Three Signature Cocktails to Beat the Summer Heat


The art of mixology has become increasingly popular within the past few years, thanks to dedicated and talented individuals boasting their knack for creating custom concoctions using a wide array of imaginative ingredients including choice liquors, juices, exotic fruit, spices, vegetables and a number of extraordinary contents.

Certainly, Georgia’s capital has a reputation for bringing the heat during the summer months, so it’s only right for Edible Atlanta to not only thank but feature some of the city’s best who keep their bars lively with thirsty patrons yearning for their liquid ingenuity.

Representing some of the city’s top restaurants and gastropubs, we present an amazing trio of revered mixologists who will not only make us what they consider the ultimate drink to toast when the temperatures rise, but also provide their secret recipes exclusively for us to enjoy.


Dennis Malcolm Byron is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and show host who has worked with various publications and websites for the past 15 years. Dennis is also a world-renowned beer writer, blogger and show host under the alias Ale Sharpton. Although he loves being a globetrotter, Dennis aka Ale proudly claims Atlanta as his home. You can follow him on his website, and @alesharpton on Twitter.

Holeman & Finch Public House, Buckhead


What Melissa loves about Atlanta…

“I’m from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but I call Atlanta home. I’ve lived in Georgia for more than half my life and there’s so much I love about the city of Atlanta. I particularly love the food and drink; it’s a growing culture and it’s really exciting to see it expand and impress. I also love the people; Atlantans enjoy the outdoors, they love music, art and culture. Plus, they still have a touch of that Southern charm. And I love Atlanta’s size because it’s small enough to know your banker and pharmacist and big enough to still explore and learn new things.

What Melissa loves to mix with…

“I typically start work on a drink without knowing the base spirit. I start with flavor profiles or liqueurs/modifiers first. But I have a few things that I constantly find myself reaching for: Laird’s Applejack, Luxardo Maraschino and Regan’s Orange Bitters. I don’t know that I have a favorite spirit, though. That’s like asking someone to pick their favorite child.”

About Melissa’s cocktail, The Hop Drop:

“My cocktail is the Hop Drop. It includes citrus, rum, crème de menthe and honey, which are refreshing ingredients that are perfect for warm weather. I chose them because I wanted to play on the classic Air Mail and Arise My Love cocktails. I added in a fiery pepper tincture infused with some hops to give a spicy and earthy note. The sparkling wine stretches the drink into a cooler-style drink that is seasonally appropriate.”



King + Duke, Buckhead


What Lara loves about Atlanta…

“My peer group of restaurant and bar professionals. I think we have some really talented people leading bar programs here in this city and I consider several of them to be not just peers, but good friends. We all truly respect each other and want each other to succeed. We are really all in this together.”

What Lara loves to mix with…

“My favorite spirits to mix with are generally the light and aromatic versus the heavy, brown and boozy, which I think is something that sets me apart from a lot of other mixologists in this city. I prefer using things like gin or bianco vermouth or brandy, rather than bourbon or Fernet Branca. Even when I make whiskey drinks, they tend toward the lighter, fresher side, like this one [The Yearling].”

About Lara’s cocktail, The Yearling:

“I chose the ingredients for this cocktail to reflect the concept I’m working with at King + Duke. Our inspiration from the beginning has been early American, as well as literary. I wanted to use ingredients that were traditional to early American settlers; a lot of which are present in the Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea liqueur—rhubarb, beets and carrots, spices and herbs. I added strawberries, which are fresh, seasonal and appeal to everyone. Thinking about settlers led me mentally right to a literary tie-in—The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings—hence the name.”



Leon’s Full Service, Decatur Square


What Miles loves about Atlanta…

“I love Atlanta, because of the camaraderie in our restaurant community. We are also very much in a state of growth and it’s cool to be a part of it. I am from Daytona Beach, Florida, but I have been in Atlanta for over eight years now. I have been serious about mixing drinks for five years, and I was—and still am—very much into learning and serving good beer before that.”

What Miles loves to mix with…

“My favorite spirits to mix with are bitter and herbal modifiers, because they add depth and complexity to the beverages. The craziest cocktail I’ve ever made is the Cinema Highball from Don Lee when he was at PDT. It is buttered popcorn–infused rum and Mexican Coke. It was pretty gross and kind of delicious at the same time.”

About Miles’s cocktail, The Street Sweeper:

“My cocktail is called Street Sweeper. It is Bulleit Rye, Aperol, Cynar, orange bitters and Herbsaint, a New Orleans absinthe. Most people always go to the shaken citrus route for their summer drink, which is great, but I wanted to add something that was a little more on the boozy, aperitif side.”



Be sure to visit Melissa’s, Miles’s and Lara’s fine establishments and let them know you saw them in Edible Atlanta magazine!

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