Summer Cocktails Worth Trying

A few drinks we think you may enjoy

T.S.O.H. Mule – Trolley Square Oyster House

Like a drink that’s spicy yet refreshing? Yes, I realize that doesn’t make sense, but don’t knock it until you try it. With the T.S.O.H. Mule at Trolley Oyster House, you can build your own mule. My favorite is the Jalapeño Tequila with ginger beer and fresh lime.

— Matthew Loeb, Creative Director/Production Manager

Davie Jones’ Locker – Copperhead Saloon

Maybe it was the seafaring—or rather, sea-sinking—title that originally drew me to this house specialty cocktail at Copperhead Saloon, a refreshingly charming bar half-hidden away off Kennett Pike in Greenville. It’s the kind of place where Robert Louis Stevenson, Zelda Fitzgerald, Jesse James and Jane Austen could all sit down together and enjoy stimulating conversation, I’d like to believe. This particular cocktail is a rum-lemony blend, but there are others to choose from, too, featuring equally period-specific language like A Maiden’s Blush and Gallows Humor. The bar also includes classic cocktails categorized by pre-Prohibition, Prohibition and post-Prohibition styles. 

— Krista Connor, Senior Editor & Media Manager

Lavender Drop Top – House of William and Merry

Made with Grey Goose, Chambord, lavender honey, fresh lemon juice and lavender sugar rim, this is a refreshing, unique cocktail that is not too sweet or overpowering but has an unusual summer twist. With the appealing scent of lavender—often used to help bring on sleep—this beverage has a calming effect at the end of a long day.

— Julie Wenger, Out & About Contributor

The Classic Margarita – Cocina LoLo

I make this recommendation with cautious optimism. Right now Cocina LoLo is “closed for the summer but will reopen in September.” I hope that’s true, because their Classic Margarita is exactly what a margarita should be: Blue Agave Tequila (Gold tequila? Who wants that?), Cointreau and fresh-squeezed lime. No neon yellow or green nasty sour mix. Perfection. If you like tequila and a little kick, I also recommend the Hey Mamacita, served at LoLo’s sister restaurant, Merchant Bar (currently open). Jalapeño-infused tequila, Mezcal, lemon, fresh pineapple juice and vanilla. It’s the perfect balance of not-too-spicy or sweet.

— Marie Graham Poot, Out & About Contributor

Frozé (frozen rosé wine) – Constitution Yards

As a vino enthusiast, it’s sometimes challenging to find other offerings to gratify my grape-loving palate. In the heat of the summer, I usually enjoy a chilled dry rosé. Now, I’ve found my wine in the ultimate summertime form—as a frozen drink. This recent national trend has hit Wilmington’s Constitution Yards, where the bartenders make the concoction themselves and assured me “it’s really made with a rosé, not white zinfandel.” (White zinfandel is often a cloyingly sweet wine; rosés can be either sweet or dry.) The slushy, just-a-hint-of-sweet Frozé is perfect for hot nights along the river. But I warn you, it goes down easily. Cheers!

— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer

Basil Smash – Ubon Thai Cuisine

A local veteran in the restaurant industry recently shared with me a disturbing lament: the fear that bartending was in danger of becoming a lost art, and that newbies were relying too much on premade mixes for their drinks. That vet would be proud to meet Ty Naughton, Ubon’s young mixologist, who makes most of his drinks on the spot with fresh ingredients whenever possible. Other than the ingredients simple syrup and basil, Naughton’s recipe for the Basil Smash is a radical departure from the “traditional” version: replacing gin and lemon slices with Knob Creek Rye and lime—as well as adding bitters and a touch of St. Germaine.

— Jim Miller, Director of Publications

So, what do you think? Please comment below.