We don’t need a calendar to tell us that summer is here—the sun is high and the Omaha weather is hotter than ever! After taking advantage of the long summer days by spending some time outside, it can be nice to sit back and enjoy a refreshing, summertime beverage.
Sure, Old Fashioneds and Cosmos are favorites year-round, but sometimes the heat calls for something light, refreshing and fruity. Thankfully, our Omaha locals are on top of it and have released a delightful gauntlet of innovative, seasonal sippers for our enjoyment. We’ve rounded up a few favorites here—both alcoholic and non—to give you plenty of ideas the next time you’re trying to beat the heat. Cheers!
Alcoholic | Non-Alcoholic
Nationally renowned Krug Park, nestled in the desirable Benson neighborhood, is one of Omaha’s greatest achievements. The bar is known for its impressive draft beer selection. But while you can’t go wrong with any of the beers on tap, it’s their out-of-this-world Bloody Marys that should be on the top of your summer bucket list. They offer an extensive Bloody Mary menu that includes toppings like thick-cut bacon, cheese, pickles, celery, lil’ smokies, peppers and so much more.
One of Farnam House Brewing’s most popular summer sours is back on tap! Passion Fruit Berliner offers a sour bite with a mild front and a beautiful apricot and passionfruit flavor. If you’re into fruity beers, this one is definitely for you! But if you’d rather go with a more traditional beer this summer, Farnam has a massive selection of summery beers on tap right now, including their Peche Sour, Nordic Pale Ale and Zomer Wit.
Orange Dreamsicle Slush — Night Owl
Photo courtesy of Nightowl
In our humble opinion, the dreamsicle has always been a superior summer treat. Orange plus vanilla is just a spectacular combination. But always one to take a popular dessert and make it better, Night Owl has crafted a Dreamsicle Slush that is an absolute must try this season. This incredible cocktail includes bourbon, orange, vanilla, coconut milk and bitters all blended with ice and garnished with a slice of orange. The best part? It’s completely vegan!
LIV Lounge has mastered the light summer drink in the creation of the Pink Pearl, which is its most popular cocktail during the warmer months. The fruity beverage is made with low-calorie raspberry and pomegranate vodka, diet ginger ale, sake and muddled raspberries, and served over ice. We choose to sip this one on the patio for maximum summer vibes.
While rosé has always been a fan favorite, we’ve particularly enjoyed different variations of the drink (think: rosé popsicles, slushies and more), and Herbe Sainte’s is the best we’ve found in town. Their bartenders mix up different combinations of rosé fortified with different liqueurs and citrus and then freeze it into a heavenly slushie cocktail that is perfect for patio sipping.
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Can’t choose between beer and a cocktail? Why not have both? Benson Brewery has a great selection of beer cocktails on the menu this season. One of our favorites is The Basic B, a light, refreshing mixture made up of vodka, strawberry, lemonade and blonde beer.
If you’re more of a summer IPA sipper, check out Infusion Brewing’s newest brew, the New Normal Rye Session IPA! Brewed with a hefty dose of rye and liberally dry-hopped with Falconers Flight and Amarillo, this easy-to-drink IPA offers notes of black pepper, herbs, fresh pine and a citrus burst.
This Mexican-style lager is the perfect summertime brew to enjoy with friends (while social distancing, of course). Light, refreshing and offering clean, delicate floral hop notes, Dos Amigos Cerveza might be your new favorite brew. And we think all the raving reviewers on Untappd would agree!
Photo courtesy of Miranda Sheehan via Zen Coffee Co.
There’s nothing like a good glass of lemonade to help cool you off on a hot day. And this refreshing and pretty concoction from Zen Coffee Co. will definitely do the trick. Not only is it packed full of their house-made lemonade, but it also includes a few wedges of lemon, cucumber slices and plenty of mint to help quench your thirst. Just call ahead to place your order and pull up to the shop—they’ll bring it right out to your car for you!
The Hawaiian Sunset — Yumchaa
We just can’t get enough iced tea these days, whether it’s full of boba, pudding, jelly or is made the old-fashioned way. Luckily, there are several spots in Omaha where you can get your tea fix! Yumchaa is a great destination for all kinds of fruit teas, milk teas, smoothies and more to help refresh you this summer. One of our favorite selections is the Hawaiian Sunset, a purple and orange work of art made up of butterfly tea, lemonade and honey.
Dripped and Draped is one of our favorite new Omaha businesses. A boutique AND a coffee shop filled with amazing Instagram-worthy decor? Count us in! But after you’ve taken several new photos for your feed, make sure to order their Purple Latte, an immune-boosting drink packed with all the nutrients and natural energy enhancers you need from purple potatoes. If purple isn’t your favorite color, try their Rose Latte, Matcha Latte, Blue Lavender Latte or any one of their long list of colorful, healthy drinks!
Thirst-Tea, one of Omaha’s favorite bubble tea shops, is showing off some #GBR pride with their new Cornhusker-themed concoction! Enjoy yogurt, red guava, and strawberry green tea with strawberry jelly. And because all their toppings are interchangeable, you can customize your Husker with any toppings you want—from popping boba to custard pudding.
Honestly, you can never go wrong with a vegan shake from Modern Love. This summer, they’re offering flavors like strawberry, vanilla bean, Dutch chocolate and chocolate peanut butter—all made with a rich, creamy cashew base. But our favorite has to be the matcha mint, combining the best of both worlds to create an invigorating beverage that you’ll be coming back for again and again all season.
If you’ve never had an Italian soda, this summer is the perfect opportunity to try one of these heavenly desserts! Choose your favorite flavor syrup and get it topped with club soda and a dreamy amount of whipped cream. It’s a classic at Howlin’ Hounds Coffee! And while you’re there, you may even get to meet Lady and Buddy—the loveable dogs who live upstairs and inspired this cozy spot’s name.
What will you sip on this summer?
Do you have a favorite local summer drink? Let us know in the comments!