It’s officially summer and it looks like the warm weather is here to stay. What better way to cool down than with a tasty and unique summer drink?
Ann Arbor is full of crafty bartenders and drink connoisseurs making delicious drinks that go down easy on a hot summer day. So we rounded up some of our most anticipated chilly beverages in the area—from booze-filled cocktails and refreshing beers to coffee drinks and mocktail creations. No matter what you’re interested in drinking this season, there’s something for you on this list. Cheers!
Strawberry-Basil Lemonade Mocktail — Black Pearl
Photo courtesy of Black Pearl
Contrary to popular belief, a summer drink doesn’t have to be alcoholic to be refreshing! Case in point: Black Pearl’s Strawberry-Basil Lemonade Mocktail, a frozen treat that anyone can enjoy. You can get this one at the bar or add it to your carryout order. And, because it also acts as a perfect mixer, you can always add your favorite spirit to it when you get home.
We don’t know about you, but when it comes to finding the perfect summer beer, we’re looking for something light and refreshing. And in the Ann Arbor area, the first one that comes to mind is Original Gravity’s Spincast, a beautifully clean and crisp cream ale perfect for easy drinking. Stop by and grab a pint or two! They are now open for patio dining and drinking.
A Cucumber Melon — Alley Bar
In our opinion, there isn’t anything more refreshing on a hot day than some cucumber water. There’s just something about the light sweetness and bright taste—it’s cooling us off just thinking about it! So when the Alley Bar came up with a Cucumber Melon signature cocktail, we knew we had to put it on the list. Van Gogh melon vodka, cucumber and lime? Count us in!
Photo courtesy of Cultivate Coffee & Taphouse
Coffee and lemonade may not seem like they go together, but the master mixture from Cultivate Coffee is here to change your mind! This refreshing drink is a Ypsi summer favorite, combining Cultivate’s fresh brewed coffee and house-made lemonade together to create a caffeine-packed cooler that we are already dying to get our hands on.
Hard seltzer is all the rage these days and Haymaker Public House is definitely giving the public what they want. This summer, they’ll have Short’s Brewing’s Beaches Tropical Hard Seltzer—which is basically vacation in a glass—on tap! Stop in and enjoy a glass in the restaurant or pick up a growler to go.
Photo courtesy of Bløm Meadworks
A summer favorite, Bløm Meadworks’ Rhubarb Mead is back and better than ever! This clean, minerally, tart and off-dry mead is gluten-free and has an ABV of 5.2%. Plus, it’s packed full of fresh rhubarb from a small grower in Leelanau. Get this refreshing summer brew in cans, growlers and howlers straight from the meadery itself or from your local grocer or wine store.
Jolly Pumpkin is an Ann Arbor area staple, creating incredible brews all year long, from hearty pumpkin ales in the fall to light, easy-to-drink sours in the summer. This year, we’re excited to spend the season sipping on Cerveza Cerena 4 Dayza, a wild Saison with cherry and lime. This unique beer was crafted last summer and was a complete hit with locals. So if you haven’t tried it yet, now’s your chance!
Ann Arbor Distilling Company is one of the most popular destinations in A2 for good booze and great cocktails. This month, they’ve introduced a few new summer drinks, but our favorite has to be The French Drop! This citrus heaven includes barrel-aged Arbor Fall Gin, house absinthe, blueberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, pineapple juice and a dehydrated citrus garnish. Don’t feel like hitting the bar just yet? They are also offering The French Drop as a cocktail kit that you can take home and make for yourself!
Photo courtesy of Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer
Dedicated to health, unity and community, this Ypsilanti favorite serves up kombucha tea and kombucha beer all year long. This summer, we recommend you pick up a growler of their Funky Ginger Kombucha Beer, a spicy, funky, earthy creation with a strong ginger and boozy kick. We can imagine drinking this one while lounging on a beach, by the pool… or in our backyards with the sprinklers on. But no matter how you enjoy it this season, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re looking for the perfect accompaniment to your tacos on #TacoTuesday, there’s nothing better than Tios Mexican Cafe’s frozen margaritas. This summer, we plan on enjoying their refreshing mango flavor every week, and you can too! While they aren’t open for dine-in service yet, you can still get their famous margaritas delivered right to your door.
The Last Word is known for their inventive and delicious craft cocktails, so it’s no surprise that they’ve concocted the most summery cocktail of them all! The Sweet Talker is comprised of Mammoth Distilling vodka, fresh lime, and strawberry mint syrup, topped with kombucha and a bright green sprig of mint.
Photo courtesy of HOMES Brewery
Pink beer? Yes, please! HOMES Brewery’s Guava Sherbet Lactose Sour is back on tap. This kettle sour was brewed with milk, sugar and aged on guava, provides a sweet aroma, a smooth body and an incredibly crisp finish. The taste alone is enough for us to keep coming back to get our growler filled, but it’s the bright melon color that makes this Instagram-worthy brew something really special.
What will you sip on this summer?
Do you have a favorite local summer drink? Let us know in the comments!