Many people remember past summers by the songs that played in the background while pool parties raged, road trips were taken, burgers were grilled and summer loves were kissed. Acolytes of the Summer of Love (1967) vibed to “Light My Fire” by The Doors. Jump to 1981 and Rick Springfield's “Jessie's Girl” was blasting from every boombox on the block. The hottest months of 1992 will forever be known as when the US fell in love with butts (“Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot), and 1996 was the end of era: Weddings and school dances were irrevocably changed when Los Del Río released the monster that we all love to hate and hate to love: “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix).” And Katy Perry made chapstick sexy in 2008 with “I Kissed a Girl.” So, in honor of the current #1 song pretty much all over the entire world, here are a handful of refreshing libations and patios on which to enjoy them with your summertide bae, all while “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber spools out of the speakers. ¡Sube! ¡Sube! ¡Sube!
Boese Zeus Juice
601 Gold SW Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 3-6pm
“Ya, ya me está gustando más de lo normal
Todos mis sentidos van pidiendo más”
Cruise over to Boese Brothers Brewery this summer for a pint ($4) of their seasonal Zeus Juice white IPA (7.0% ABV). This slightly hoppy, cloudy yellow glass of sunshine is a refreshing beer that gets better and better with every sip. A hint of sweetness balances a stroke of citrusy bitterness on the back of your tongue. It pairs perfectly with a game of cornhole on the colorful patio with baby trees looking on and strings of lights overhead.
There’s no happy hour up on the top of Isleta Resort & Casino, but the epic rooftop patio more than makes up for that. Three floors above the manic chiming of slot machines you’ll find an elegant, earth-toned bubble of peace at Embers. Request a Local Smash ($8) from your bartender then head outside. The seating is crazy comfy, there are glass fire places, and the view is a panorama of the Bosque south of Burque—all fluffy clouds and fiery sunsets. The Local Smash is a sturdier version of a Mojito with muddled strawberries, Taos Lightning rye whiskey and sweet green leaves of fresh mint. The flavors dance in an unusual choreography—herbal and fruity, rough and smooth, sweet and bitter. Savor it slowly to truly appreciate the complexity.
Kisses are sweet. Know what else is dulce? Sangria! Especially the wine punch at Slate Street Cafe. You can enjoy an ice-cold goblet ($4) of this purple nectar on the sunny patio or in the elegant confines of the cool, shadowy wine loft. Saccharine with mellowing undertones of red wine and the snap of tart citrus, this sangria is an oasis in the high desert. And the blueberries and strawberries floating on top are no mirage. Plus, if you're hungry, go for the delicious and filling happy hour snack menu featuring delicacies like portabella fries ($5) and flatbread with bacon, goat cheese, arugula, mushrooms and balsamic drizzle ($5).
This place is open crazy early so you definitely don’t have to hurry. Give yourself over to spending a whole Saturday here. Start out with a shot or two of espresso from the coffee bar, then head upstairs to the patio with views spanning Nob Hill to the Sandias. Transition from the java to beer with a pint ($4.50) of Crème Stout (5.4 ABV, 50 IBU). It’s black as hell and light as angels’ wings. Taste hints of chocolate, cherry and smoke as you gaze down at the hell that is Central these days.
10601 Montgomery NE Happy Hour: 3pm-6pm every day
“Déjame sobrepasar tus zonas de peligro
hasta provocar tus gritos
y que olvides tu apellido”
Speaking of risky business, try a Huckleberry-Tini ($9) on the boisterous, vine-twisted patio at Savoy. Made with huckleberry vodka, lemons and blueberries, it tastes like a berry lemonade—summery, refreshing and dangerously drinkable. Before you know it, you’ll be munching on the five chubby blueberries lined up on a garnish skewer and wondering where the pink liquid in your martini glass went. Resistance is futile: Call an Uber and order another. Maybe order something from the excellent happy hour food menu, too, so you don’t drink away your apellido.
3009 Central NE Aperitif Happy Hour: Daily 4:30-7pm
“Quiero ser tu ritmo
que le enseñes a mi boca”
The Cellar Bar at Zinc is the opposite of a patio, and no one there is likely to teach your mouth about rhythm, so you’ll just have to settle for the rhythm of tiny bubbles fizzing against your lips. The happy hour offers small bites, a handful of wines and a couple of aperitifs. Go for an Aperol Spritz ($7) to shake off the sweltering heat of summer. Made with soda water, Prosecco and Aperol—a liqueur noted for its citrus and herbal flavors—the Aperol Spritz is light, icy and immensely revitalizing. One sip will transport you to northeastern Italy with an Adriatic zephyr tickling your neck. And since the point of an aperitif is to stimulate the appetite, why not munch of some warm marinated olives ($4) or cheese and crackers ($5)? You’ll feel so European, darling.