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Summer heat, make it a double

Local hot spots serving up cool, seasonal drinks

A Iniesta at Cooks Tavern is a delightful sipper. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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Summer is near, and local boozeslingers are celebrating by highlighting seasonal, fresh flavors in their libations. Seasonal transitions mean that the lovers of all things boozy can begin to play mad scientist while crafting elixirs for your consumption. Summer recipes equate to sessionable sippers and refreshing patio pounders using fresh herbs and fun flavors. So, get on your shades, put on some shorts or a summer dress and head to one of the following:

En Rama in the heart of Tacoma's downtown is what could easily be considered cocktail royalty. Their menu challenges adventurous drinkers with hard-to-find ingredients and impeccably executed craft cocktails. Their Manzadilla intrigues with a combination of vodka, dill-infused manzanilla sherry, lemon and pomegranate. Or, if you dig a tropical and mysterious vibe dive into the Pineapple Daquiri with fancy pineapple rum, pineapple, lime and a kick of ghost-pepper-infused amontillado sherry. 1102 A St., Suite 220, Tacoma

1022 South J has a reputation for presenting compelling flavor matrimonies and the Conquistador is no exception. Anejo Tequila plays nice with Campari and Byrrh Grand Quiquina, equating to what is surely a journey through the senses with herbal and bitter notes. Bonus, 1022 South J has a petite patio in which to sun worship while sipping. 1022 S. J St., Tacoma

Situated on the outskirts of Proctor District, Cook's Tavern keeps diners on their toes with a menu that rotates every quarter highlighting exotic flair throughout. Their Barcelona-themed menu includes the A Iniesta! This delicate sipper is aromatic and herbaceous and reminiscent of a day tending to your herb garden with rosemary EVOO Vodka, dry sherry, limoncello and Chartreuse. 3201 N. 26th St., Tacoma

The Zodiac Supper Club boasts a kitschy, sex appeal and presents rad punch bowls and shareable concoctions. If you're flying solo and craving something sweet, the Strawberry Fizz Float is your jam. Vodka, bubbly and a scoop of strawberry sorbet flirt from a fancy coupe glass and is finished with a rock candy swizzle stick. Because, why not? 1116 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma     

Fizzy, float fun at Zodiac Supper Club. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

The Social Bar and Grill easily has one of the best patios in town and is a top pick for places to imbibe when the sun is shining. To ring in their busy season, they've brought back an original in The Movie Star. Like other spring/summer libations, The Movie Star highlights those herbaceous, balanced personalities with notes of fresh basil and kicks of ginger from Domain de Canton. She will dazzle. 1715 Dock St., Tacoma

Coming Soon: Alma Mater Tacoma has made a big splash on the scene with their café Honey serving up all-day brunch alongside fabulous roasted bean concoctions and a music venue that will lure in the masses. Still in the works in the Alma Mater lounge, Matriarch. Slated to open sometime in May, the lounge will boast some delectable craft cocktails that fit the seasonal theme perfectly, including the Matron Saint, which jazzes up gin with a rosemary-smoked glass, velvet falernum and notes of citrus. For those looking for an approachable, sessionable sipper, The Oracle mixes a house-made rhubarb and ginger shrub with vodka and a splash of soda, making it uber-refreshing and compelling balance of bitter, zingy and sweet. 1322 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma  

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