As they say, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, which lands us at the bar to find some satisfaction this summer.
At Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour in downtown Phoenix, you can freeze yourself from the inside out with the Perfect Martini, served at a shocking 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds impossible, but it’s no magic trick, just a secret ratio of spirit (either vodka or gin) to sweet vermouth, plus nano-filtered water for a cocktail that’s intended to stay perfectly undiluted and chilly while you drink. The Julius Freezer at Okra in Central Phoenix is another made-for-summer libation that turns a childhood favorite, the Orange Julius, into a boozy blend of orange juice, vodka, and spicy Ancho Reyes liqueur. Well-balanced with both spicy and sweet flavors, it’s almost enough to make you forget the weather altogether. At Crab & Mermaid in Scottsdale, mixologist Richie Moe offers his own perfect summer cocktail in the Elyx’n Vixen. Made with Absolut Elyx vodka, it combines watermelon, salt, bitter lemon soda, and mint for a cooling drink that’s refreshing but not too sweet. Then there’s the summertime standard, a mint-filled mojito, for which there’s no better destination than Rum Bar in downtown Phoenix.
Forgoing alcohol for a different drug of choice, there are plenty of options for cold caffeinated drinks at Valley coffee shops. Go straight and simple with a cup of cold brew at Cartel in Tempe, where the menu includes both the shop’s Black Market Cold Brew, a house brew that’s steeped for a full 24 hours, plus single-origin cold brews sure to make coffee nerds geek out over each bean’s unique flavor profile. Mama’s Cold Brew keeps things a little more basic: The organic cold brew is infused with a secret blend of spices and comes with a side of organic flavored creamer. You can pick up cutesy mason jars of both the coffee and creamer at Valley spots including Chestnut Fine Food and Provisions, Sorso Wine Room, and handful of farmers markets. The flavors of the creamer rotate to include anything from basic vanilla to rich Irish cream. And down in Chandler, Peixoto Coffee has introduced a seasonal summer coffee menu, which includes a coconut cold brew that combines house cold-brew coffee with coconut cream, condensed milk, and toasted coconut for a tropically-inspired treat. Finally, cold-brew coffee doesn’t get much more playful than with the cereal milk iced latte at Ocotillo restaurant’s O To-Go coffee bar. Here, the baristas infuse milk with classic cereals like Fruit Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, then use the sugary concoction to boost your latte with kid-friendly flavor.
But summer is beach season, after all, which means a healthier libation may be a better choice. At Juby True in Phoenix, you’ll find a selection of cold-pressed juices designed to keep you feeling fit and looking good, the best of which may be the Fountain of Youth, a hydrating blend of green apple, bell pepper, cucumber, and aloe. Kaleidoscope Juice also specializes in liquid goodness meant to help you, like, totally raise your vibrations, man. With outposts in downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Arcadia, you don’t have to travel far to pick up a 16-ounce Hot Yogi from any of the juice bar’s four locations. Whether you sweated it out on the mat or just walking to your car, this juice combines pineapple, wheatgrass, lemon, and coconut water to give your body back some much needed hydration. 24 Carrots in Tempe also knows how to do healthy right. The Cucumber Cooler makes an obvious choice during the hot months, when a blend of cucumber, celery, apple, lime, and parsley make this the perfect cooling beverage to deliver a boost of nutrients.
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Wine lovers, we have you covered, too. For a perfect summertime retreat, look no further than Kazimierz World Wine Bar in Old Town Scottsdale. Designed to look like an underground wine cellar, this cool vino-lover’s paradise offers more than 2,000 wines by the bottle as well a sizable selection by the glass and flights for those indecisive drinkers who just can’t resist trying them all. Chandler’s The Ostrich craft cocktail bar also keeps things cool with its location in the basement of the historic Crowne Plaza Phoenix hotel. With a menu of classic drinks and speakeasy style, this watering hole transports drinkers to a bygone — and perhaps cooler — time. And summertime retreats don’t get any more obvious that the aptly named Shady’s, a well-loved Central Phoenix dive bar that’s ever-filled with friendly regulars and an eclectic mix of song’s from the bar’s famous jukebox.