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Top 5 Summer Cocktails

New York City loves a cocktail trend. After many summers in the city and cocktail menus perused, here are 5 classic cocktails to compliment July and inspo for a jazzy, immersive Gatsby evening:

Is it even summer without an Aperol Spritz? When the weather is hot and humid, the spritz hits the perfect spot between light and refreshing. Go anywhere in Italy mid-afternoon and this electric orange cocktail is lining tables and Americans have caught on to its appeal bringing it stateside. Flavors: Aperol, prosecco, and club soda, Bitters with a kiss of sweet.

For more pizazz, go with a French 75. It’s a spritz with a splash of gin. Rather than a wine glass, it’s served in a champagne flute with a lemon twist. Pinkies up! Swap out the gin with vodka or replace lemon juice and simple syrup with St. Germain for a less tart version. Flavors: Champagne, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup.

If you like bitters and prefer something ‘savory’, order a Negroni. A beautiful rouge hue, the Negroni is a meatier (higher alcohol content) beverage with bright notes of citrus still making this a great summer cocktail. Flavors: Campari, gin, sweet rouge vermouth.

The Espresso Martini is having a resurgence in NYC. The origin story started with a bartender in the UK trying to appease a model who needed to wake up and “party” (PG version) circa 1990’s. Fast forward 30 years and it’s popping up on menus as the perfect drink post dinner or to jump start a night out. Recipes without Kaluha make for a less sweet and alcohol-forward cocktail. Flavors: Vodka, espresso, and coffee liquor; frothy top and 3 espresso beans representing health, wealth and happiness. 

Tropical, beach vibes enter the conscience when temperatures rise. Welcome to the Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Developed in Bermuda in the 1800’s and popularized post WWI, the name refers to the many shipwrecks along the coast of Bermuda. It is the marriage of rum and ginger beer. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is the official rum of this drink, trademarking the name with one apostrophe, “Dark ‘n Stormy”. Due to the legality, you may see alternative names on menus but any bartender will know what you’re really after. Flavors: Rum and ginger beer.

It doesn’t take blenders, bar tricks, or tons of ingredients for a summer cocktail. Keep it classic.