The Best of Beirut
on Jul 11, 2014 By Danielle Issa
There’s nothing like a refreshing cocktail to take the edge off of summer’s heat.
Whether you’re out lounging poolside catching some rays, or brunching at a bistro with friends from out of town, or even hitting the dance floor hard like a smashed adolescent, only a killer cocktail can keep you cool and quenched.
Here’s your trustworthy guide to summer’s favorite treats - in sippable form, of course - and who’s brewing them best. Now here’s something worth toasting to!
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It’s built a cult following around its impeccable pain perdu, but did you know that the bistro du coin Couqley serves up one mean Bloody Mary during weekend brunch? Nicknamed the hangover cure, this cocktail features slow-roasted tomatoes muddled with cracked peppercorn, steak sauce (from their legendary steak-frites, no doubt) and Cajun spices, finished with a liberal dose of pepper-infused vodka. You’ll love how the celery and occasionally cucumber spears are fastened into place by the cubed ice.
So you’ve decided to go poolside, sporting your teepee straw hat, oversized designer sunglasses, and snow white swimwear to contrast with that tan you’re sweating over. Amethyste is a fabulous chill-out lounge located inside the Phoenicia Hotel, a welcoming atmosphere of both opulence and comfort. Order the Sub-Zero Gold Corona punch, a blend of icy cold Corona beer mashed with Gold tequila, twisted mint sprigs and thinly-sliced lemon laced with Tabasco. A potent punch that will make your lips pucker!
Phoenicia Hotel Beirut
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If you’re after a stylish and fashionable setting that doubles as a celebrity hangout, Cavalli Caffè fits the bill. Here you’ll find unique décor like designer Roberto Cavalli’s iconic animal prints, a tempting chocolate display, and a long brass-and-wooden bar serving sophisticated cocktails. The passion fruit martini is the house specialty, and it is divinity incarnate. A shot of citrus vodka, another of white cranberry juice, a squeeze of fresh passion fruit, some orange liqueur and a hollowed out passion fruit for garnish make this drink uplifting and irresistible. Indulge!
Karagulla Building, 24 Park Avenue
Image via Asia Bars
Summer wouldn’t be summer without vodka, ginger beer and lime juice cradled inside a copper mug, with cool condensation collecting around its outer face and a spear of cucumber poking out. You know what I’m talking about - the famous Moscow Mule! GardenState, an open-air terrace and the summertime counterpart of Secteur 75, mixes a tempting concoction of this essential cocktail. Pair it with the house sliders for a taste of late-night summer BBQs.
Jisr el Wate inner road, facing Beirut Art Centre
Image via Roamand Home
Somehow you’ve managed to make it on the guest list at Sky Bar, Beirut’s hottest nightspot for the see-and-be-seen. Make no mistake, Sky Bar has earned its bragging rights and worldwide acclaim, and not simply for its posh venue and breathtaking sea views. Its cocktails are among the most innovative to be had in the Lebanese capital. The Chilled Vodka-Loaded Watermelon is a summer must, as is the Blueberry Bellini with fresh blueberry and orange muddled with crème de cassis and Moët & Chandon champagne. For something slightly tarter, try the English Herbs, a concoction of gin, basil, thyme, lime, and 7UP.
Image via Serious Eats
Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.
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