Summer Cocktails: Boozy Ways To Cool Down in LA

Sadie's Alcoholic Floats by Caroline on Crack
1886's Paleta Pop Shot summer cocktail by Caroline on Crack

1886’s Paleta Pop Shot summer cocktail.

Nothing says summer like cooling off with a tasty boozy beverage on a warm, sunny day or sultry night. Thankfully, L.A. cocktail bars have come up with a slew of succulent solutions for you, involving cocktail ice cream bars, alcoholic floats and even a little Hanky Panky. Here’s a roundup of the tastiest summer cocktails in town.

1886’s Strawberry Paleta: Strawberries and cream rum popsicle! Yes! An actual liquored-up ice cream bar by way of  -300F liquid nitrogen. So creamy and delectable. I made short work of this one, just pulled it out of the cup by its stick and had at it. How many licks did it take to finish it? I’ll never tell. The booze doesn’t come on too strong flavorwise but you’ll definitely feel its effects. This is just the first of 1886’s rotating summer paleta “pop shots”! Can’t wait to see what other flavors they come up with. [Summer cocktail menu]

Drago Centro's Summer Dalliance by Caroline on Crack

Drago Centro’s Summer Dalliance

Drago Centro’s Summer Dalliance: Nolet’s Gin, St. George Absinthe, lemon, Crème De Violette, Bing cherries, prosecco. One of my faves off bartender Jaymee Mandeville’s new summer menu. This comes off like a dry sangria, full bodied and potent. Best enjoyed on the downtown restaurant’s outdoor patio. Comes equipped with Bing cherries to nibble on. [Summer cocktail menu]

Library Bar's Hanky Panky by Caroline on Crack

Library Bar’s Hanky Panky

Library Bar‘s Hanky Panky: No. 209 Gin, Aperol, lovage, page mandarins, lime juice, agave and ghost pepper salt. Bartender Matthew Biancaniello doesn’t have a specialty cocktail menu at his bar in the Hollywood Roosevelt but that doesn’t stop him from constantly creating new drinks. If you can find him behind the forest of fresh produce atop his bar, ask for this spicy little number. It’ll make your tongue and lips tingle.

Sadie's Alcoholic Floats by Caroline on Crack

Sadie’s Sassy Floats

Sadie's Green Chartreuse and Bubble Up Float by Caroline on Crack

Green Chartreuse & Bubble Up Float

Sadie’s Sassy Floats: When bartender Giovanni Martinez first came up with these floats, they were boozy. He started out with a Campari and Peychauds ice cream float but then wanted to make them kid-friendly so switched to San Bitter soda. Which is just as well since cooking out the alcohol makes the ice cream set better. Regardless of being alcohol free, these floats are a fun way to cool down. Take your pick of the Peychauds and Sanbitters, the refreshing Fernet Mint Chip with Mexican Coke and the Green Chartreuse ice cream with Bubble Up. Heads-up: If you’re looking to try the floats this weekend, you’re out of luck as they’re put on hold til the restaurant gets a new machine, which is hopefully soon.

Neat’s Smoke Over Sencha isn’t on any specialty cocktail menu but bartender Cari Hah created it especially for summer. You can order it from her when she’s behind the stick, which is usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays, as she brews the tea at home and brings it in. That is when she’s not on the Lil Twisted Sangrita Tour around town with partner in crime Jaymee (of Drago Centro). They’ll be doing up their special sangritas at Sadie on July 10 and Formosa Cafe on July 17.

Smoke Over Sencha
By Cari Hah, Neat

  • 3 oz fresh brewed Sencha Green tea (brew from loose leaves for optimal flavor)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz honey syrup
  • 1.5 oz Hakushu Whisky
  • Mint Sprig garnish

Instructions: Build in a shaker, shake with ice, strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass.

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