Refreshing new summer drinks


Summer comes with its standard beverage list: mint juleps, gin and tonics, lemonade.

But if this week's weather is any indication, this season's going to be a scorcher. You're going to want as may icy sippers as possible on your hydration radar.

Here are five of our favorite new summer beverages to put on your To Drink list: (Bonus: All the restaurants have great patio seats!)

1. Urban Eatery's Uptown Girl Here's what all in-the-know ladies--and hopefully fellas--know to sip on the Urban Eatery's patio: the Uptown Girl. The blush-pink cocktail mixes Hendrick's gin and fruit-flavored X-Rated vodka with cucumber and mint. When you finish your drink, eat the veggie garnish and skip across the street for a dip in Lake Calhoun.

2. Sopranos' Lemon-Basil Spritzer Sopranos has a nice cocktail list, but what really sets the bar apart from others in the area is the attention it devotes to nonalcoholic sippers. The house-charged seltzer is extra fizzy and livens up a blend of sweet lemonade and muddled fresh basil leaves.

3. Hola Arepa's Hibiscus/Strawberry Tea Sometimes, when the air is hot and humid, the overly sweet seems too sticky. That's when you go for the Hibiscus/Strawberry tea at one of our newest food trucks, Hola Arepa. The bright red beverage has a fruity, floral, flavor and contains an ice cube practically the size of a baseball!

The Crack Press at Bread & Pickle, with a side of lakefront.
The Crack Press at Bread & Pickle, with a side of lakefront.

4. Bread & Pickle's Crack Press This popular Barbette staple has found its way to Lake Harriet when restaurateur Kim Bartmann recently launched Bread & Pickle in the bandshell's concessions. The mix of superstrong cold press coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and plenty of ice cubes is served in compostable cups.

5. Masu's Rano Pano In this week's Dish review, the Rano Pano--a beguiling blend of gin and spicy pickled watermelon juice--was named the frontrunner for the Official Summer Drink of 2011 and will hopefully inspire more bartenders to work vinegar into their drinks. Good luck trying to unseat it!

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