It's that time of year when no one wants to admit that it's too hot to sit on a patio and drink all day. Enter the drinks of summer.
Slider Inn has an amazing patio — now with misters — and the absolute best way to enjoy it is with a Jameson Slushie (or two). The slushie consists of Barritt's Ginger Beer, house-made lemonade, delicious Jameson Irish Whiskey, and bitters. Depending on the glass situation, it either gets served in a branded Mason jar or a pint glass. (The latter is obviously the better deal.) At $9 a pop, Slider is selling upwards of 300 each week — the hotter the weather, the higher the sales. They are very drinkable, probably too drinkable. I can't imagine summer without them. I won't!
The newly opened Mac's Burgers, which is out east in part of the former Dan McGuinness, is also selling freshly squeezed frozen lemonades — some with alcohol, some without. The virgin options include blueberry, strawberry, mango, peach, pomegranate, and pineapple — all made with freshly puréed fruit. Their spiked varieties ($8 to $11) include a Jameson Slush (sounds familiar!), Arnold Palmer Freeze (Tito's Vodka, lemonade, and iced tea), and Frozen Bellinis (peach lemonade with an inverted champagne split).
Staying cool downtown requires a boozy milkshake. Oshi has six to choose from, and they are also available without alcohol, but where's the fun in that? Even the most lactose intolerant would be foolish to pass up the Kentucky Head Hunter. It's made with bourbon, apple brandy, vanilla ice cream, and bacon dust. Yes, bacon dust! It mostly tastes like frosty bourbon, which is awesome if you consider how much bourbon it takes to outshine the ice cream. Other popular shakes are the Malt Shoppe (vanilla ice cream, malted milk balls, bourbon) and the Godzilla (crème de menthe, Godiva white chocolate, vanilla ice cream, Oreo pieces). They're $10 a pop, $6 without booze.
Beer drinkers need not feel left out. Hammer & Ale is serving beer floats ($6). Genius, right? There's only one flavor of ice cream — vanilla — but the choice of beer is up to you. (There are 24 to choose from, however, a dark or a sweet beer is recommended.) So far the most popular picks are the Gotta Get Up To Get Down Coffee Milk Stout from Wiseacre and the Illusive Traveler Grapefruit Shandy. Now that they serve food, you could have a beer float for dessert or just have one as a treat between regular beers. (Mexican soda and ginger beer are also available for teetotalers.)
And because we need a different kind of buzz on occasion, City & State is now offering house-made carbonated coffee sodas. Say it with me: coffee soda. The first, the Hampliner, is a carbonated iced coffee with pomegranate syrup, fresh lime, and maraschino cherries to top it off ($4.75). The second, the Purist, is carbonated iced coffee with simple syrup, lime juice, and lime slice for garnish ($4). The Hampliner is rich but not too sweet. It feels decadent, which is what summer is all about. Beware, the Purist may give you a grown-up feeling since you'll pat yourself on the back for being so smart and ordering it.