From a non-alcoholic thirst-quencher to the iciest cocktails, there’s a delicious drink to cool you down any day of the week.
by Catherine Currin | photography by Joshua Steadman
It feels like North Carolina summers just keep getting hotter, but there’s nothing better than a cool drink on a steamy day. From a non-alcoholic thirst-quencher to icy, refined cocktails, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most refreshing drinks to enjoy before summer comes to a close.
Frozen G&T at Standard Beer + Food
A twist on a summer classic: the Frozen Dry-Hopped Gin & Tonic at Standard Beer + Food. It’s made with citra hops, a signature ingredient they also use in many of their in-house beers. “When we were developing frozen cocktail recipes, we wanted to create something only we were doing,” says Cov Deramus, Standard’s operating partner. “Adding the hop aroma to a G&T dovetails with our beer program.” 205 E. Franklin Street; standardbeerandfood.com
Season’s Broadcast at Killjoy
Grab a friend — or two or three — and order the Season’s Broadcast at Killjoy. Served as one of their cocktail towers, it’s an oversized, tequila-forward beverage meant for sharing. A chilled pitcher of Season’s Broadcast serves four to six with a festive punch of flavors including cinnamon, ginger, pomegranate and lime. 116 N. West Street; killjoycocktail.com
Orangeade at Nancy Jo’s Homemade
A long-time local favorite, the orangeade from Nancy Jo’s Homemade at North Carolina State Farmers Market is lightly sweet and full of flavor. A made-to-order mix of crushed ice, simple syrup and fresh-squeezed orange juice, you can take it to the next level and add fresh lemon and lime juice. 1201 Agriculture Street (inside The Market Shoppes); nancyjoshomemade.com
Loud Mouth at SideBar
In downtown Cary, SideBar’s Loud Mouth cocktail offers a smoky, tropical twist on a margarita. Lead bartender Bri Crosby says the inspiration for the drink came from her love of mezcal and mango. “It started as a riff on a classic cocktail, the Clover Club, but I swap the egg white for crushed ice,” Crosby says. “It’s juicy and smoky, perfect for mezcal lovers on a hot day!” 215 E. Chatham Street, Cary; sidebarnc.com
Summer Kolsch at Vault Craft Beer
Vault Craft Beer, which recently opened in a renovated midcentury bank on South Street, rotates taps every few weeks, but co-owner Erik Kern always keeps a lighter beer in rotation for hot days. He particularly likes a Kolsch for summer: “It’s light and refreshing with its moderate to low ABV and fruity esters derived from top-fermenting German yeast.” 518 W. South Street; vaultcraftbeer.com
Bee Durham at Kingfisher
Made with Conniption Navy Strength Gin, local honey and lemon, Kingfisher’s Bee Durham is a summer sour with an outdoorsy feel, says Sean Umstead, the bar’s co-owner. “The honey, beeswax and floral elements of the gin evoke the smells of a summer field,” says Umstead. “And the beeswax infusion helps dry out the drink and lighten the gin and honey.” 321 E. Chapel Hill Street; kingfisherdurham.com
Cucumber Sake Mojito at Raleigh Wine Shop
“The Cucumber Sake Mojito is just a little sweet and low-alcohol, too, perfect for drinking all summer long,” says Liz Porcelli, co-owner of the Raleigh Wine Shop. “The cucumber-mint syrup along with fresh lime juice will cool you down in this North Carolina heat.” Porcelli dreamed up this crisp drink along with bar manager Mallory Drake to celebrate the shop’s new location on Bloodworth Street, where they keg the cocktail in-house and keep it on tap behind the bar. “Pouring on draft maintains consistency and freshness, plus it adds a little bubble to keep it light and super thirst-quenching,” Porcelli says. 317 S. Bloodworth Street; theraleighwineshop.com
This article originally appeared in the August 2022 issue of WALTER Magazine.