This time of year, bars and restaurants start putting away the dark spirits to make room for light, citrus-flavored drinks, depriving drinkers of hearty cocktails. Pinon Grill in Boca Raton, however, has rolled out its summer vodka drink along with a cherry-pie martini. Both are made using spirits infused in-house: bourbon infused with cherries and vanilla bean for the martini ($9), and vodka infused with cucumber for the Ultimate Refresher ($12).
The cherry-pie martini is shaken with cherry and lemon juices and crème de cocoa. The glass is rimmed with chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. The Ultimate Refresher includes sour mix, agave syrup and muddled watermelon. Pinon Grill is located at 6000 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Call 561-391-7770 or go to PinonGrill.com.
At Benihana locations, the seasonal drink offerings use more-traditional flavors, but with a Japanese touch. The Miami-based chain serves red-plum-sake sangria and a white-peach variation ($8.75 each). The red-plum sangria is made with merlot, sake, plum wine and hibiscus syrup. Pomegranate and orange juices are added to balance the sweetness. For the white-peach sangria, the bar uses Sauvignon Blanc, sake and peach schnapps with peach puree and passion fruit and pineapple juices. Go to Benihana.com.
While its wine list is always around, 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa recently started offering half-priced wine bottles from 6 to 10 p.m. Mondays. The restaurant's For the Love of the Grape special includes every bottle on the wine list. 3030 Ocean is located at 3030 Holiday Drive in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-765-3129 or go to 3030Ocean.com.
Summer comes to Cafe Prima Pasta with fruity drinks. Starting June 1, the roadside Italian eatery in Miami's North Beach will serve its Key lime and coconut caipirinhas (with cachaca cane liquor, shredded coconut, brown sugar and lime juice), carrot and cilantro coolers (with silver tequila, carrot juice and agave) and lychee crush shooters (with vodka, lychee liqueur and muddled lychees).
The drinks will start at $6 each, are gluten free and low in sugar. Cafe Prima Pasta is located at 414 71st St., in Miami Beach. Call 305-867-0106 or go to CafePrimaPasta.com.
Finally, until June 15, Sushisamba Dromo in Miami Beach will serve its specialty sakes from a sommelier selection. Nama sakes, an unpasteurized style of the rice alcohol, are fruity drinks typically served in the spring.
The bottle selections start at $20 and go up to $75. At the restaurant, ask for pairing suggestions, since some flavors of nama sake go better with grilled red meats or seafood. Sushisamba Dromo is located at 600 Lincoln Road. Call 305-673-5337 or go to Sushisamba.com.Copyright © 2015, CT Now