Summer officially begins tomorrow, and as Miami temperatures soar into the 90s, locals struggle to beat the heat.
As the sun grows stronger, the cocktails get lighter. Boozy Manhattans and old-fashioneds give way to fizzy gin and tonics and tall glasses of fresh juices and craft spirits.
Miami's bartenders have created wonderfully refreshing elixirs for the steamy weather. From boozy lemonades to tropical tiki vibes, these five libations will keep you cool all season.
1. Jasmine's Margarita at the SLS Hotel South Beach. The margarita is a classic summer drink with a sweet-tart combination that quenches your thirst. The SLS serves a ruby-red version, Jasmine's margarita ($14). This sultry riff on the tequila classic combines Don Julio Silver tequila with pomegranate purée and adds a Tajín rim. 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-1701; slshotels.com.
2. Don't Sleep on Me 2.0 at the Wilder. The boudoir-style lounge recently debuted a seasonal menu, and the Don't Sleep on Me 2.0 is a summer requirement. Imagine your favorite bubble tea enlivened with rum, vanilla liqueur, and lemon syrup and poured into a nostalgic tiki glass ($14). 701 E. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-523-4050; intothewilder.com.
3. Limonata Fresca at Palat. Buena Vista's latest eatery is serving up Mediterranean fare and piquant sips. Try the Limonata Fresca ($10). Basically an upscale take on spiked lemonade, this refreshing beverage is a tangy medley of vodka, fresh lemon, and cucumber. 4702 NE Second Ave, Miami; 786-953-7577; palatmiami.com
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4. Lucky Number Three at No. 3 Social. In the heart of Wynwood, No. 3 Social sits pretty with vibrant cocktails and rooftop ambiance. For $14, enjoy a Lucky Number Three, a bourbon cocktail with tart kumquat, egg white, basil, and a touch of agave syrup. 50 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-748-4540; threewynwood.com.
5. Cucuzaki at Drunken Dragon. Most summer cocktails sit on the sugary side of the taste spectrum, but the Cucuzaki is crisp, floral, and tangy. An inspired blend of saki, Bombay gin, elderflower, and yuzu hit all of your tastebuds. The cucumber garnish might make you think you're at a posh afternoon affair in England. You'd be half right, because this cocktail is truly suitable for royalty ($15). 1424 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-397-8556; drunkendragon.com.