THE BRIGHT SUN, HEAT AND… DRINKS? SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT COMBINATION TO ME. I HAD THE NOT-SOHARD TASK TO FIND THE BEST FROZEN DRINKS FOR THESE HOT SUMMER MONTHS. FROM SWEET TO TANGY AND SMOOTH TO STRONG, THERE IS A DRINK HERE FOR EVERYONE.
RESTAURANT: FOUR SEASONS DRINK: PROSECCO POPSICLE®
Surprise filled my face as the bartender handed me a glass of red wine with an ice pop placed inside; I quickly found a seat at a table in the middle of the bar. This fun drink was the last thing I expected from this business- savvy hotel.
Soothing music played in the background as I sat and chatted with the lady across from me – and dove into the enticing drink in front of me.
The punch of Zardetto Cuvée, glera, chardonnay and muscat hit my mouth with a tingle. The tart taste eventually became a bit more smooth as the ice pop began to melt. I snuck a taste of the ice pop and the succulent flavor of wine and fruit melted into my mouth. After pestering the bartender for the ingredients for the ice pop, I finally got the running list of: a blend of red wine, strawberries, pineapple, juice and club soda. The combination of a glass of wine and that ice pop provided a drink that allowed my taste buds to indulge.
I felt light on my feet and bliss filled my body as I savored my last sip. A perfect buzz hit me as I left the bar.
RESTAURANT: BRASSERIE DU PARC DRINK: PORT AU MELON
I strolled toward the bar in this quaint crepe restaurant. As I passed the French-style dining room filled with round tables and white basketweave chairs, I felt as if I was transported to a cafe in Paris.As a lover of everything chocolate, my taste buds danced as I sipped slowly. A chocolate smoothie turned martini is the perfect description. After a few minutes of relishing an overload of chocolate, I began to taste the touch of melon sprinkled into the drink. A burst of vodka hit my mouth with my last few sips and the liquor really began to do its work.
As I sat quietly, I watched as the host composed a true “treat,” prepared with Grey Goose Melon vodka, ruby port and cantaloupe sorbet. I was eager for this savory drink. Presented in a martini glass, the mixture was dressed with a touch of mint (grown right in front of the restaurant). Though filled with fruit, the ruby port surprisingly brought out a clear taste of chocolate that overpowered the drink.
erload of chocolate, I began to taste the touch of melon sprinkled into the drink. A burst of vodka hit my mouth with my last few sips and the liquor really began to do its work.
Inspired by French beverages, beverage director Kimberly wanted to provide an out of the ordinary mix. Prepared with the only flavored vodka in the bar, the drink is literally a bar specialty. With a location directly across from Discovery Green, an afternoon stroll can easily turn into a true French experience.
RESTAURANT: FUSION TACO DRINKS: ICED BOURBON CHAI AND OAXACAN GRAPEFRUIT SLUSH
This food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar restaurant is Houston’s new favorite taco shop. Married couple Julie Sharab and David Grossman (former owner of Branch Water Tavern) became business partners as they embarked on this venture together. Recently expanding their business even more, they added a new location in the Heights.
With color plastered on all the walls, sun shining into the restaurant and a dog-friendly patio, this place is perfect for an afternoon of drinking and gourmet (and out of the ordinary) tacos.
I had no idea that I was in for a major surprise. Every single ingredient was highlighted as I drank away. The taste of cinnamon, orange, and spice-infused heavy cream tangoed in my mouth with the iced bourbon chai (seriously – there was a dance party). I could not believe how apparent each ingredient became – I was amazed at the ingredients I was tasting.
The next drink was a twist on the classic mimosa. Made with smoky mezcal, grapefruit and lime juices, ginger beer and agave, our favorite brunch beverage turned into a drink made for dinner. It had a smoky taste with a fruity underlining. I literally kept going back for another sip trying to convince myself that this wasn’t mimosa’s twin sister.
Filled with flavor, both of these drinks were the right match for the gourmet tacos (really). I could not believe how the distinct taste of both the drinks and tacos made indulging them at the same time more enjoyable.
RESTAURANT: RAINBOW LODGE DRINK: FROSÉ
Admittedly, I had never heard of the drink frosé. As one of the handful of restaurants in Houston that carries this unique twist on rosé, Rainbow Lodge was my curiosity’s destination.
Created with Bandol, a rosé straight from southern France, beverage director Marc Borel truly went over and beyond to capture the essence of this drink. Each element was key in maintaining the taste of the champagne and bringing a flavor to your mouth that you would love. Rosé, citrus, fiona sherry and strawberry syrup were all combined into a blender to create a concoction of goodness.
RESTAURANT: BRENNER’S STEAKHOUSE ON THE BAYOU DRINK: FROZEN GIN AND TONIC AND RUBY FROSÉ
Brenner’s is the place to be for happy hour. I was greeted by a mass of people and the relaxing sound of a live band performing in the background. Everyone around me happily chatted and sang along with the band, creating a lively setting. While grooving to the music, I made my way to the bar and requested the restaurant’s only two frozen drinks: the ruby frosé and frozen gin and tonic.
My first sip came from the frozen gin and tonic – where the powerful taste hit me like a bus. I felt a buzz right away from the gin (maybe I’m a lightweight?). For someone who considers herself a lover of everything alcohol, this one gave me a challenge. Next, I went straight for the ruby frosé. The frosé revealed a strong hint of champagne with a delicate aftertaste of grapefruit. My taste buds danced.