6 Seattle Bartenders Tell You What to Drink This Summer

Eighteen suggestions for chilling out, cooling down and sipping on choice bevs

By Seattle Mag June 11, 2015


It’s time you’ll start to see summer drinks on the menu at some of your favorite establishments. And no one knows which summer sippers are going to cool you down best this year than our swell local bartenders.

So, we asked 6 bartenders to name their all-time top summer drink, a warm-weather cocktail on their bar’s menu and their drink of choice for the summer.

Kathleen Manley, Rob Roy

All-time top summer drink: A well-made Margarita, with fresh squeezed lime juice, a heavy pour of 100 percent agave silver tequila, triple sec and/or agave nectar, and salt (always!). People associate tequila with hot weather because it comes from Mexico and because it tastes so good with bright, tart, spicy flavors like citrus and pepper. And because it’s good any time of day (yes, breakfast).

Warm-weather cocktail on the menu: The French Prince of Bel-Aire. Haitian rhum, lime, amaro Montenegro, fresh mint, and Saison beer. It’s light and effervescent, but a little funky and complex. I think it perfectly represents summertime in Seattle, where we crave sunshine but not TOO much!

Summer drink of choice: Giant cans of Mexican beer and shots of mezcal at Edgar’s Cantina inside Safeco Field. And if you want a cocktail, the menu was put together by Anu, proud owner of Rob Roy! Go M’s!

Bryn Lumsden, Damn the Weather

All-time top summer drink: An aperitif on our menu, Blanc vermouth and soda. I like it with an orange slice. It’s light, delicious, and goes well with being too hot.

Warm-weather cocktail on the menu: Our house drink that I’m really excited about is a Kiwi-Lime Fizz: Pisco, Salers, kiwi and lime curd, and soda.

Jesse Poole, E. Smith Mercantile

All-time top summer drink: At the beach nothing beats a nice blanco tequila, lime, and ginger beer cleverly disguised in a soda bottle. No one needs to know you’re a lush in public.

Warm-weather cocktail on the menu: The Rum Ti Punch is a classic to please all crowds. A pre-prohibition recipe from the Waldorf Astoria, she’s heavy on the plantation rhum and made easy with fresh lime and a dash of floral Peychaud’s bitters 

Sara Rosales, Radiator Whiskey

All-time top summer drink: My go to summer drink every summer is a Mint Julep. I’ve spent more days than I’m willing to admit on my back patio watching my dogs chase bubbles over a Mint Julep. I crush a bunch of ice in the Cuisinart, muddle mint with a little mint simple syrup, and add a high proof whisky like Maker’s Mark Cask Strength.

Warm-weather cocktail on the menu: The top drink every summer at Radiator is The Rosalie. It’s a play on a Tequila Mockingbird. Tequila or mezcal, fresh watermelon juice, lime, fresh basil, and a little honey.

Summer drink of choice: The Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Mint Julep when I’m making a day of it, but it will be in stiff competition with the Campargarita. I use a smoky mezcal in mine with lime, Campari, and Cointreau.

Perryn Wright, Teacher’s Lounge

All-time top summer drink: Margarita. Simple, refreshing, and imminently available. Well-made approaches perfection. Mediocre versions are generally passable. 

Warm-weather cocktail on the menu: The Essay No. 1. with tequila, Cocchi Americano, lemon juice, grapefruit bitters and absinthe. Up with a grapefruit twist. Bright, tart, with a little liquorice snap finish.

Summer drink of choice: I’ve got two picks. For refreshing, the Pomelo. Tequila, Campari, triple sec, lemon juice. Also up, but with a lemon twist. Bittersweet and tart. Almost like biting into a grapefruit through the rind. For spirit forward, the Rosita. A tequila Negroni. Fun to play with the types of tequila, the vermouths, and/or the amaro for different variations.

Bridget Maloney, Sexton (at Witness until very recently)

All-time top summer drink: Rosé all day! There is such a variety for this wine, it can cater to pretty much anybody’s taste. It’s light, it’s refreshing, it can have bubbles, it can be sweet or dry. It’s basically pink heaven in glass.

Warm-weather cocktail on the menu: A Blessing of Unicorns is a light and refreshing little number that is on the menu at Witness. It has ginger infused Dolin Blanc vermouth, orange shrub, lemon, simple syrup, and citrus chamomile bitters topped with soda water. It’s a low-proof cocktail, making it a nice session option to enjoy on our sunny patio.

Summer drink of choice: I made some sorbet-topped cocktails the other day that were SO delicious! I combined Maker’s Mark, lemon, and a little simple syrup and topped it with a raspberry sorbet! Who doesn’t love a dessert in their cocktail?! It’s simple, it’s easy, and your drink evolves as the sorbet melts, taking you on a little fruity summery cocktail journey.


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