There are a million reasons (okay, more like 31) why L.A. is the best city ever, but here's another one to add to the list: summer cocktails. True, a cold beer while watching the Dodgers game at your favorite beer bar is a staple, but we've got a soft spot for throwing back fruit-filled libations on a rooftop lounge. To bring you this beautiful collection of cocktail porn, we drank our way through seasonally savvy cocktail bars to find the most refreshing summer cocktails in L.A. Some are a little off-the-wall, but all of them are worth trying at least a few times as the days start to heat up. See you at the bar!
Try these refreshing summer cocktails
Mar Vista may not be the first place imbibers think of for progressive cocktails in a chic atmosphere, but that's all changed with the arrival of accomplice. On their menu now you'll find a summer drink which is definately not a classic daiquiri. Instead of simple lime and rum, this riff includes mezcal, five spice, grapefruit, cynar, vanilla and aguafaba.
There is a subtle Southern accent to everything served at Manuela, the airy courtyard dining spot inside the of the Hauser & Wirth complex. That continues to the cocktail program, like this summer drink that would be perfect for sipping while imagining oneself on a porch swing, featuring mint, lime, green apple, fresh celery and Black Cow vodka.
Tucked up on the top floor of Clifton's, this elaborate tiki bar is a year-round Polynesian delight. This summer, you'll find us relaxing in tropical splendor with the bar's Fog Cutter in hand, it's a lesser-known tiki drink with a more sophisticated flavor than the super-sweet drinks you might get elsewhere, featuring a mix of rum brandy, gin, orange and lemon juice, orgeat syrup and sherry.
Looking for something cold, fresh and fruity? ETA's the Prettiest Girl of All Time blends Tromba tequila blanco with berry tea, citrus cordial, sweet pickled kumquats, lemon balm and purple perilla mint for a subtly sweet, mildly tart and refreshing cooler that makes for some easy drinking.
MiniBar is well known for their takes on classic cocktails, but for summer they're updating a vintage drink that gets a little less respect in the bartending world. The Fuzzy del Navel includes Singani 63 Bolivian Grape Brandy, apricot liqueur, fresh orange and lemon juice, and topped off with a bit of hibiscus tea.
The newest offspring in the Café Gratitude family, this vegan restaurant features a full bar of drinks all crafted with locally-grown ingredients. For summer the refreshing Spa Water cools us down with green cholorphyll espuma, gin, mint, absinthe, lime and sparkling wine.
Drinking (and eating) the watermelon soju at Hanjip is a blast—just watch out for the flying Pop Rocks. The communal drink served out of a hollowed-out watermelon shell comes with scoops of the fruit served inside, a sprinkling of Fruity Pebbles, a packet of Pop Rocks and a bottle of Jinro soju to get the party started. Pour the soju over the watermelon and enjoy the fireworks show.
Everything about this Latin-inspired rum bar screams summertime, from the decor to the charming back patio. Spend a warm night slurping away on the Brazilian Necktie, a spicy concoction of Brazilian cacaça infused with chili peppers, mixed with fresh cucumbers, lime and smoked salt.