Photo by James Dickinson
Chipped ice, crushed mint and curls of lemon peel snaking over the frosted rims of long drinks sweating on a silver tray — these are the stoplights to end the last, lazy hours of the season. As Charles Bowden said, "Summertime is always the best of what might be." Insert yourself in the following cocktails scenarios. Five favorite potable possibilities, perfect for prolonging the picnic days.
Cuba Libre at Casa Del Barco $7
A drink that conjures foreign correspondents drinking in unairconditioned locales — Bacardi Light with Mexican Coca-Cola and lime, on the rocks. Swill it post-embargo, wearing horn-rimmed glasses, canal-side. 320 S. 12th St., 775-2628 or casadelbarco.com .
Original Mojito at Havana 59 $7
Castillo rum, mint and lime juice, muddled and topped with soda water. Add a rooftop deck for drinking and dancing. Enjoy under bare light bulbs, tango dancers shadow-casting romance. 16 N. 17th St., 780-2822 or havana59.net .
Negroni at The Magpie $8
Gin, Campari and sweet vermouth make a bittersweet end to another dog day afternoon. A classic drink served in a neo-Victorian pour house encourages a weary Sherlock to keep questioning. 1301 W. Leigh St., 269-0023 or themagpierva.com .
Dizzy Mumbai at Curry Craft $10
Owner Mel Oza's combination of Bulleit rye and house-made sour with an absinthe wash is topped with toasted cumin seeds, adding an exotic crunch. Escape the bustling streets of elbows and feet at the Watermelon Festival, duck into Curry Craft and listen to Indian trip-hop. It's a thematic diversion from the Bombay-like streets. 2915 W. Cary St., 358-0350 or currycraft.com .
Cook's Shipwreck at Burger Bach $9
Eyes will roam when this fruit basket of a flute rests on the table. Kiwi rounds and cherries absorb apple liqueur, Luxardo maraschino and papaya puree. The smell of grilled burgers twitches and pants in the breeze on the Carytown porch. 10 S. Thompson St., 359-1305 or burgerbach.com .