Few things offer an escape from the heat of New York City’s summer like a cool, seasonal cocktail. Traditional warm weather drinks like the piña colada and daiquiri make a strong appearance this time of year. At the same time, bartenders are serving up imaginative iterations on the classics while introducing completely new recipes that celebrate the season, using fresh, light, and local ingredients. Thirsty yet? Well, here are some of the best summer cocktails in NYC for sipping the day or night away.
Where to sip the best summer cocktails in NYC
Piña Daiquiri at Trademark Taste + Grind, 38 W 36 St
Tucked away in Hotel Le Soleil, Trademark Taste + Grind is a one-stop-shop for all of your beverage desires. Divided into two parts, it serves coffee at the front cafe and cocktails in the back restaurant. Let this be your destination when your summer drink cravings are fluctuating between a piña colada or daiquiri. Blending the beach drink staples, the Piña Daiquiri De Mezcalero is made with illegal mezcal, pineapple, sage, and lime. Surprising and refreshing, it’s just what you need on a sultry day.
The Commodore at The Commodore, 366 Metropolitan Ave
This Williamsburg divey bar/restaurant has the usual charm we’ve come to expect from the neighborhood’s reluctant restaurant impresario Stephen Tanner (Pies n’ Thighs and Egg) and stick-to-your-ribs fried Southern fare that goes down way too easy after a few drinks. If you’re on the hunt for a solid piña colada, look no further than The Commodore’s namesake cocktail. Topped with an amaretto float, it is the beverage to sip while waiting for that plate of fried chicken to arrive.
Fleur De Lis at Parker & Quinn, 64 W 39th St
Parker & Quinn is housed in the Refinery Hotel and pays homage to classic New York City with its gilded wallpaper, dazzling lighting, honeycomb tile floors, and vintage photographs. Presenting classics alongside creative twists, the cocktail menu has much to offer a thirsty patron looking for respite from soaring temps. Our go-to drink here is the Fleur De Lis. Refreshing and rich with antioxidants, it is made with Grey Goose Vodka, cherry, pomegranate, blueberry, honey, and lemon topped with a splash of Prosecco.
Summer Breeze at Bungalow Bar, 377 Beach 92nd St
One of the best things about summer in NYC is heading to a nearby beach for the day. A favorite spot to hit up for a crisp drink is Bungalow Bar in the Rockaways. The cocktail menu is a tour de force of beach-inspired concoctions with the Summer Breeze leading the pack. Made with Spring 44 gin, elderflower liquor, strawberry puree, and lime sour, it’s best enjoyed on the outdoor deck while taking in a majestic sunset.
Frozen Margarita at Tacuba, Hell’s Kitchen, 802 9th Ave
This Hell’s Kitchen restaurant is the second of chef Julian Medina’s Mexican cantinas with the original Tacuba in Astoria, Queens. The food here is a celebration of traditional Latin cuisine with a modern twist. Expect a lively crowd all nights of the week thanks to a cocktail menu with a strong tequila/mescal base. Nothing beats the summer heat like a frozen margarita from Tacuba. With flavor choices of mango, strawberry, lime, and tamarind, the drink can be ordered as a single ($10) or pitcher ($45).
Froze at Bar Primi, 325 Bowery
Rosé has been having a moment. And it didn’t take long for NYC’s cocktail scene to turn the summer wine favorite into a slushy treat aptly called Froze. Headed by chef/owner Andrew Carmellini, Bar Primi is a casual Italian eatery known for its excellent pasta menu. It’s also regarded for a deep offering of wines from the motherland, serving up some of the best Froze in town. Novel yet sophisticated, this recipe is made with Sicilian rose, Rosato vermouth, and strawberry.