Bartenders Tell Us Which Cocktails They Drink After Long Summer Shifts

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Not everyone has central air conditioning in their homes (clearly). That means that many of us spend the summer months sweaty, sticky, and downright uncomfortable. That is, any time we’re not neck deep in a swimming hole. There are only so many tank tops we can change into on a given day without giving up and buying a kiddie pool at Target, filling it with the garden hose, and sitting in it with a tropical (usually rum-based) cocktail while attempting to “work from home.”

Summer can be rough, amirite? But before you complain too much, imagine being behind a sweaty bar until two or so in the morning.

Bartenders work hard to mix our cocktails, pour our beers, and listen to our sob stories while always keeping a positive disposition — even though July often finds them sweating through their shirts. By the time they’re done each night (morning), they’ve likely worked up a bit of a thirst for the hard stuff themselves. Which is precisely why we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the cocktails they enjoy sipping on after a long shift.

Aperol Spritz


Alli Torres at Refinery Rooftop in New York City

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…Aperol Spritz. It’s the most refreshing drink to unwind with after a grueling shift. Plus, I work at a busy midtown rooftop — by the end of service, there’s nothing more satisfying.



Shane DeForest, bar manager at the SPOT in San Marcos, Texas

Mojitos, mojitos, mojitos. That is my go-to summer drink. Inside at a big restaurant, underground at a speakeasy, outside by the pool, doesn’t matter. Mojitos are great. The best part is the infinite options on changing them up. Yes, a classic ‘silver rum with lime and mint’ is great. But why not throw some fresh muddled blackberries in it. Try a blueberry coconut mojito. Strawberry mango. Infinite options.