We hear you should drink plenty of fluids when it’s hot out. You don’t have to tell us twice—consider this your bucket list of tiki bars, summer festivals and tropical cocktails that every Gothamite should try this season.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to summer drinks in NYC
Summer drinking guide
Cool down with boozy frozen pops at Blue Ribbon Kanpai Garden (190 Allen St; 212-466-0404, blueribbonrestaurants.com) and Plunge at the Gansevoort (18 Ninth Ave; 212-660-6736). The former, inside the Sixty LES Hotel, offers frozen versions of classic cocktails like mint juleps and Negronis, while the Meatpacking District rooftop shills sophisticated push-pops made with orange pinot gris, coconut water and rosé.
Pinknic (Governors Island, pinknic.com; Sat 24, Sun 25, $95–$5,000) is an Instagram favorite, with partygoers plastered in head-to-toe pink and sipping rosé on matching picnic blankets. If you missed the boat (literally) for Manhattan’s La Nuit en Rose, cast away the city shores for the fest’s Southampton stop, complete with a four-course dinner with rosé cuvée pairings at Oreya Restaurant & Lounge (281 Country Road 39A, L.I.; nuitrose.com. July 14, 15; $75– $250.)
Do as the Romans do and aperitif the shit out of your Fridays at Dante’s Summer of Spritz series. The Italian-accented Greenwich Villager (79-81 MacDougal St; 212-982-5275, dante-nyc.com)—and 2017 Bar Award winner—pours eight spritzes, including a classic on tap and the mescal-spiked A Nap in the Meadow, best enjoyed while tapping a toe to live jazz provided by the Bailsmen.
Rockaway Beach is already a hallmark of New York summer, but there’s even more appeal with the introduction of two new beer gardens. Liquid Bread (101-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Queens; 347-688-0204) is stocked with refreshing brews as well as bocce, corn hole and outdoor movie screenings, while pop-up Blvd Project (Beach 108th St and Rockaway Beach Blvd, Queens) includes a beer garden, along with live music and food trucks like the surf-and-turf–focused Dalton’s Shore Shack and Gary’s Steaks.
The Seaport District is locked and loaded with drinking options this summer. Set under a verdant pergola, the Garden Bar (Fulton and Front Sts; seaportdistrict.nyc) will quench your thirst with beer buckets and cocktails like the Seaport Smash (bourbon, ginger liqueur and muddled mint). And don’t miss the drink pairing at the new Seaport Food Lab (203 Front St; 212-233-8460), a pop-up restaurant featuring rotating chefs (Dale Talde, Alon Shaya) and custom Sixpoint Brewery pairing beers.
Usually when something’s referred to as “trash,” it’s not a good thing. It is here, however—building off the trend of preventing food waste, the bartenders behind the sustainability-focused concept, Trash Tiki, bring their recycling skills to Mission Chinese Food on August 13 and 14 to whip up cocktails garnished with ingredients that were headed for the restaurant’s waste bin (171 E Broadway; trashtikisucks.com).
Everyone knows cocktails taste better in summer when swirled with slushy ice. For frozen renditions of your favorites, head to Ghost Donkey (4 Bleecker St; 212-254-0350, ghostdonkey.com) for a Frozen Stealth margarita made with St-Germain, cucumber puree and chili, or a Moscow Mule variety at Clancey (79 Clinton St; 917-388-3575, clanceynyc.com) with ginger syrup, ginger beer and a dash of mint-infused Angostura bitters.
Beachy pop-up bars include Surf Shack at the Arlo SoHo Hotel (231 Hudson St; 212-342-7000, arlohotels.com), which features an outdoor grill, rosé and oyster stations, and baby pools filled with beer; and Tiki Tabu (190 Allen St; 877-460-8888, sixtyhotels.com), which returns to the Sixty LES Hotel with tropical plants, decorative fishing nets and rum-splashed quaffs like mai tais and frozen strawberry daiquiris.
Governors Island’s Island Oyster hasn’t opened its doors yet (it’s due “early summer”), but it has already garnered a boatload of buzz thanks to its lauded team (Grand Banks) and the dearth of solid food-and-booze options on Governors Island. The restaurant-bar (Governors Island Ferry landing; islandoyster.com) will not only shuck fresh oysters but will be home to an open-air beer garden offering craft brews, warm-weather cocktails and waterfront views of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Ellis Island.