While strong bourbon drinks or boozy rye sippers might be great choices 10 months out of the year, summer is all about light, refreshing cocktails — even better if you can drink them on the patio. Here are five New York City spots to hit this summer where you’ll enjoy your libations outside.
Get to Greg Seider’s Alphabet City cocktail bar early to grab a seat on the enclosed patio. From there, start drinking your way down the list. For an unusual yet refreshing tipple, we suggest starting with Ground to Glass, made with tequila, red bell pepper puree, cucumber and lime. 133 Avenue C; no phone; thesummitbar.net
This spacious bar and restaurant tucked into the Gowanus section of Brooklyn mixes up some mean cocktails and its Side by Side is the perfect summer sipper. It’s made with the borough’s own Greenhook Ginsmith, grapefruit and prosecco. What’s even better? You can sip it on the roomy back deck and patio that has ample seating. 383 Carroll St., Brooklyn; 347-799-2154; lavenderlake.com
It’s worth trekking out to the East River and Riverpark (from Tom Colicchio’s restaurant group) simply for the water views from the garden plaza. Even if you stop in just for cocktails — the Sour Prick made with pisco, blackberries, lavender, kalamansi lime, egg white and prosecco is a summer winner — don’t be surprised if you end up staying for dinner. (Yes, the menu is that enticing.) 450 E. 29th St.; 212-729-9790; riverparknyc.com
It’s hard to say what’s the bigger draw at this Williasmburg cocktail bar: the innovative menu or the gorgeous back patio. If you go with the Fuente de Vida — a refreshing drink that showcases the creativity behind the bar with its mix of Aquavit, St. Germain, peach nectar and lemon — you’ll likely be swayed to the menu side of the equation. 588 Grand St., Brooklyn; 718-218-8555; huckleberrybar.com
This classy New Orleans-style oyster bar and seafood restaurant in Williasmburg has an enclosed back garden that could only be called magical; with lights twinkling overhead on a warm summer night, there’s simply nowhere finer. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy any number of its concktails including the Grand Prix Redux, with rosé, marjoram-infused Lillet Blanc, creme de fraise and framboise; Maison Spring Pimm’s Cup, with ginger and a strawberry-fennel shrub; or any of their juleps. 298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn; 347-335-0446; maisonpremiere.com