Barley + Rye: Your ‘almost summer’ drink list

Suggested booze and brews for these steamy, pre-summer days
She Nighter One Devil, at Empire State South

Photograph by Osayi Endolyn

Like many other Atlantans who have made this promise, this summer I too am determined not to complain about the weather—seeing how the winter’s freakish cold and Snowpocalypse part deux hurt our feelings so badly. I have caught myself slipping a few times as we brace ourselves for more steamy days and spotty thunderstorms. What better way to segue into the hot season than a suggested list of refreshing beverages? They calm the mind, ease the spirit, and remind us that this too, shall pass. It’s helpful to know not just where to cool down, but what to drink while you’re doing it. Cheers.

She Nighter One Devil 
Empire State South, $12

The spring menu at ESS boasts multiple winners, but this one is my current favorite: Mezcal and dry rye gin mix with a layer of passionfruit, rounded out with lemon, vanilla, and Campari. It’s fun to look at and even better to drink. Take reasonable caution—the She Nighter is like hanging out with that one friend who always finds a way to get you in the best trouble.

Hopgasm IPA
5 Seasons Brewing at the Prado, $6

Not everybody is into hoppy beers when humidity is on the rise, but this one is hard to resist. The Hopgasm is bright and balanced with a citrusy aroma, wonderful alone or paired with something fun like chunky, beer battered onion rings. Whether you’re staying for a while or giving up on I-285, enjoy this in the covered beer garden.

Colette Farmhouse Ale, Great Divide
Whole Foods Market, $9.99

Refreshing and slightly fruity, this go-to saison has a medium body that stands up to meaty snack foods, but can also blend well with lighter fare. Perfect for muggy days on the patio or a picnic in the park, the Colette is a solid last-minute addition to your shopping cart.

Pot Still Whiskey Aged Russian Imperial Stout
The Wrecking Bar Brewpub, $3.25, 4-ounce; $6, 8-ounce

During the pub’s weekly Firkin Friday, the bar will tap batch number six of their Siberius Maximus RIS at noon. The Siberius is a destination kind of beer—and this one was aged for one month in a barrel of Prichard’s Chocolate Bourbon. True fans will be in early attendance, so it probably won’t last long.

Also of note—Friday evening the Wrecking Bar taps the official beer of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. The Tripel Reserve is a collaboration with Three Taverns Brewery, a Belgian Tripel coming in at 9% that was fermented with red wine soaked in oak. This beer will also be available at the AFWF tasting tents.

Watermelon Margarita
Fox Bros. BAR-B-Q, price n/a

I may be jumping the gun a bit, but this barbecue joint’s seasonal favorite is too good not to mention. While not yet printed on the menu, rumor has it this summer mashup will re-emerge in the coming days. Pinkish red, boozy, and fruity, this spin on the classic makes Atlanta summers worth it. Stay alert.