As summer draws to a close, many restaurants and bars are using their cocktail menus to help guests capture a final taste of the season before fall sets in.
While some drinks will be offered only through the end of summer Sept. 22, others are being incorporated onto permanent menus.
A look back at the drinks of summer
Haru Sushi features a different cocktail each month, and all three drinks from the summer months have been added to the permanent menu.
Last month's drink, the Harupolitan, is made with shochu, Ty Ku Citrus Liqueur and Cointreau with fresh pineapple and orange juices. In July, Haru featured a Watermelon Fizz, which followed the Peach Fuzz in June.
The featured drinks were offered for $6 during their respective months at Haru locations in Boston and Philadelphia, and sold for $7 during "Sake Hour" at New York units. At the end of each month, the featured cocktail “graduated” to the permanent menu and the price increases to $12.
For September, the nine-unit chain is featuring Haru's Painkiller, made with two different rums, pineapple and orange juices, and a splash of coconut cream. The drink is topped with fresh nutmeg and garnished with a pineapple slice and a cherry.
Pitchers with outdoor dining
Carte Blanche Café and Bar at Gansevoort Hotel in New York is promoting its seasonal cocktails in carafes, including its most popular drink this summer, the Strawberry Splash, made with vodka, lemon juice and muddled strawberries.
The restaurant models itself after Parisian-style sidewalk cafes and is located in the hotel’s lobby, which extends outside, so the concept markets its pitcher cocktails as a perfect match for outdoor dining while the weather is still mild.
Other pitcher drinks available at Carte Blanche include the Tough Puppy, made with gin, grapefruit, white peach and granny apple juice, and the Lemongrass Mint Mojito, which features lemon-flavored rum, light rum, fresh muddle mint & lemongrass.
Still time for tiki time
Until Sept. 21, customers at the Majestic in Alexandria, Va., can still enjoy tropically inspired tiki drinks created by mixologist Todd Thrasher, who designed the cocktails with fresh and house-made ingredients.
For example, the Tiki Bowl uses house-made orgeat syrup, an almond-flavored syrup made with toasted almonds, agave nectar and almond extract. Other ingredients in this drink include orange juice, two types of rum, brandy and lemon juice.
The summer menu also features the classic Zombie tiki cocktail, but made for two or more guests. A mixture of two different rums, Cointreau, Pernod, lemon juice, orange juice, papaya juice, grenadine and orgeat syrup is served in a tiki bowl with ice and two straws. A center bowl is filled with more rum that is flamed.
An alcoholic summer treat may become dessert
Ofrenda Cocina Mexicana in New York is offering “pop shots,” which pair artisanal spirits with locally made Mexican ice pops. The pop shots were introduced in August, and are available at $8 with flavors like coconut with rum, avocado with mescal, and hibiscus with tequila.
While the drinks are available officially until the end of summer, the restaurant will keep the pop shots on the menu as long as the weather is warm, and is considering adding them to the dessert menu along with sipping tequilas.
Contact Sonya Moore at [email protected]