The Ultimate Summer Cocktail Party

Summer's not over yet: mix up the country's most popular cocktails of summer 2012

One of Noir Bar's most popular drinks, the Sake Sangria.

The dog days of summer are nearly over, and we know what that means — it's almost time to put away the salt-rimmed tequila glasses, the bunches of mint for mojitos, and the ginger beer mixer. But hey, why not soak up the last few weeks of summer with this season’s hottest cocktails?

We asked bartenders from the country’s hottest bars what their venue's most popular drinks were this summer, and what we got was the ultimate summer cocktail party. Not surprisingly, we found some similarities in what the bars are serving up this summer. The summer’s biggest drink trends? Mojitos were a hit, as well as the famous Moscow Mule. But these weren’t your average Joe cocktails; Philadelphia’s Rum Bar added cucumber-infused vodka and basil to make its Summer Picnic mojito, while New York City’s beloved Spotted Pig freezes and blends its Moscow Mule. (We hear April Bloomfield can’t get enough of them.)

Click here for the Ultimate Summer Cocktail Party Slideshow

More popular ingredients this summer included mangos, like in Plunge’s Mango Lime Rickey, and cucumber, like in Noir Bar’s Summer Skies cocktail. Rhubarb also made waves this summer, showing up in the rabarbaro amaro used in Austin’s Bar Congress' Scarlet Lantern cocktail.

And then there are always the classic summer cocktails that everyone comes back to over and over again. Take the daiquiri at The Varnish in Los Angeles. "During the summer, there's no cocktail we love to make (and drink) more than a daiquiri," says bartender Max Seaman. "There’s just something about a daiquiri — it's the perfect combination of sour and sweet, with a light, creamy texture." There’s also something about doing the classic summer drink the right way; as daiquiris have become "bastardized" over the years with blenders and tropical ingredients, Seaman says, it’s fun to watch someone try the original daiquiri – the way it’s meant to be enjoyed. "We always love to watch someone's daiquiri prejudice fade away while sipping the simple original," he says.

Why say goodbye to summer, when we have too many drinks to enjoy first? Stock up your bar and drink the summer of 2012 — it’s one to celebrate.