Standout Summer Cocktails
by hilary weissman
Jose Andrés’s Jaleo, where you can find endless versions of the classic gin and tonic.
Cuba Libre Restaurant
Savor the Latin spice of a strong and flavorful caipirinha at Cuba Libre’s “Caippy Hour,” featuring the Brazilian drink made with fermented sugar cane rum and lime. Stop by after work and stay late to dance the night away—the restaurant’s resident DJs spin authentic merengue, salsa, and bachata music with live percussion. 801 Ninth St. NW, 202-408- 1600
Head to bustling Penn Quarter to indulge in Proof’s “War of the Rosés,” a summer special lasting through Labor Day that features a long list of premium labels for $35 a bottle, exclusively on the outdoor patio and in the bar and lounge. Wine director Sebastian Zutant favors the 2011 Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina, from the Basque region of Spain. 775 G St. NW, 202-737-7663
If Prosecco is your go-to summertime drink, try the hot spot’s original French 701. Made with Chambord vodka, lemon, and Prosecco, it is a perfectly light and refreshing libation to enjoy on the gorgeous outdoor patio. 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-393-0701
Ping Pong Dim Sum
Dupont’s Ping Pong Dim Sum is known as one of the city’s best happy hour spots thanks to its inventive specialty cocktails. Our favorite is the Lychee Rose Martini, made with lychee liqueur and juice, rose petal syrup, and gin. 1 Dupont Circle NW, 202-293- 1268
Italian cocktails are the focus at Roberto Donna’s latest ristorante. One of the eatery’s standout libations is the Tempesta: white rum, Chinotto soda, Velvet Falernum, and lime, a zesty cocktail from the establishment’s consulting mixologist (and Wall Street Journal columnist) Eric Felten, author of How’s Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well. 3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, 202-244-2223
This lounge offers classes and tastings under owner Erik Holzherr, the man behind the Fruit Bat and its upstairs speakeasy, Church & State. Here his newest recipe—what he calls “the ultimate start of the summer gin cocktail”— includes organic lavender-infused BlueCoat Gin and half a grapefruit, agave-maple nectar, and Aperol. 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 202-543-2323
Pucker up for Station 4’s signature, logo-inspired Red Lips Martini, equally sweet and tart with rye whiskey and homemade raspberry syrup. Looking for a more effervescent drink to lift your spirits? Try the aptly named Pink Bubbles cocktail, an original creation made with a purée of cherries. 1101 Fourth St. SW, 202-488- 0987
Shrubs, or sweetened vinegarbased beverages, were first created to preserve fruit before canning and refrigeration. Bartender Melanie Hunter favors a summer shrub of fruit, vinegar, and sugar, topped with soda water and including a complementary liquor. Stop by Blackbyrd on Wednesdays to enjoy flavor combinations such as clementine, ghost pepper, and basil, or strawberry with Meyer lemon. 2005 14th St. NW, 202-747-2377
José Andrés’s favorite summer drink is the classic gin and tonic, and at Jaleo, you can find an assortment of diverse versions. He recommends a Vegetal G&T, made with Death’s Door Gin and Fentimans tonic, adorned with kumquat and radish wheels, a lime peel, fennel frond, and seeds of the cubeb pepper. 480 Seventh St. NW, 202-628-7949
Among the best cocktails here are the Padrón Margarita (made with Spanish-pepper-infused tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice) and the Catalan Cava Cocktail, a mixture of Campari, orange juice, artisanal Ya Cuvee 23 Cava (or Spanish sparkling wine), and Perucchi sweet vermouth. 1837 M St. NW, 202-558-9545
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.