It’s hot, plain and simple. So check out one, or a few, of these 11 Pittsburgh restaurants pouring seasonal cocktails and mocktails in the city’s happening beverage scene.
Tucked away upstairs in the Round Corner Hotel building (with its downstairs neighbors Esquina Cantina), Umami is constantly bringing new bites and beverages based on the changes in season. Currently debuting are their newly crafted cocktail, Japanese Whiskey, and Sake menus for these warmer months. The colors and the flavor profiles are unique across the board, lending itself to offering a cocktail for everyone (including a lot of love for their menu mocktails). The full menu can be found here.
From their classic La Cantina margaritas to elevated agave spirits, Esquina Cantina’s bebidas menu is nothing short of extensive and impressive. Vibrancy is at the core of their bar program; from curated micheladas to transcendent cocktails that draw inspiration from various equatorial regions, the Cantina’s bar offerings are designed to remind you that vacation is simply a mindset. The full menu can be viewed here.
Perched nine stories above William Penn Place, the Biergarten at Hotel Monaco open-air concept offers lite bites and an extensive cocktail menu, available post-work and during the weekends. Biergarten’s bar program, led by Aidan Leyland, is known for its show-stopping craft cocktails. Guests can enjoy new additions to the creative cocktail list that the Biergarten is known for, like the Mercury in Retrograde — a Peach Orange Blossom Ketel One cocktail with elderflower tonic water, Campari, blueberry earl gray, and lemon — the Key and Peele featuring Bacardi, mint, clarified lime, and cucumber, and topped with Midori mint foam; and the Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice, a playful cocktail crafted with Don Julio Blanco, Solerno, Luxardo Maraschino, grapefruit, lime, and Jello grapefruit, finished with a house spice blend rim.
Cool down with Biergarten’s iconic frozen cocktails like the It’s Summer, Right, featuring IC Light Mango, Altos Tequila, agave, and fresh lime. Mocktails are also available on the rooftop. The spirit-free crowd can enjoy offerings like Sting Like a Bee with Ritual Non-Alcoholic Rum, ginger, fermented honey, and fresh lime. Biergarten offers communal seating, greenery, life-sized games, a canopy of Edison bulbs, and plenty of photo ops in the form of whimsical cocktails and city views.
Located in the former historic YMCA building at 120 S. Whitfield St., now The Maverick Hotel, M Bar is open Thursday 6-10pm, and Friday and Saturday 6pm-1am. This East Liberty neighborhood bar serves up plenty of good vibes and delicious beverages like the Bella Luna, a gin cocktail with Creme de Violette, Elderflower Liqueur, simple syrup, and lemon, and the In-Sandia-Ry made with Habanero infused Tequila, Orange Liqueur, watermelon, lime, and Demerara syrup. Happy hour is from 6-8pm with DJs every Friday and Saturday.
The Commoner’s legendary bar is home to creative craft cocktails year-round, and this coming summer will be no different. Guests will be able to sip on seasonal cocktails such as their Influencer in The Wild, crafted with strawberry-jalapeno infused Aperol, Vida Mezcal, and Dolin Genepy, and cool down with the Sleepy 75 made with Hendricks Gin, Maggie’s Farm Falernum, lavender, and fresh lemon.
The Commoner offers an extensive selection of zero-proof cocktails like the Lady May, featuring lavender, fresh lemon, and butterfly pea flower; and the Just Sippin’ Chamomile… crafted with Monday Zero Proof Gin, citrus, chamomile, and orange blossom.
The colorful and inviting East Liberty eatery has opened its open-air rooftop deck once again. This season, guests are invited to dine on the covered rooftop with 360 views of East Liberty. The festive rooftop deck is lined with colorful flags, demonstrating the cafe’s commitment to its welcoming policies. The team behind the bar at the cafe is always creating new seasonal cocktails and mocktail specials. Over the course of summer, Square Cafe will be rotating new cocktail and mocktail specials bi-weekly. Some of these new features include the Cosmosa, a unicorn-inspired cosmopolitan made with Stateside Vodka, pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and finished with Peperino Spumante; as well as a mocktail version called the Sparkling Cosmo made with pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, topped sparkling water and served on the rocks. The cafe will also feature its Morning Ale, a mule-like pick-me-up made with Casco Viejo Blanco Tequila, freshly squeezed orange, and fresh lime juice served on the rocks with a kick of ginger-lime beer.
