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Food + Drink

Summer’s Wildest Cocktails

The summer is seriously heating up — and there’s no better way to cool down than to throw back some booze. But this season, the cocktail game has upped its ante. Here are 10 crazy drinks to try now.

See recent posts by April Ellis

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Mad Hatter’s Tipsy Evening Tea

Ok, so this may not actually be Alice’s Wonderland, but it comes pretty damn close. In the charming courtyard at the Sanderson Hotel in London, you’ll be served a flight of inventive cocktails, Pimms-infused “potions” and alcoholic cakes. Sip pomegranate and basil G&Ts, lychee martinis and juniper cosmos, before noshing on savory snacks like Cornish crab and herb eclairs, cheddar and cumin seed scones, plus scottish smoked salmon with quail egg and caviar scotch egg. Or if you have more of a sweet tooth, try the whimsical desserts (the red velvet vodka ladybird and the white rabbit’s chocolate-coffee macarons are our favorites).

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We couldn’t think of anything better on a hot August day than a spiked slushy. The frozen rosé concoction was born at Kelly Fields’ New Orleans restaurant/bakery/bar Willa Jean and now is so popular that it has its own day, Frosé Fridays. She’s also created a Beyoncé-inspired frozen lemonade with Cathead honeysuckle vodka, and she hinted a future Pinot Freezio could be in the works.

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Rosé Gummy Bears

New York City-based candy company Sugarfina has the world in an uproar over its new rosé-flavored gummies. The Yes Way Rosé collection includes light pink Rosé All Day Gummy Bears as well as rose-shaped (as in the flower) sweets that are infused with Whispering Angel Rosé. The tipsy treat is so popular, there’s already a 12,000-person waitlist!

RELATED: 24 Fruity Cocktails for the Summer

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Coffee Cocktails

These caffeinated cocktails will give you a buzz in more ways than one. Check it out first-hand at Kobrick, a pint-sized Italian cafe that opened in NYC’s Meatpacking District earlier this year. We love the Mexican Jumping Bean, a frothy blend of reposado tequila, flavored liqueurs and a shot of ristretto espresso as well as the Just Past First Crack (pictured above), which is made of chartreuse, dry vermouth, lime juice and Indian Monsooned Malabar beans to give it a nutty, spicy flavor.

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Iced Champagne

Popping the bubbly just got cooler than ever. Champagne on the rocks has been around for ages — especially in the south of France where it’s called “La Piscine” (French for pool) — but it wasn’t until Moët & Chandon released its new Ice Impérial label that it gained international attention. The classy-turned-casual drink has a crisp taste with fruity hints of raspberry, nectarine and mango. Bottoms up!

RELATED: How to Make the Perfect Summer Cocktail

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Negroni Slushy

When bar manager Charlie Schott bought his old-fashioned slushy machine on eBay, he wasn’t expecting it to start a nationwide trend. But after experimenting with ingredients, he formed the perfect iced negroni from Letherbee gin, Luxardo Bitter, sweet vermouth and citrus juice — now a star item on the drink menu at Parson’s Chicken & Fish in Chicago’s Logan Square. Pull up a stool at the retro bar and sip one, or on sunny days, sit at a picnic table on the patio, which is covered in twinkling lights and cute red and white striped umbrellas.

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HK Skyline

A sundowner served at the world’s highest bar? What could be crazier than that! On the 118th floor of The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, mixologist Miguel Fernandez crafted a new cocktail inspired by OZONE’s sweeping city views. The HK Skyline is made with Zacapa 23 Years, pink grapefruit juice, lime, Imperial Oolong Syrup and absinthe, which is poured into a martini glass and topped with Dom Pérignon foam.

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Spicy Lychee Slushy

This kicked-up cocktail at Momofuku Noodle Bar has all of New York City talking. The secret ingredients are quite simple: white wine and the tart Chinese fruit, lychee. Pair it with crowd-favorite dishes like the shrimp buns, which are loaded with pickled red onion, iceberg lettuce and spicy mayo, or the chilled spicy noodles with Sichuan sausage, Thai basil and cashews.

RELATED: The World's Best Cocktail-Dessert Bars

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Pusser’s Painkiller

Picture this: a strip of soft white sand with a rum-filled drink in hand. In St. Thomas, the Pusser’s Painkiller, a mix of dark rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, orange juice and ground nutmeg, is the signature tipple at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. While it originated at the tiny, six-seat Soggy Dollar Bar, it’s so popular that it’s now served in all the resort’s restaurants. But if you ask us, the best place to sip it is by the beach.

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Basil Watermelon Shandy

There’s nothing more summery than a picnic — especially when there’s booze involved. The Lotte New York Palace is packing its baskets with seasonal goodies (turkey avocado wraps, fresh fruit and assorted eclairs), but let’s be real, it’s all about the a-a-alcohol. And the basil watermelon shandy that comes with the package may be the most refreshing drink you have all season.

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