Summer Cocktails for National Name Your Poison Day

woman drinking alcohol

pucker up.

SUMMER IS HERE ONCE AGAIN, and so is the obscure — but still relevant — holiday, National Name Your Poison Day. To celebrate, we’ve curated a guide to 18 drinks sure to make your next social engagement a success. Grab them from some of the city’s best restaurants, or make them at home; we’ll supply the recipes. Cheers!

Descanso Beach Smash

In a shaker, muddle 4 lemon wedges and 5 mint leaves. Add 1/4 oz. simple syrup, 3/4 oz. Aperol, 2 oz. rye whiskey, and ice. Shake well. Pour through a fine strainer into a double rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with 3 skewered orange wedges and a mint sprig.

French 75

In a shaker, pour 1 1/2 oz. VSOP cognac, 1/2 oz. simple syrup, and 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice over ice. Shake well. Strain into martini glass and top with sparkling wine. You can find this refreshingly tart drink over at the Mandrake Bar on La Cienega Boulevard.

Frozen Peach Old Fashioned

In a blender, pulse together 2 cups frozen peach slices (slightly thawed), 1 cup bourbon, 1 cup peach nectar, and 1 cup softened peach sorbet until combined. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp. orange bitters and a pinch of kosher salt and process 30-45 seconds or until smooth. Stir in 1-3 Tbsp. superfine sugar. Serve immediately.

Ginger Shandy

In a pitcher, combine 12 oz. ginger beer with 33.6 oz. Hoegaarden beer, both chilled. Stir in thin lemon slices and mint sprigs. Serve over ice and thin lemon slices in rocks glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs. Find this drink over at Rascal in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood.

Grilled Citrus Margarita

Grill 3 halved limes and 3 halved lemons, cut side down, over high heat until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Once cooled, juice limes and lemons into separate cups. Fill a pitcher with ice and add 12 oz. silver tequila, 4 1/2 oz. simple syrup, and 3 oz. each lime and lemon juice. Stir well and strain into salt-rimmed glasses filled with ice. Garnish with grilled orange twist.

Honey Rye

Pour 1 1/4 oz. rye whiskey 3/4 oz. honey liqueur, and 1/8 teaspoon orange bitters into a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir 5 seconds. Top with a splash of ginger ale and an orange twist.


In a blender, puree 2 very ripe bananas, 1 cup. diced fresh pineapple, 1 cup pineapple juice, and 1/2 cup coconut milk. Stir in 6 oz. light rum. Garnish with pineapple wedges. If you ever get caught in the rain over in Hollywood, check out this drink over at Velvet Margarita.

Old Cuban

In a shaker, muddle 6 mint leaves, 1 oz. simple syrup, and 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice. Add 1 1/2 oz. Bacardi 8 and 2 dashes Angostura bitters. Fill with ice. Shake well for 10 seconds. Strain into chilled glass. Top with 2 oz. chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with mint leaf.

Orange Splash

Combine 2 oz. Absolut Citron, 1 oz. Cointreau or triple sec, and one splash each of fresh lime juice and orange juice with ice in a shaker; shake vigorously. Rim a glass with sugar and serve on the rocks. Garnish with an orange slice.

Peach Donkey

In a highball glass, stir together 1 oz. vodka, 1/2 oz. ginger liqueur, and 3 oz. peach nectar. Add crushed ice. Stir again. Top with 1 oz. chilled ginger beer. Swizzle. Garnish with peach slices.


Combine 1 1/2 oz. light rum, 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice, 1/4 oz. each apricot liqueur and Cointreau, and 1 tsp. simple syrup with ice in a shaker. Shake until chilled, about 10 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime and dried apricots.

Pisco Sour

In a blender, combine 2 oz. key lime juice with 1 Tbsp. egg white. Add 1 1/2 oz. simple syrup, 3 oz. Peruvian Pisco, and ice. Blend until frothy. Pour into sour glass. Top with a few drops of bitters. Take a little tropical getaway in Downtown LA at Caña Rum Bar, where you can enjoy Pisco Sours to your heart’s content.

Pomegranate Daquiri

In a pitcher, combine 3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, 1 1/2 cups raspberry-flavored light rum, 1 cup cassis, and 1/3 cup fresh lime juice. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, up to 1 week ahead. To serve, blend 1 1/2 cups pitcher contents with 1 cup ice until slushy. Pour into large martini or wine glasses. Mosey on over to the Canal Club Wood Grill and Sushi Bar over in Venice to get your sip on.

Silver Monk

In a shaker, muddle 2 cucumber slices, 7 mint leaves, 1/2 oz. simple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Add ice, 2 oz. blanco tequila, 3/4 oz. yellow Chartreuse, and 1 oz. fresh lime juice. Shake well. Finely strain into chilled glass. Garnish with a cucumber spear and a mint leaf. You can get a Silver Monk next time you find yourself over by the Continental Club in Downtown LA.

Swamp Water Shot

In a Texas shooter, combine 1/2 oz. gold tequila, 1 oz. Mountain Dew, and 1/2 oz. whiskey, all chilled.

Tabernacle Crush

In a tall glass, muddle 1/2 large peach (sliced) with 6 small basil leaves and 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice. Add 1 1/2 oz. gin, 1 oz. Lillet, and 1/2 oz. simple syrup. Fill to top with ice and club soda.

Tequila Sunrise Margarita

In a pitcher, combine 3 cups triple sec, 2 cups tequila, 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice, and 1 cup superfine sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then stir in 2 cups orange juice. Serve over ice in red sugar-rimmed glasses. Top with 2 splashes grenadine and an orange slice. Grab one, along with some really delicious Mexican food, at El Compadre Restaurant in Echo Park.

White Wine Sangria with Summer Fruit

Place 1 pint strawberries, 2 sliced oranges, 2 sliced lemons, and 3 sliced peaches in a large bowl. Pour 3 bottles of dry to semi-dry white wine over fruit, and allow to sit at room temperature for 4 to 24 hours. Just before service, add 1 liter sparkling water and ice. When you ladle it out of the punch bowl, be sure each guest gets some fruit – that’s the best part. Grab a pitcher of this delicious concoction over at Lala’s Argentine Grill in the Fairfax area of LA.

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