A Rainbow of Local Cocktails

In honor of Pride Month, consider this ROYGBV selection of beverages from some of our favorite bars in Raleigh.
by Catherine Currin | photography by Bryan Regan

In June, Ruby Deluxe offers Rainbow Shots: vodka plus a surprise mixer, in colorful test tubes.

Since the late 1970s, the rainbow flag has been used to symbolize the diversity of human sexuality — and this month, you can expect to see that spectrum of colors popping up in more places than usual: from Trophy’s Run for Love 5K race to the Durham Bulls’ annual Pride Night, to specialty items at stores and on menus and Raleigh’s first Pride Parade this year. 

“Ruby Deluxe is a queer bar all year ‘round, but Pride month gives the LGBTQ+ community special focus in the city at-large,” says owner Tim Lemuel, who also owns The Night Rider and The Wicked Witch. “We’re excited to showcase the creativity, diversity and power of queer folks.” 

So just for fun, we reached out to some of our favorite bars to get a whole spectrum of colorful sips — and they delivered. From a quick-and-easy red cocktail to the classiest blue drink you’ve ever seen to a surprisingly purple zero-proof slushie, you’ll be serving up rainbows in no time. 

Cheers to Pride Month! 

The Dirty Shirley at Legends

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce grenadine
1 or 2 Maraschino cherries
Lime wedge (optional)

Fill a glass with ice. Add vodka and
grenadine. Stir, then top with soda.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry
and wedge of lime.

The #1 at Atlantic Lounge

2 or 3 muddled jalapeño slices
1 ½ ounces tequila or mezcal
1 ounce pre-mixed carrot juice and
¾ ounce lime juice
Dried lime wheel

Combine all ingredients and shake.
Strain and serve up with a dried lime
wheel for garnish.

The Lemon Drop at Libations 317

2 ounces lemon vodka
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Lemon wedge

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail
mixer. Shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with sugar and a lemon wedge.

The Creole Daisy at St. Roch

2 ounces tequila
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 ounce Trinity Syrup (made from
onions, celery and green peppers)
Chili salt, for rim (light and dark chili
mixed with kosher salt)
Combine ingredients, shake and serve
over ice. Garnish with a lime and chili
salt on rim.

The Ionian Sea at Heights House

2 ounces coconut-washed gin
¾ ounce lemon dry vermouth
½ ounce Luxardo Cherry Liqueur
Splash of Blue Dream (a secret recipe)
Combine all ingredients and stir with
ice. Strain into a coupe and enjoy.

The Roselle at Poole’side Pies

3 ounces pineapple juice
3 ounces lime juice
4 ounces white tea, cooled
4 ounces Hibiscus Syrup (recipe below)
Pineapple wedge (optional)
Place in a blender and add one cup of ice;
blend well. Pour into a chilled glass and
garnish with a pineapple wedge. (Serves two.)

Hibiscus Syrup

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ ounce dried hibiscus
1 cinnamon stick
Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk until sugar is
dissolved. Remove from heat, add hibiscus and cinnamon stick, and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and let cool completely before using
Yields 2 cups.

This article originally appeared in the June issue of WALTER Magazine.