Cocktail Crawlin' with Summer Sippin'
The hot spots to find a cool drink.
Guest Blog Post: By Local Resident and Culinary Enthusiast, Joe Duffy
Nobody is giddier than yours truly about the explosion of “city centers” in suburbia. No longer mere bedroom communities, Roswell set the stage with an organically established downtown highlighting restaurants, bars, and shopping within a walkable range. Food and beverage are my fields of concentration, though I’m sure shopping is entertainment too. Roswell’s game-changing Canton Street was years ahead of the curve. The groundbreaking and always improving epicenter remains as destination worthy as any synergistic town in uOTPia. The “Roswell Summer Sippin’ Cocktail Crawl” boasting more than a dozen of the blue-ribbon establishments was a must-participate event.
Held on Saturday, June 18, the shade facilitated in both strolling and sippin’ through the heart of the Roz. Summer Sippin’ Roswell is a summer long celebration that commenced on June 1st and runs through the end of August. More than 50 restaurants partake in the larger celebration. Each designates one drink as an entrant in the competition.
The aforesaid crawl had 15 participants in the walkable downtown area, predominately involving adult beverage curators normally open during the afternoon hours, as the party was held from 1-6 in the daylight.
Seven of the 15 pubs/restaurants selected vodka as principal ingredient. Vodka is a neutral grain spirit allowing its subtle flavor to pair extremely well with fruit juices, which climb in popularity during the summer months. Bayou'Q Smokin Bistreaux & Bar’s creation, the Bayou Summer Breeze featuring Grey Goose Essences Watermelon and Basil was exceedingly admired, especially among women, in my informal survey of the more than 250 pleasure seekers who shared in the gathering.
Two young ladies I befriended in said establishment had already tested most of the offerings and joyfully declared Madrid on the Horizon, crafted at Madrid Spanish Taverna as their top preference. The cocktail was composed of Tres Agaves Organic Tequila, Licor 43, whisky, maple syrup and lemon juice.
My assemblage consisted of six party animals, ranging in ages of 22 to old enough to have kids who are 22. Several of us enjoyed Meadarita from 5/4 Meadery. Though situated, if not concealed on Oak Street, they appropriated a tent on Plum Tree Street to bring their libation closer to the heart of the festivities. As I apprise folks the myriad of times I advocate this hidden gem, mead is a fermented wine honey drink that is both the world’s oldest and newest alcoholic beverage. The former literally, the latter figuratively as the once scarce drink has made a forceful comeback.
Zest submitted a consummate summer concoction, the Strawberry Dream comprising of vanilla vodka, fresh muddled strawberries, and soda, refreshingly offering opportune invigoration in the 93ish degree heat.
Rightfully so, Netflix's Phil Rosenthal declared Gracious Plenty the best meal he’s had in Georgia. Their adult ice-cream float was first-rate. Unfortunately, the ice cream from their forthcoming project Cherried Mary was not quite ready for the occasion, but we look forward to sampling it soon.
Somehow, I had not previously set foot in the uber-cool bar area of Uncle Jack’s on Canton Street. My cherished non-alcoholic drink of choice is lemonade, and I unquestionably relished the spiked Not Your Mother’s Lemonade highlighting Tito’s Vodka and Triple Sec
Lola’s has been a preferent hangout, especially to watch a marquee sporting event on their majestic big screen. The upstairs bar showed off the Last Mango on Canton. My adult son loved his Bacardi rum scented with mango juice and other accompaniments.
Not only does Ipp’s Pastaria & Bar incorporate one of the foremost patios in the area, but also tendered a Summer Punch with both elderflower and grapefruit liqueurs, vodka, and prosecco, fittingly packing a punch.
The Vick, a swanky newcomer situated at the northern end of the forever progressing strip, also tantalized me with a lemon-flavored sample, a Lavender Lemon Drop, with Vodka and Triple Sec complimented by the namesake elements.
I’ve patronized Gate City a myriad of times, but finally made it to their modish Artillery Room to consume the drink they named after me, the Jerk with vodka and pineapple juice heading the list of components.
Gaslight wasn’t quite ready for when we commenced the crawl at the southern end, but it is the late-night happening place in the Roz. Though I’ve previously loved the food at Roswell Garden, the fact it was a bit off the trail made it tough to patronize on a hot day. I also heard acclamation on the California Sparkling Wine cocktail at Deep Roots, a shop that has done magnificent work of paying it forward by entertaining community events for worthy charities.
The after-party was celebrated at another front-runner for big screen of choice, Rock ‘n Taco. Though my sample tickets were long-gone, I availed myself of the fact it’s one of the few options to devour a Chance IPA, one of Georgia’s prodigious brews.
Summer Sippin’ still has two months remaining. Download the app and explore top tier summer-themed cocktails. You have my word; you will likely unearth several of Roswell’s sundry top-shelf restaurants during the process.