From cocktails to smoothies, find out which refreshing sips made our list of the best summer thirst quenchers.
Summer in Tempe is best experienced with a few savvy hacks: Pool time is essential, early morning hikes are a non-negotiable and you must have something refreshing to sip on. Thanks to these unwritten rules for the summer season, Tempe’s beverage purveyors are continually raising the bar on cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, teas and just about every other frosty beverage selection. So much so, that we couldn’t fit them all into one list … also check out our Signature Crafted Cocktails and our Frozen Treats blogs for even more summer delights.
In the meantime, prepare to indulge your tastebuds, because the summer drinks that made our must-try list have beat the competition — as well as the heat — to earn top honors.
Alter Ego & Alibi
Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown | 108 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 612-7871
Alter Ego offers inventive hand-crafted summer cocktails like the Alter Mi-Tai and the Copper City Crush; both are refreshing and give you all of the summer feels. Sip on your cocktail while enjoying their gorgeous interior space, or order from the rooftop lounge, Alibi.
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. #1220, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 658-1660
Known for its contemporary casual dining bar experience and signature martinis, Bar Louie at Tempe Marketplace is a must for summertime cocktails. The Diva and Louie’s Cosmo are among the house favorites, while their margaritas, sangrias and mojitos are nothing short of exceptional.
Dave & Buster’s
Tempe Marketplace | 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 281-8456
Eat, Drink, and escape the heat at Tempe’s very own big kid’s playground, Dave & Buster’s, located at Tempe Marketplace. Try one of the new drinks from their in-house mixologist, like the Strawberry Watermelon Frosé or the creamy Lemonade. Enjoy your adult beverage while playing old-school arcade games such as Pop-A-Shot, Pac-Man and Skeeball.
1006 E. Warner Rd. #102-103, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 474-4328
Hands down, the best summer drink has to go to the Prickly Pear Frosé Rita from Ghost Ranch! The staff would describe it as “a frozen margarita that fell in love with a glass of cold rosé and had the most perfect, well-balanced, cocktail baby.” I mean, after that description, how could you not try it?!
5350 S. Lakeshore Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 531-4571
Cocktails with a view? Don’t mind if we do! Lido Restaurant overlooks a neighborhood lake and is a great way to catch summer sunsets while sippin’ on one of their many cocktails like the Paloma Rose or a Mule Twist.
The Golden Pineapple Craft Lounge
2700 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 590-5703
Cool down and relax under Golden Pineapple’s shaded patio while enjoying one of their many frozen cocktail options like the Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri or Frozen Irish. They offer a ton more options on their bar menu, not to mention there’s a new cocktail every week; ask the bartender for more information!
Society by EVO
920 E. University Dr. Ste 204, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480)-550-7801
Tempe’s upscale restaurant, Society by EVO, is a place to dine and drink cocktails all summer long. Open from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every night, Society by EVO has plenty of cocktails that are out of this world. Try the Jamaican Me Frisky drink with Myers Dark Rum, Re’al Coconut, Pineapple and Lime. Don’t let your night stop there; head down to Tempe Improv, located below the restaurant, for a night full of laughs and more cool drinks.
Terra Tempe Kitchen & Spirits
11 E. 7th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-8885
Terra Tempe, located at The Westin Tempe Hotel, is the perfect summer hangout spot. Their bar features a wide array of signature nature-infused craft cocktails, local Arizona breweries and an unexpectedly generous wine list. This summer, try the refreshing Saguaro Sunset: carpano botanic, desert pear, demerara and pineapple.
1006 E. Warner Rd. #101, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 777-9482
Head on over to Bahama Buck’s, where you can relax and connect with friends while you experience a little piece of paradise. Bahama Buck’s, located on the northeast corner of South Rural Rd. and Warner Rd., knows the exact science of creating irresistible frozen treats. They have their flavors down pat, from their “Sno” creations to their Island Smoothies. Try their Piña Colada Sno; it’s out of this world and makes you feel like you’re on a real island vacation. New this year, try their Sno Pop made with your favorite childhood popping candy. Feel free to bring your pup, as they also serve Pup Sno, an unflavored SnoBall with whipped cream for your furry friends!
Joe’s Italian Ice
2019 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 907-7077
Joe’s Italian Ice brings Philly-style frozen treats to Tempe. Each specialty treat is crafted to perfection with real fruit from California farms and ice cream straight from a dairy in Philadelphia. They offer nearly 100 different unique Italian ice flavors, from Strawberries ‘n Cream to Peanut Butter Cup; you can even combine your choice of soft-serve ice cream with it!
Tropical Smoothie Café
8707 S. Priest Dr. #108, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 496-4200
Tropical Smoothie Café, located on Priest Dr. and Warner Rd., offers fresh, natural-quality smoothies perfect for summertime. Made with bold, flavorful food, Tropical Smoothie Café only makes its smoothies with real fruit and vegetables. Ask for a superfood or supercharged smoothie to stay on track with your diet, or if it’s the weekend and you are looking to let your hair down, choose one of their Indulgent Smoothies. All options can be paired with supplements or add-ins for an added benefit.
Original ChopShop Co.
222 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 307-9336
Along with their healthy cuisine, Original ChopShop Co. also offers some of the best pressed juices in the Valley that will be sure to quench your summer thirst. Cool off from the summer heat with the Cool Down summer drink! This beverage keeps it light with watermelon, pineapple, apple, lime and ginger. We also recommend trying the Hydrator, made with cucumber, pineapple, lemon, coconut water and aloe vera juice; it will keep you hydrated and refreshed through the summer months.
1250 E. Apache Blvd. #112, Tempe, AZ | (480) 912-6283
With tons of cool and unique summer drinks like smoothies, slushes, teas and Boba drinks, Mango Rabbit should be at the top of your list. All items are over the top, made-to-order, and fully customizable. Before placing your order, we suggest you pick out your summer drink solely based on their Instagram feed, as their menu items are something you have to see to believe.
310 S. Mill Ave. #A101, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-9288
Known for its breakfast, brunch and lunch, Daily Jam is also a spectacular option for refreshing smoothies. Try their PB&J smoothie that tastes like you’re devouring a PB&J sandwich…just in smoothie form! Add chocolate or vanilla protein powder for extra substance. Pro tip: Order your drinks (alcoholic or not) from the indoor/outdoor bar instead of the counter for a shorter wait time. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sparky’s Old Town Creamery
510 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 921-6228
Downtown Tempe’s mainstay, Sparky’s Old Town Creamery, has kept Tempe refreshed and delighted every summer since the ’90s. Known for churning fresh ice cream daily on Mill Avenue, Sparky’s features delicious Hawaiian shaved ice made from real Hawaiian shaved ice products leaving you with something you might only expect to get when on island time. If shaved ice isn’t your thing, try one of their milkshakes made with any flavor of ice cream and pair it with one of their mix-ins.