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SUMMER GUIDE 2011: Cool off with these summery fusions

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Enjoying a refreshing cocktail on a hot summer's day, whether you're at a barbeque, sitting on the front porch, or hanging out at a club, is a pleasure that shouldn't be taken lightly.

While there are many standard summer cocktails, there's no need to go down that same old boring road for the hundredth time. There are bartenders all over Charlotte who would much prefer to make you one of their summer specialties than yet another Mojito. Give them, and yourself, a break from the ordinary.

These favorite originals are from some of those very bartenders. Their only directive was to come up with something unique and summery, and they all seemed to relish the challenge.

The ingredients for each drink are listed, in case you want to get daring and try to make them yourself at home. Just don't forget that the best version of these beverages are bound to come straight from the source. Plus, if you go out and order them, you just may find yourself impressing your fellow patrons and providing a sigh of relief to your bartender.

Crave Dessert Bar: "One Night Stand"

Dry ice at the bottom of the glass

.5 oz 100 proof Absolute vodka

1.5 oz orange vodka

Pineapple juice

Splash of orange juice

Oz grenadine

Garnish with a lime

"It is our most popular signature drink," says Tiffany Quillan, bartender. "It gets a great reaction. You can see the surprise on people's faces when we bring it out to them."

The Thirsty Beaver: "Beavosa"

½ Miller High Life

Fill with orange juice

Splash of ginger ale

"We've been making this drink since we first opened," says Molly Poe, bartender. "It's a Beaver original and a favorite. Best of all, it's only a dollar, so you can get a unique cocktail that's ideal for summer even if you're on a budget."

Vida y Cantina: "Miami Vice Margarita"

Salt rim of glass

Frozen margarita mix

.5 oz Midori melon liqueur

.5 oz Blue Curacao liqueur

Garnish with orange

"It's like a Miami Vice kind of deal, just as a margarita," bartender Daneil Lohneiss says. "It's not on the menu, but if you ask for it, we'll be glad to make it for you. We had a woman who used to drink margaritas and wanted something that had pretty colors, so this is what we came up with."

Soul Gastrolounge: "Redheaded Porn Star"

X-RATED Fusion Liqueur

Domaine de Canton ginger-flavored liqueur

Absolute Citron

Soda water

Sour mix

Bartender Bob Peters wished to keep the exact recipe a secret, but was willing to call the "Redheaded Porn Star" the "perfect summertime drink." He went on to warn, "You shouldn't start drinking it too early, because it will get you."

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