What's Your Go-To Summer Cocktail?

Categories: Chow Bella

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com.

No matter whether you're lounging poolside, at a party, or just need to cool down on a hot day, a summer cocktail is a great way to refresh.

Valley chefs and restaurateurs agree -- especially when kitchens this time of year reach temperatures as hot (or hotter) than it is outdoors.

What adult beverage do they reach for when they need a break from the blistering heat? From tried-and-true classics to creative concoctions of their own, the following answers may inspire you to find a new summertime favorite. Ahh . . .

See also:
- Chefs, What Are Your Favorite Road Trip Snacks?
- Chefs, What's on Your Summer Reading List?

Heather Bryan,
General Manager, Zuzu

Every summer, I fall totally in love with one particular drink and end up making it over and over again. This year, it's Blackberry Bourbon Tea. It's made with fresh blackberries, good-quality bourbon, sugar, black tea, and chopped fresh mint, with mint sprigs for the garnish.

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Chef Chris Nicosia,

Summertime is time for ice-cold beer. I really like San Tan's Devil's Ale. There's also a refreshing drink that I make with lots of tequila, some muddled watermelon and lime, and lots of ice. It's the only time that I drink something on the sweet side. Otherwise, its beer, tequila on the rocks, or wine.

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Chef "T" (Theresa Wille),
32 Shea

After working all day in a hot kitchen, sipping on a ice cold sangria is quite relaxing.

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Michael O'Dowd,
Chef and Owner, Renegade MOD

Last year, my favorite spirit was gin. This year, it will be all about funky daiquiris and how I can twist them up and experiment by adding minerals and spices to cocktails, too.

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