When it comes to seasonal cocktails, summer is in a class all its own. From poolside sips to al fresco aperitivo, summer places a lot of specific demands on its drink: they must be cool, they must be refreshing, and they must be capable of infusing us with a "this is the life" sensibility to feel nostalgic over once the temps start to drop.
While we here at T&C are fans of summer cocktails of all shapes, forms, and ABVs (remember kids, drink responsibly), with dozens of camps declaring their favorites the Drink of Summer, we thought it was time to come to a consensus on which concoction truly deserves of the title.
For the past few weeks, we've asked fans to vote here and on Town & Country's Instagram for their favorite sips of the season and now we're ready to unveil the winner of the final head-to-head!
Drink of the Summer: Rosé
It was a knock-down drag-out of a finale that left the T&C readership divided with fans at townandcountrymag.com siding with the Margarita and Instagram voters choosing Rosé but when we tallied up the individual votes, France's pink sensation came out on top with a narrow but definitive 52% of the overall vote!
Everyone raise a wine glass to Town & Country's official sip of summer, Rosé!
Want to take look at how all of the showdowns shook out? You can follow along with all of the voting below.
Week 4: Voting complete.
The final face-off has arrived! Last week, everyone's favorite salt-rimmed concoction, the Margarita just barely eked out a win against the summer's most divisive sip, the Aperol Spritz, with a narrow 53 percent of the vote, earning it a spot in the finals. But how will this south of the border special stack up against the season's undisputed champion of pink drinks, Rosé, which won 59 percent of our Instagram followers hearts against the Mojito last week?
It's France vs Mexico, pink vs green, wine vs cocktails in the last great battle for the title of Drink of the Summer. Who will take the crown? Only you can decide.
Week 3: Voting complete.
Last week, Daiquiri faced off with Mojito, and the crowd was loving minty Mojitos—the cocktail took the most-loved spot with 72 percent of the votes, knocking Daiquiri out of the competition.
Also in last week's competition, Rosé took on the classic combination of Gin and Tonic, and the beloved pink wine drink just trumped a G&T, with just 56 precent of the votes. This week, the spirited Mojito takes on Rosé in a head-to-head battle—and only one drink will come out on top.
Aperol Spritz and Beer faced off last week in a heated competition with the much-discussed summer drink going up against a tried-and-true favorite. And in the end, Aperol won with 65 percent of the votes. Two other drinks also had a close matchup, as our audience choose Margarita over Arnold Palmer for their favorite summer cocktail, with Margarita earning 63 percent of the votes. Now these two summer staples will face off, so which drink will win this week's competition: Margarita or Aperol Spritz?
Week 2: Voting complete.
After a tight race with Hard Seltzer, Beer emerged from last week’s battle with 58 percent of the vote. This week it faces off against the Aperol Spritz, which despite being the most contentious drink of the summer proved its popularity by carrying 75 percent of Instagram votes against the Negroni. Which carbonated sip will reign supreme: effortlessly crowd-pleasing Beer or bitter and bubbly Aperol Spritz?
Winner: Aperol Spritz
It may not be a tennis champion, but with close to 70 percent of the vote, the Margarita shut out the Pimm’s Cup in last week’s match. But it wasn’t all bad news for fans of sporty drinks, as the booze-free golfer favorite the Arnold Palmer took home a win against the Shirley Temple with 77 percent of voters giving it the thumbs up. In this citrusy face off, who will get the gold: Margarita or Arnold Palmer?
Last week the Daiquiri barely edged out the Piña Colada in a tropical smackdown with 54 percent of the vote, while fellow Cuban favorite the Mojito handily conquered Rum Punch with more than 70 percent of voters naming it their favorite. But this drinks showdown is only big enough for one rum-and-lime tipple: who will take the lead this week, Daiquiri or Mojito?
In a surprise shake-up, odds-on favorite Rosé came close to being eliminated last week by dark horse Sangria. Nonetheless, the pink drink rose victorious, taking a narrow 4 percent lead to finish with 52 percent of the vote. This week it goes up against Gin and Tonic, which after a strong showing with 66 percent of the vote against the Dark 'n' Stormy last week proved a tough contender. Which summery flavor will come out on top this week: all-day Rosé or a drink for all seasons Gin and Tonic?
Week 1: Voting complete
Take a look at our very first round of drink face offs below:
Celebrating its 100th birthday this year, the negroni (a personal favorite of Jackie O) is here to wake up your tastebuds with its blend of gin, vermouth, and the Italian bitter liquor Campari. Squaring off against the negroni is this year's most divisive drink, the Aperol spritz: an iced, easy-drinking blend of the bitter Aperol, prosecco, and club soda.
Winner: Aperol Spritz
Lower in alcohol (and effort) than most cocktails, beer is the perfect crowd-pleasing summer drink for those who don't want to spend their sunny afternoons behind the bar. On the other hand, Hard seltzers are really having a moment this summer thanks to their low calorie count (around 100 calories vs about 150 for a beer) and refreshing range of fruity flavors.
The cocktail that launched a thousand variations, the margarita's mix of bright lime juice, smooth tequila, sweet triple-sec, and that salted rim will have your tastebuds running on all cylinders. The Pimm's Cup, a summery mix of its starring liquor, Pimm's No. 1 and lemonade, garnished with strawberries, cucumbers, and orange slices, is the staple drink of Wimbledon.
Not everyone wants their cocktails boozy: We defy you to avoid a rush of childhood nostalgia (and, you know, sugar) at the first sip of the Shirley Temple "mocktail" made from maraschino cherries, grenadine, and lemon-lime soda. In the other non-alcoholic corner is a 50/50 mix of iced tea and lemonade supposedly invented by the American golfer Arnold Palmer. This one hits the spot whether you're out on the course or sitting on your porch.
Winner: Arnold Palmer
Drinking this blend of dark and light rum, pineapple, orange, and cranberry juices, and grenadine will make you feel like you're in the Caribbean wherever you are. Facing off against the rum punch is the mojito, a concoction of white rum, mint, lime juice, sugar, and a touch of club soda (an American add-on) that gained popularity thanks in part to the literary clout of major mojito fan Ernest Hemingway.
Named for the Cuban mining town where it was invented, the daiquiri is spectacular in its simplicity: light rum, lime, and sugar. Born in Puerto Rico, the piña colada's frosty frozen blend of cream of coconut, pineapple, and rum might just be the world's single greatest umbrella drink.
Call it summer water, call it rosé-all-day; whatever you call it, it's hard to believe there was ever a time when we weren't swilling rosé wine all summer long. Sangria typifies a type of effortless European cool—whatever wine you have on hand, a glug of liqueur, a few slices of ripe fruit, and you've got a cocktail to suit all your summer needs.
Made with rich, dark rum and bold, spicy ginger beer (the grown-up cousin of your standby ginger ale) a dark 'n' stormy is sure to shake your palette out of your everyday drinking rut. We've paired this one against an all-time classic, the G&T. Made simply with gin, tonic water, and a squeeze of lime, it's a thirst-quenching blend of sweet, bitter, bubbly, and herbaceous and feels just right for summer.
Winner: Gin & Tonic
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