The McCarren Spritzer at the Elm
Hipster-bogged Billyburg isn’t exactly the beachy oasis of our summer dreams, but a poolside quaff crammed with tropical umbrellas and colorful straws brings a much-welcome wink of East Hampton to the East River. The Chelsea Hotels resto pours a seasonal swirl of St. Germain, grapefruit and the hotel’s private-label rosé from North Fork’s Mattebella Vineyards. 160 North 12th St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-1088, theelmnyc.com). Glass $14, pitcher $70.
Magnolia at Dover
Matthew Walters bases this lively, pretty-in-pink punch—named after the flowering trees, not the Tom Cruise flick—on his favorite sparkling wine: the much-maligned Lambrusco Rosato, a frothy, frizzante Italian varietal. The fruit-forward glug gets added potency from El Dorado white rum and a slight black-licorice bite from anisette. Spritzed with lime, garnished with mint and finished with a julep’s mound of pebble ice, the result is a bright, cool capper to steamy city nights. 412 Court St between 1st and 2nd Pls, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (347-987-3545, doverbrooklyn.com). $13.
Arbor Blush at the Peacock
The grape harvest comes early this year with this Lillet rosé–riddled quaff, jazzed up with green grapes and pisco, South America’s prized grape brandy. Shaken and strained into a champagne flute, the elegant, vineyard-themed refresher comes topped with a dry-brut-rosé floater because, hell, it’s summer—we can double down if we want to. 24 E 39th St between Madison and Park Aves (646-837-6776, thepeacocknyc.com). $15.
2 in the Bush at the Gander
Your oyster slurping just got turned up to eleven—Michael Flannery stirs a summery bivalve companion at Jesse Schenker’s Recette follow-up. Chilled, citrusy Lillet rosé gets infused with chamomile and fired up with a kick of Del Maguey mezcal, soothed with dry Manzanilla sherry and cheery peach bitters. Sleek in a classic Nick & Nora glass, this beaut will tempt you to enjoy it until those brisk “R” months roll around again—and even after that. 15 W 18th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-229-9500, thegandernyc.com). $14.
Master Cutler at the Heath
Mixing the funk of rhum agricole with earthy amaro should make for one intensely flavored hooch, but beverage director Eric Holloway lightens things up with pinot noir rosé, white aperitif and a citrus twist in this tart, crisp cup. “Think flowers,” Holloway says. “But in a lush tropical garden.” McKittrick Hotel, 542 W 27th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (212-564-1662, mckittrickhotel.com/theheath). $16.
Endless Spring at the Nitecap
Inspired by cocktail maven Natasha David’s affinity for low-ABV boozing, this strawberry spritzer is a sweet reprieve from the season’s sticky, sizzling high temps. Straddling the line between spring and summer, the easy-drinking swig mingles Lillet rosé with muddled berries, herbal Ramazzotti amaro and a splash of lemon juice. You can drink it all day—as you should. 120 Rivington St between Essex and Suffolk Sts (212-466-3361, nitecapnyc.com). $12.
Vice Versa at Dear Irving
Named after Dorothy Parker’s saucy play on words (“Tell him I was too fucking busy—or vice versa”), this not-so-standard Salty Dog shakes up NY Distilling Co.’s Dorothy Parker gin with fresh grapefruit, Pamplemousse red-grapefruit liqueur and an herbal hit of Luxardo bitters. Crowned with Raventós rosé cava, the vivacious, ruby-colored concoction lives up to Parker’s pun: a little tart, a little sweet and all in good fun. 55 Irving Pl between 17th and 18th Sts (no phone yet, dearirving.com). $15.
Vagabondo at Sonny’s Soda Shoppe
Alas, tanned-and-toned cabana boys are nowhere in sight at this Italian Riviera-inspired aerie, but you can toast la bella vita with this effervescent potable, built with Italian rosé and a fruity one-two punch of mango juice and maraschino-cherry liqueur. Honey-sweet rooibos tea lends richness, while a seltzer blast of Pellegrino adds snappy sparkle. 150 Lafayette St between Grand and Howard Sts (212-389-0000, sonnyssoho.com). $16.
RECOMMENDED: Best summer drinks in NYC
Ah, rosé—the refreshing, Provence-born summer wine is as much a seasonal staple as seersucker suits, rickety rides on the Coney Island Cyclone and Pharrell-crooned dance hits. Once relegated to ladies who lunch and snubbed by wine snobs, the warm-weather blush has become the mixer of the moment for summer cocktails, favored by tumbler-shaking bartenders for its versatility, complexity (a midpoint between tannic red and buttery white) and, of course, that gorgeous signature tint.
This neighborhood tavern has something for everyone: beers, cocktails, wines, food and a rotating roster of entertainment. Stop by on Tuesday nights for an open mike—sometimes music, sometimes poetry—or listen to the DJ’s selection on Friday nights.
Venue says: “Date Night every Tues - Sun (6p-10p) - join us for 1 shared starter, 2 entrees, 1 shared dessert & a bottle of wine - $35 per person”