Fruity cocktails, iced coffees, and more spritzes than we could ever hope to get through: it’s summer in Dublin alright, and keeping up with all the additions to the city’s drinks menus ain’t easy. Here’s our guide to the best ones to try while the sun’s still shining....
All The Spritz, Three Storey
With one of their titular floors given over wholly to a café bar and spritzeria, you know the good folks at Three Storey are taking summer drinking very seriously. It’s a largely fresh and fruity affair, suitably enough, with lots of peach, pineapple, rhubarb and strawberry taking up menu space alongside (of course) the Campari and Aperol classics.
Strawberry Bellini, Overends Kitchen
A strawberry Bellini sounds suspiciously like a Rossini to us, but to be fair that doesn’t make it sound any less delicious. Overends Kitchen might be expecting their weekend brunch punters to be more au fait with the classic peach cocktail: either way, this sounds like a great way to hero the high-quality Irish strawberries springing into season this summer.
Bloody Mary, Seafood Café
Though its typical hair-of-the-dog outing on brunch menus across the city tends to get it thought of as more a morning drink, the Bloody Mary is a classic all-day summer choice with its savoury hot sauce kick delivering a delicious pairing to the heat. We’re glad to see The Seafood Café is onside too, pairing this tomato juice concoction with their early evening oyster happy hour.
Loftus Lane, Bar 1661
There aren’t many spots in the city as good for sipping cocktails in the sun as the outdoor terrace of Bar 1661. This D7 diamond has plenty of summery choices on its broad menu, but it’s the Lavender Lane we’ve got eyes, for with its cooling combo of cream-washed Dingle vodka, summer stone fruits and milk soda.
Messina Spritz, Osteria Lucio
Known for a menu of classic Italian done well with a twist, it’s no major surprise to see Osteria Lucio shake up the timeless Aperol spritz with an addition of orange juice, grapefruit and delicate violette. That it’s named for the Sicilian town of Messina is a pretty good hint that we’re talking very, very, very good quality oranges here too.
New Orleans, Hatch Coffee
Never fear, a non-alcoholic option is here! Summer isn’t just about deliciously refreshing cocktails, and we’ve seen plenty of inventive iced teas and coffees starting to appear across the city in recent weeks. Few look or sound as good as Hatch Coffee’s New Orleans, with notes of roasted chicory in its cold brew coffee paired with simple syrup and a perfectly picturesque splash of milk.
Just The Spot, Drury Buildings
It’s not easy singling out just one from Drury Buildings’ brand new menu of very summery cocktails, carefully made and tested by bar staff in the run-up to June, but this intriguing Green Spot and Riesling combo just about edges out the competition with added ginger, pear, and lemon. There are plenty more we’re keen to try out too so might be best to book in for the full night - just for research purposes, of course.
Grapefruit Espresso Tonic, Two Boys Brew
There’s something deeply satisfying about watching the swirling clouds of coffee dive deeper into the bright base of red grapefruit in this cooler from Two Boys Brew - if it’s half as good to taste as to look at, you know you’re in for a treat. Not sold on this adventurous flavour pairing? Not to fret, the D7 café has plenty of iced coffee and iced chai too.
White Port & Tonic, Volpe Nera
Smooth, simple, elegant: sometimes just two ingredients working together is all you need. Volpe Nera are bringing a touch of midsummer class to Blackrock and surrounds by breaking out the all too often unsung white port and tonic for the classic Portugese aperitif - a perfect pre-dinner refreshment. And mid-dinner. And after-dinner. And…
Lemon Verbena Coffee Tonic, Glovebox
The delicate sprig of lemon verbena poking out of Glovebox’s coffee tonic makes it so pretty it should be a crime to drink it - though at the same time it sounds so good it might be worth getting arrested. Cold brew infused with that same verbena gets topped up with vodka, dark rum, soda, and tonic for a moody, broody cocktail that looks the part.
Lavender Latté, The Cake Café
Everything always looks great at The Cake Café, but this lovely lavender latte is especially picture-perfect. We wouldn’t need to think twice about passing a slow summer morning enjoying this and a slice or two of cake in their beautiful open courtyard space - heck, give us a good book and that might easily turn into the whole day.
Limoncello Spritzer, Oliveto
How many spritzes is too many? We’ve not yet lived through a summer long enough to find out. The next to make our list is Oliveto’s current special, mixing fresh limoncello and tangy grapefruit liqueur for a balanced refreshing sour-sweet pairing. We believe it would taste even better if you can snag one of their outdoor terrace dining tables.
Margarita Picante, The Big Romance
Throw a rock in Dublin at this time of year (please don’t actually) and odds are you’ll hit a margarita - coming across a really good one, alas, can be a whole ‘nother story. The Big Romance have got this situation covered with this spicy mix, taking its heat from a gorgeous chili liqueur perfectly balanced out by quality Corazon tequila, syrup and lime.
Orange & Rose Geranium Negroni, Allta
Negronis seem almost as ubiquitous across the city right now as margaritas and spritzes (trust us, that’s not a complaint), but we’ve not seen anything as head-turning as Allta’s take on the classic. They’ve gone for a twist on the white variety with house vermouth, Suze, Lillet Blanc, and an orange and rose sherbet. No wonder it’s fast becoming a house favourite.
That's My Jam, Note
New-ish kid on the block Note isn’t messing around when it comes to celebrating its first summer on the scene. They’ve rolled out a whole mini-menu of seasonal cocktails to enjoy on their Fenian Street terrace and they all look right up our street. Our choice is the "It takes two to mango" with tequila, habanero and ancho chillis, agave and lime, and with plenty of variety and great non-alcoholic options, this one is a great cocktail stop for a group.