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Photograph: Courtesy Gratitude

L.A.'s best summer cocktails to enjoy this season

Beat the heat with creative summer cocktails, from tiki classics to a refreshing chlorophyll cocktail (yes, chlorophyll)

By Erin Kuschner

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

Photograph: Adam Corey Thomas

This Is Not a Daiquiri at accomplice

3 out of 5 stars
Bars Cocktail bars Mar Vista

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.

Photograph: Courtesy Manuela

Somerset at Manuela

Restaurants American creative Downtown Arts District

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.  

Fog Cutter at Pacific Seas
Photograph: Rozette Rago

Fog Cutter at Pacific Seas

3 out of 5 stars
Bars Cocktail bars Downtown Historic Core

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.

Prettiest Girl of All Time at ETA
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

The Prettiest Girl of All Time at ETA

Bars Cocktail bars Highland Park

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy MiniBar

Fuzzy del Navel at MiniBar

5 out of 5 stars
Bars Cocktail bars Hollywood

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy Gratitude

Spa Water at Gratitude

Restaurants Organic Beverly Hills

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.

Watermelon soju at Hanjip
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Watermelon soju at Hanjip

Restaurants Korean Culver City

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy Caña Rum Bar

Brazilian Necktie at Caña Rum Bar

Bars Lounges South Park

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.  

Looking for more summer fun?

Santa Monica Beach
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

75 things to do in the summer

Things to do

We've got you covered with a list of things to do this season—from rediscovering Hollywood to heading down PCH for a day at one of the best beaches in L.A. or even splashing around at a summertime pool party. 


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