We Asked Bartenders To Pick The Essential Cocktails Of Summer ’19

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By now you’re probably well aware that summer awaits, in all of its sunburned magic. It’s so close you can almost smell the briny scent of days spent lounging on sandy beaches and the heavy, rich smoke of ribs on the grill. Get hyped, friends — summer ’19 is going to be a banger.

If you really want to get the most out of these precious few months, you’re going to need some quality cocktails in your repertoire. The type to induce long nights and short memories. That’s why we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their go-to summer cocktails for 2019. From daiquiris to Negronis to our 2019 summer cocktail, the Paloma, these picks are perfect for when the sun is shining and the weather is hot.

Army & Navy

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Army and Navy 🥃 2 oz. Gin ½ oz. Lemon Juice ¼ oz. Orgeat 1 Dash of Angostura Bitters 🥃 Wet shake all ingredients; strain into a chilled coupe glass; garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!! 🥃 The Army and Navy is an enjoyable summer drink with a slightly murky history. One guess is that it might have originated at Washington, D.C.’s illustrious Army & Navy Club (the same club that introduced the Daiquiri to the U.S.). Although the ingredients are different, it certainly shares some stylistic traits with the Daiquiri. Could it have come from a bartender’s game of ‘use this instead of that’? From what we can tell, the recipe was first printed in David Embury’s hugely influential 1948 book, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks”. One can assume though that the recipe had been around for a while elsewhere before this publication, since he states something to the effect that the original formulation was awful. As a result, he changed the ratios to push the gin forward and cut the overall sweetness. In the interest of science, we tried the original 8:4:4 ratios and can attest to the fact that they are not ideal. The good news though, is that following Embury’s formula results in a remarkable blend of tart citrus and nutty sweetness that meshes nicely with a stiff gin backbone. Think of this drink as a supremely simple gin sour with a hint of Tiki in place of tradition. 🥃 @bombaysapphire @angosturahouse @torani #armyandnavy #armyandnavycocktail #bombaysapphiregin #bombaysapphire #gin #gindrinks #bitters #angosturabitters #orgeat #unpetitverre #cocktail #cocktails #classiccocktail #classiccocktails #vintagecocktail #vintagecocktails #cocktailsathome #kitchenbartender #homebartender #happyhour #drinks #drinkstagram #cocktailsofinstagram #cocktailrecipes

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Ryan Andrews, lead bartender at Prohibition in San Diego

My go-to summer cocktail is a classic Army & Navy – gin, sour mix, lemon, house-made almond orgeat and R&D sarsaparilla bitters in lieu of the classic Angostura.

It’s light, refreshing and damn delicious.


Phil Testa, beverage manager at Dream Midtown in New York City

Negroni’s are my go-to summer cocktail because they’re nice and light when prepared correctly. The citrusy notes, along with the floral gin, really remind me of summer. Sometimes I’ll add a variation to it and substitute out the Campari for Cappelletti to achieve an even brighter profile.


Amanda Britton, bar manager at Bardo in Charlotte

What’s my go-to summer classic cocktail and why? I can’t think of a more refreshing cocktail in the summer than a daiquiri. It’s a classic and versatile cocktail. No matter how you tweak, it remains a thirst quencher.




Pamela Wiznitzer, mixologist at The Lookup in New York City

Summertime to me screams citrus, and while margaritas are really popular, I’m a sucker for a great Paloma with mezcal, grapefruit soda, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt. It’s the perfect long drink and quenches your thirst easily on a hot day. At The Lookup, the #2 is a variation of my favorite drink – it’s a mix between a margarita and a Paloma which gives you the best of both worlds.


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Maple Margarita 🍸⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •What’s In it: Mezcal, Lime, Maple Syrup ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •💰Price: £8.25⠀⠀ •🍸 Alcometer: 4/5 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •📍 @harlemsoulldn ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Overall: [invite] I love a margarita and I love maple syrup so HI THIS WAS MADE FOR ME. I have just recently gotten into mezcal (it has a slightly smoky flavour so I was excited to try this. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This reminded me slightly of a Tommy’s margarita (which is just a standard marg but with agave) I actually think I prefer the use of maple syrup as it wasn’t too sweet and complimented the smokiness of the mezcal, sometimes I find a marg hard to drink if made too strong but this was smooth and well balanced. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ £8.25 is very good value for £ for a cocktail in London and It was actually very good so the price reflects taste! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Nicholas Bennett, beverage director at Cedric’s at The Shed in New York City

Is it too easy to say a daiquiri or a margarita? A cocktail shaken with lime juice is an indicator of summer and if there are cocktails that use lime juice better than a daiquiri or a margarita I haven’t tried them yet. While I while I generally only ask for the classic version of these cocktails, on a hot summer day under the right circumstances, I wouldn’t refuse a blended daiquiri or frozen margarita either.

Clover Club

Rico Velasquez, Bartender at Jaleo by José Andrés in Washington, DC

I’d have to go with a Clover Club. Summer is perfect for enjoying berries and blending them with herbaceous gin, and the addition of frothy egg whites creates a light and refreshing cocktail.


Chase Voight, head bartender at Saint Stephen in Nashville

My favorite summer cocktail: A Caipirinha. It is crisp and refreshing. A beverage that makes you feel like you’re on the beach no matter where you’re at.

Gin gimlet

Lamarr Hawkins, Taproom Manager at Brooklyn Cider House

A classic gin gimlet is on the top of my list year-round but for a hot summer day you can’t beat the refreshing sweet citrus flavor. I always use botanical-heavy gin when making this cocktail to really brighten it up.

Aperol Spitz

Lucas Swallows, bar director at Momofuku in Las Vegas

I’m a massive fan of a good Spritz. This is a category of cocktail that mixes liqueur(s) (typically sweet/bitter and low ABV) with sparkling wine and a touch of seltzer. The flavor combinations are endless! It’s easy to make at home and is a great vehicle for showcasing fresh summer produce. I like strawberries and fresh tarragon or basil in my spritz.


Zorieshka Pubill, bartender at Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico

What’s my go-to summer classic cocktail and why? I’d have to pick the classic Mojito. It’s refreshing, light and minty. It’s also a perfect cocktail for a day at the beach.