Summer Cocktails to Sip in Orlando
Orlando offers a lot to do, especially with so many new openings this summer, but sometimes it's nice to kick back with a cocktail and relax between adventures. From high-class martinis to tropical treats, here are some of our favorite summer cocktails to beat the heat in Orlando!
Summer Cocktails at Walt Disney World Resort
Your Orlando summer cocktail journey starts at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World Resort's expansive dining, shopping and entertainment district. (Travel tip: Admission and parking is always free!) One of Disney Springs' newest must-visits for cocktail-lovers is The Edison, where The Clock Strikes Orange is ready to ring in summer with a mix of Hendrick's Gin, Aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup and an absinthe wash.
Nearby, Paddlefish has a fresh take on a classic with Not Everyone's Margarita. Served in a glass rimmed with black salt and garnished with skewered blackberry and jalapeno, it combines Nuestra Sloedad Mezcal, tequila, Crème de Mure and ripe lemon sour.
Your next stop: a Caipirinha from Paradiso 37. This drink offers a refreshing blend of Cachaça, the famous Brazilian spirit, distilled from fermented sugarcane juice and muddled with lime wedges and sugar. It comes in four flavors, including classic, strawberry, pineapple and mango.
From there, visit the outdoor Stargazers Bar at Planet Hollywood for live music and a Cosmic Colada, featuring Malibu Coconut Rum, Jim Beam Kentucky Fire and coconut purée. Sweet and tropical, it's the perfect summer vacation concoction.
For a summer cocktail with an Irish twist, belly up to the bar at Raglan Road for P.J.'s Poison, named after Gunpowder Irish Gin founder P.J. Rigney. In addition to that libation, it features muddled orange, rhubarb bitters, lemon juice, orange whiskey marmalade and Fever Tree Tonic, served with an orange twist.
If you want to start your summer day with an icy Bloody Mary, Phins at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, which is close to Disney Springs, has truly memorable reimaginations of the brunchtime favorite. Dubbed Proud Marys, and created in conjunction with some of the resort's top restaurants, they include the Zoo Mary (with Todd English’s bluezoo), Maria Italiana (with Il Mulino New York Trattoria), Dragon Mary (with Kimonos) and Hail Mary (with Shula’s Steak House).
Summer Cocktails on Restaurant Row and International Drive in Orlando
Close to International Drive, Orlando's Restaurant Row is home to a dynamic array of restaurants and nightlife hotspots. Accordingly, it provides plenty of options for sitting back and enjoying a summer cocktail.
Learn more: Orlando Nightlife & Entertainment
You can start with the classic American brasserie Urbain 40, which has a wide selection of craft beverages. For a sophisticated sip of summer, try the Elderflower Martini — a delicate, floral martini with hints of honey, white grape and lime.
Orlando is home to many fun speakeasies, and one of the best is Restaurant Row's Pharmacy. For a spicy summer drink with a playful touch, their Papa Oaxaca — featuring mescal, grapefruit juice, lime juice and a chili pepper lollipop — can't be beat.
Learn more: The Most Sought-After Orlando Speakeasies
On International Drive itself, nobody serves colder drinks than ICEBAR Orlando ... because all beverages are served in glasses made from ice! This venue's walls, seats and other fixtures are made from the same material, ensuring you'll be frosty no matter what you order or how hot it might get outside.
Finally, Mango's Tropical Cafe on International Drive brings the heat of the tropics and plenty of cold cocktails to cool you down. Their Tropical Lemonades go particularly well with the season, mixing in other fruit flavors and a wide range of rums guaranteed to get you dancing.
Summer Cocktails in Downtown Orlando
Enjoy cocktails in a more metropolitan setting by visiting downtown Orlando. While you're there, stop by DoveCote Brasserie and order their signature drink, the Dove 75. Butterfly pea flower, a plant used as a natural food coloring in Southeast Asia, gives a purple hue to this creation, which also incorporates gin, orange oil sugar, lemon and champagne.
For some, nothing says summer like a traditional Mint Julep. The Courtesy, an intimate and charming speakeasy, is a great source for them and other specialty cocktails while you're downtown.
On the second floor of the Historic Rose Building, you can find another speakeasy called The Woods. This summer, we suggest asking for their Trapped Under Ice cocktail, made with Nolet's Gin, ginger beer, peach liqueur and lemon.
Last but not least, The Rusty Spoon has a nice lineup of signature cocktails, including two that are perfect for summer. Late Summer Shrub pairs 77 Whiskey with house-made peach shrub and fresh lemon, while the Crisp Cucumber Martini showcases Effen Cucumber Vodka and St-Germain Liqueur with fresh-squeezed lime and lemon juice. No matter which one you go with, it's like summer in a glass!
Cover image courtesy ICEBAR Orlando.
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