Alexandria Appetite: 3 Cocktails Perfect for Summer Happy Hour

Alexandria Appetite: 3 Cocktails Perfect for Summer Happy Hour

Hot temperatures outside mean it’s time for a cool, refreshing beverage.

Chadwicks is the home of the Crimson Tide, a blend of whiskey, ginger beer, and cranberry juice.

Chadwicks is the home of the Crimson Tide, a blend of whiskey, ginger beer, and cranberry juice. Photo by Hope Nelson.

The mercury’s rising outside, and summer picnic season is well under way. So too are weekend happy hours, offering up a number of cool, refreshing concoctions to wet your whistle. Here are three cocktails to try the next time you’re out and about.

The Crimson Tide: Chadwicks, 203 Strand St.

This whiskey-based drink is sure to evoke a longing for the hot days of football season. Although it seems like a simple combination of ingredients, the final product makes your taste buds shout “Roll Tide!” Made with Alabama whiskey, ginger beer, and cranberry juice, it’s a refreshing beverage that isn’t overly sweet or fruity.

The Crimson Tide pairs nicely with plenty of items on Chadwicks’ menu, as well. The Cajun spiced chicken egg rolls make a wonderful companion — and serve as an easily shareable snack at happy hour. For a dinner choice, the FGT grilled cheese — a sandwich stuffed with fried green tomatoes and pimiento cheese — makes an excellent companion indeed.

Mojito: Los Tios Grill, 2615 Mount Vernon Ave.

It’s a Del Ray tradition: Drive past Los Tios on nearly any pretty night and you’ll find a lengthy line of hungry diners waiting for an outdoor table. And for good reason: The patio at Los Tios is one of the best places in town to while away the evening. Once you finally snag your table, you could do worse than ordering a mojito to celebrate.

The mojito has become de rigueur at so many Mexican, Cuban, and Salvadorean restaurants over the years, but Los Tios’ stands out from the rest. Light and airy, this version is perfectly satisfying without being overly sugary or syrupy, as so many mojitos are. This balance allows the rum and the muddled mint to perform in concert, with only a hint of simple syrup lingering over the top. It’s the perfect antidote to a hot day in the sun — and paired with a plate of fajitas or enchiladas, it’s a wonderful complement to the main course.

The Harold Johnson: Evening Star Café, 2000 Mount Vernon Ave.

What would a list of summer cocktail be without a sturdy gin drink? When it comes to refreshment with a little surprising kick, the Harold Johnson cocktail at Evening Star fits the bill.

The cocktail’s green chartreuse liqueur gives the Harold Johnson a bit of a boost (and a lovely hue), and it blends nicely with the gin and vermouth to take what might be considered a normal martini and kick it up several notches. The result is a drink that gives you something to talk about — and to ask for next time. Pair it with some hush puppies or fried cauliflower and feel your cares melt away.

Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at Email her any time at