When the weather heats up, there’s just one way to keep your cool: with the help of an ice-cold cocktail. From the tried and true to the new and noteworthy, here are the cocktails we’ll be sipping on all summer long:

The Bourbon Bramble and Elderflower Sour at The Crunkleton

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Both crafted by Gary Crunkleton, these two cocktails should be on your order short list, especially if it’s your first visit to this Elizabeth restaurant and cocktail bar. Bourbon Bramble: High Proof Bourbon, Orange Blossom, Marasca Cherry Paste, Fresh Squeezed Lemon. Elderflower Sour: London Dry Gin, Ginger, Elderflower, Fresh Squeezed Lime.

Negroni cocktails at Aria Tuscan Grill 

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Negroni’s creation in Florence, Italy with Aria Tuscan Grill’s takes on the classic, including creations from local mixologist Bob Peters. Numerous options for imbibing include:

  • Vintage Negroni with Barolo Chinato, London Dry Gin, Campari, Orange Bitters, and Del Professore Vermouth Rosso (pictured)
  • Dalla Famiglia with Grappa, Cynar Artichoke Liquor, Bera Brachetto d’Acqui, and Contratto Bianco Vermouth
  • Boulevardie with Basil Hayden Bourbon Whiskey, Campari, and Del Professore Vermouth Rosso

The El Tigre and Swiss Cartel at Sophia’s Lounge

Ready to escape the heat? At the cozy and refined Sophia’s Lounge, you’ll find the El Tigre featuring blanco tequila, basil, St. Germaine, aperol and grapefruit juice.

Sophia’s Lounge is also where you’ll find the Swiss Cartel, made with tequila, mezcal and sweet vermouth.

The Velvet Slipper at Merchant & Trade

Soak in all of the rooftop views and vibes with a Velvet Slipper cocktail in hand. It’s crafted with Titos Vodka, Domaine de Canton, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, blueberry, lemon and hibiscus saline.

Carolina 75 and Blackberry Crush at WP Kitchen + Bar

This go-to in Phillips Place offers their twist on a classic with the Carolina 75, featuring Ban Vodka, St. Germain, Prosecco and lemon. 

Another favorite: The Blackberry Crush made with Ban Vodka, blackberry, lemon and mint. Don’t miss $6 seasonal cocktails on Thursdays and half off martinis on Wednesdays.

The Petal to the Metal and 75 & Sunny at 5Church

5Church’s light and refreshing Petal to the Metal cocktail features grapefruit and rose vodka, grapefruit, citrus and rose water.

Another option for summer sipping, the 75 & Sunny combines Beefeater Gin, St. Germaine, egg white, lemon and simple syrup.

The Kitchen Sink and Sunset Mindset at Fahrenheit Charlotte

The Kitchen Sink mule is a refreshing take on the classic with mixed berry infused vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, lemon bitters and Fever-Tree ginger beer.

Another summertime favorite, the Sunset Mindset features Muddy River White Rum, Queen Charlotte Aged Rum, Domaine de Canton, lime juice, watermelon juice and tiki bitters. Best enjoyed while watching the sun go down from Fahrenheit’s rooftop.

The Upstream Old Fashioned at Upstream Seafood

In addition to an all-new seasonal cocktail menu, Upstream’s Old Fashioned is sure to hit the spot with Suntory Toki Japanese Whiskey, orange bitters, a sugar cube and the perfect amount of soda. Don’t miss their $8 specialty cocktails each Wednesday.

The Stanleyville at The Stanley

Photograph by Peter Taylor

A nod to the historic neighborhood name, the Stanleyville cocktail is a blend of Evan Williams Bonded Bourbon, Old Overholt Rye, spiced cherry and angostura Bitters.

The Violet Beauregard at Angeline’s Charlotte

We love a drink that’s equally delicious and beautiful. Angeline’s Violet Beauregard features Plantation Original Dark Rum, blueberry, cinnamon Demerara, lemon and orchid.

The Kitty Burke at Fran’s Filling Station

Fran’s, a neighborhood favorite, serves The Kitty Burke: muddled orange, mint and cucumber mixed with Hendricks gin and simple syrup.

The Summer Gin at Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo

Prefer your spirits with a skyline view? Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo’s Summer Gin is made with Uncle Val’s Gin, fresh lime juice, pinch cracked pepper, Fever-Tree elderflower tonic, rosemary and peach.

The 1952 Manhattan at Mimosa Grill

Pair true farm-to-table fare at Uptown’s Mimosa Grill with a 1952 Manhattan made with Knob Creek Kentucky Bourbon, cynar italian amaro, carpano antica formula vermouth and old fashioned bitters.

The Wild Berry Mojito at Harper’s SouthPark and Carolina Place

Both Harper’s locations serve this delicious combination of Cruzan black cherry rum, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, prosecco and fresh mint.

Cucumber-Basil Martini at Civetta

Enjoy classic and fresh takes on Italian fare, plus Civetta’s Cucumber-Basil Martini made with Social House vodka, cucumber, basil and lime.

Moletto Grappa di Barbera Martini at Bar Marcel 

Have you made a visit to this SouthPark newcomer? Consider this description of the Moletto Grappa di Barbera Martini your formal invitation: Moleta grappa di barbera, St. Germain, Campari, fresh orange and house-made candied apricot.

The Blue Hand Cuke and $8 Sangria Wednesdays at Dilworth Tasting Room

Enjoy the serene garden patio with a new summer cocktail in hand. New to the menu: Blue Hand Cuke, Le Mexique and Just Until Sunrise.

Out for a hump day drink? Dilworth Tasting Room’s sangrias are just $8 on Wednesdays. The red sangria features cinnamon-infused honey with fresh cranberry and rosé, while the white sangria includes moscato, Grey Goose orange and melon vodka, fresh cranberry juice marinated with apples, strawberries, red grapes and blueberries, topped with sparkling water and garnished with berries and mint.

The Basil Don’t Snap at Pea at Good Food on Montford

New to the menu, the Basil Don’t Snap at Pea features Sutlers Gin, basil, pea, lillet blanc and aqua faba.

The Pineapple and Spice beer cocktail at Protagonist Clubhouse

This one’s for the beer lovers. The Pineapple and Spice beer cocktail is the right balance of sweet and spice with lager, spiced hibiscus syrup, pineapple juice and ginger bitters, garnished with a pineapple slice. 

The Proper Gin & Tonic and Sangria Blanca at Bulla Gastrobar

This tapas-style restaurant isn’t just serving up classic Spanish dishes. They’ve got classic cocktails, too. Opt for the Proper Gin & Tonic with Beefeater 24 gin, lemon peel, lime wheel, star anise and Fever-Tree tonic water.

Bulla’s Sangria Blanca, or “White Sangria” is a refreshing mix of Cava, peach schnapps, triple sec, strawberries and blueberries.

The Little Oaxaca and house margarita at Paco’s Tacos & Tequila

The Little Oaxaca is a mix of Woodford Reserve bourbon, Vida mezcal, cinnamon syrup, orange and a dash of bitters. Not ready to branch out? You can’t go wrong with Paco’s classic house margarita.