Sassy summer drinks from Orlando bars

Sunshine, friends and a welcoming patio are the perfect ingredients for a summer party. But what about the drinks? Used to be all you needed was a bottle of the cheapest liquor to go with that random bottle of juice you found in the back of the refrigerator. (Add a tiny umbrella for instant fancy.)

But in the wake of Central Florida's latest mixology craze, it may be time to step up your game. We've challenged the area's finest bars to put their own spins on some refreshing summer standards. Think craft drinks belong in a candlelit nook? Think again. Broaden your horizons (and your liquor cabinet) with this assortment of craft cocktails best enjoyed with flip-flops and sunscreen. Obviously, keep the kids out of this punch bowl — all these concoctions are for drinkers 21 and older.

Courtesy Swizzle

This tart concoction comes courtesy of The Courtesy (114 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, 407-450-2041), which has re-imagined the classic Rum Swizzle with the grape brandy Pisco and a delicate blend of ginger and floral flavors.

2 ounces Kappa Pisco

.75 ounce Velvet Falernum

1 ounce lime juice

1 ounce ginger syrup

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Add ingredients to tall glass and stir thoroughly. Add crushed ice and swizzle. Fill past rim with more crushed ice, top with bitters. Garnish with mint and orange.


Feel free to use your own brand of gin for this cocktail from The Courtesy, but steer toward more aromatic American dry styles. London dry gins such as Bombay are grand for gin & tonics, but not so much for this sweet-sipping blend.

2 ounces Half Moon Gin

1 tablespoon blackberry jam

.5 ounce simple syrup

.5 ounce lemon juice

Shake, pour over ice and top with sparkling wine.

Ruby Red Basil

Another house favorite from The Courtesy, a tasty step up for Greyhound drinkers that complements the grapefruit with the bite of the sweet elderflower liqueur St. Germain.

1.5 ounces Hangar One Vodka