosing, or consume within a week.
This elegant summer cocktail from new theater The Metrograph is chock-full of exquisite nuanced flavors, thanks to the Aperol, bitters, and the Cocchi Americano Bianco, a spiced wine aperitif. It’s definitely a go-to for the summer sophisticate. Pair with a classic film of your choice.
1/2 oz. Aperol
1/2 oz. Cocchi Americano Bianco
4 1/2 oz. sparkling wine
2 dashes orange bitters
Orange peel twist
Stir ingredients in glass. Pour into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
For the health-conscious folks looking for a buzz on their cheat day, this green drink is the answer. Genuine Superette has ingeniously fortified the green juice with alcohol for a drink that’s nutritious, boozy, and pretty to look at.
1 Barspoon mezcal
1/4 oz. St-Germain
1/4 oz. green Chartreuse
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. lime juice
1 oz. Olmeca Altos blanco Tequila
1 1/2 oz. green juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake and strain into chilled glass. Fill glass with ice, set straw, and garnish with a kale leaf and cucumber wheel with beet-stained celery spike.
Masa y Agave takes the Negroni on an unconventional spin just south of the border. Gin is replaced with Raicilla, a Mexican spirit that’s almost identical to Mezcal. Campari is swapped for the citrusy wine-based Cappelletti. When combined, this unique twist on a classic leaves you feeling like you’re anywhere but here.
1 1/2 oz. La Venenosa Sierra Occidental Maximilliana
1 oz. Carpano Bianco
1/2 oz. Cappelletti
1 dash Grapefruit bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir with bar spoon until well chilled. Strain into a double rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with lemon peel, expressing the citrus oils over the top of the cocktail.
Simple, fizzy, and with a gorgeous reddish orange hue, this beautiful cocktail is the color of a sunset and is the only beverage you’d want sitting in a poolside cabana.
1 oz. Aperol
3 oz. Prosecco
1 1/2 oz. soda
Combine ingredients in glass. Stir. Pour into a glass. Garnish with lemon.
To make these drinks yourself, grab a few of our favorite cocktail essentials below: