The I Love Memphis Guide to Summer Cocktails
Memphians have a few time-tested methods of dealing with our long, humid summers: crank the AC, eat tons of popsicles, ice cream and snow cone, beg, borrow or steal swimming pool access or (and) cool down with summer-appropriate cocktails, preferrably on a patio.
Here are a handful of my favorite hot weather adult beverages from local bars:
The Greenline from Bar DKDC (964 S. Cooper)
Bar DKDC's whole thing is supposed to be that they change their menu theme every few weeks, but I'm really hoping that no matter what theme is next, they keep the Greenline on their cocktail list. It's made with Brandon's vodka, muddled cucumber, lime, St. Germaine and mint, and it's my personal opinion that it tastes better when consumed on the patio.
Frozen Margarita from Las Delicias (4002 Park Ave.)
You could get a margarita at just about any Mexican restaurant in town, but why would you when you could get one at Las Delicias? The Las Delicias margarita doesn't play. It's made fresh to order from limes, ice, happiness and a very generous shot of tequila. If you're going to attempt a pitcher of them, bring at least two friends and a designated driver with you.
Champagne Fig Reviver from Felicia Suzanne's (80 Monroe Ave.)
I appreciate just about any champagne-based beverage, and this cocktail from Felicia Suzanne's is no exception. It comes garnished with two sweet pickled figs impaled on a skewer, which I recommend eating after you finish the drink, when they've had a chance to get good and fizzy.
The Long Tall Cooler from Sweet Grass Next Door (937 S Cooper)
The Long Tall Cooler was one of my favorite drinks last summer, and I'm glad to see that Sweet Grass has kept it on the menu. It's a tall, refreshing glass of muddled cucumber lemonade made with a healthy shot of gin.
Adult Snow Cones from Chiwawa (2059 Madison Ave.)
Snow cones are delicious; snow cones made with alcohol are perfection. Chiwawa will let you add a shot of well vodka, tequila, whiskey or gin to any of their snowcone flavors. I recommend whiskey and lemon (like a whiskey sour, but frozen), tequila and lime (like a frozen margarita) or strawberry and vodka.
6. Adult Cherry Limeade from South of Beale (361 S. Main)
In the throes of a Sonic craving, SOB bardtender Daniel Lynn created the gastropub's cherry limeade, which tastes just like a boozy version of the drive-in's classic drink. It's made from vodka, limes, Sprite and a splash of grenadine and comes served over ice in a pint glass.
Mint Julep from the Peabody Hotel Lobby Bar (149 Union Ave.)
Drinking a mint julep in the ornate Peabody Hotel Lobby might be one of the most quitessentially Southern drinking experiences you can have (bonus points if you wear some form of seersucker while you do it). Both the setting and the drink – made from bourbon, sugar, mint and water – are classic.
Juice from the Jelly Jar from Hog and Hominy (707 W. Brookhaven Circle)
The summer cocktails at Hog and Hominy all have long names that sound silly to order, like this one formally named Juice from the Jelly Jar, informally (at least, where I'm concerned) referred to as "that citrus moonshine thing". It's made with a summery mix of Popcon Sutton's un-aged (clear, moonshine style) whiskey, Cointreau, Fernet Branca (sort of like bitters), tangerine and basil, served over ice in – what else? – a small mason jar.
Call-a-Cab from Wet Willie's (209 Beale St.)
Perhaps the most accurately named drink on this list, the Call-a-Cab from Wet Willie's has so much booze in it that the taste borders on medicinal. It kind of tastes like a smoothie made of Moonshine Cherries. Drink one of these and I doubt you'll care how hot it is outside. (Seriously, though, you might want to call a cab – this thing is serious.)
What are you drinking this summer?