Guests can cool off with a Mango-Berry Frosé blended frozen mango, strawberry purée, fresh lime juice, Casco Viejo Blanco Tequila, and Rosé wine; and the Sunrise Tea Cooler, a shaken mocktail with pineapple lemonade and freshly brewed raspberry iced tea, a dash of Grenadine, and frozen bits of pineapple.
Bloomfield’s highly anticipated destination to dine al fresco will be debuting its newly renovated patio this season. Experience fresh air and even fresher cocktails and fare this summer in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Little Italy. Station is helmed by nationally-acclaimed Chef Curtis Gamble and the creative culinary and bar team, creating seasonal menus for guests to experience within their space, including their spacious covered patio.
Station is welcoming the summer season with summer specialty cocktails crafted by Lead Bartender Jennifer Woods. The newly crafted summer cocktail offerings include Ostara, made with Lunazul Blanco Tequila, orange blossom, lavender honey, orange, lemon, and egg white; Cuss Words featuring Genepy, BCN Gin, fresh lime, and tonic; and the Basil-cally a Martini; made with Tomato Boyd & Blair Vodka, Basil Dolin Dry, and housemade sherry vinaigrette bitters.
This newfangled laid-back spot, dripping with old-school vibes can be found in Pittsburgh’s North Shore and The Waterfront. This local activity bar offers classic cocktails, ice-cold pints, and Latin-inspired street food paired with retro-gaming like duckpin bowling, pinball, darts, shuffleboard, and bocce. Whether you are soaking in riverfront views on Shorty’s North Shore patio or gathering with friends at the Waterfront’s fire pits, Shorty’s is just as entertaining on the outside as it is inside. Soak up the sun with Shorty’s summer-inspired cocktails all season long.
Tequila fans can enjoy Shorty’s La Flama Blanca, made with El Jimador Blanco Tequila, coconut syrup, fresh lime, and Cholula hot sauce, and the fan-favorite, Marg Under Pressure, which is batched on draft with Hidden Still Agave Spirit, agave syrup, and fresh lime. For those seeking frozen cocktails, Shorty’s is your one-stop shop for all things slush. Guests can sip on The Cherry Limeade crafted with cherry vodka, fresh lime, lemonade, and demerara sugar, and the Carmaldazed Apple with Disobedient Apple Brandy, caramel vodka, apple cider, and caramel. Cool off with Shorty’s play on the classic Long Island cocktail — the Shor “Tea” — crafted with Xplorer Peach Bourbon, unsweetened tea, Demerara sugar, and fresh lemon.
Pittsburgh’s newest modern American restaurant features global flavors and artful cocktails in the iconic downtown Pittsburgh Union Trust building. Grab a seat under the eighteen chandeliers suspended over the central bar to toast Summer’s arrival. Ritual House is bringing the season of sun to Pittsburgh with its summer-forward cocktails highlighting local spirits. Explore the extensive cocktail menu home to delicious seasonal options such as the Strawberry Fields Forever, crafted with Parking Chair Vodka, strawberry, basil, black walnut, and fresh lemon, or the South Side Fizz, made with Bluecoat Gin, aloe, mint, lemon-lime, and topped with Prosecco. Take a tropical vacation with one sip when enjoying Ritual House’s Tropic Like It’s Hot cocktail, crafted with Bly White Rum, coconut, grapefruit, pineapple, and lime. For summer’s hottest spirit, guests can experience the Jungle Jester made with Mezcal, Jamaican Rum, Gifford Pineapple Liqueur, Orgeat, fresh lime, garnished with a Tajin dusted pineapple wedge, and served in a festive “Screaming Tiki” glass.
Christian James is located in Downtown Pittsburgh within the Joinery Hotel. Global cuisine is offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every dish has a story told through the eyes of a fictional character, Christian James, who has traveled the world, gathering memories waiting to be told. The restaurant has a newly expanded bar service on the rooftop and in the hotel lobby area. Above is the Sicilian Kiss — Teremana Tequila, Limoncello, blood orange juice, agave syrup, tajin, Proper Peaches — and the Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Peach Schnapps, fresh peach slices, simple syrup, fresh mint, and Honey Rose Old Fashioned.
Located in the heart of the Historic Strip District is Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar, an upscale seafood eatery that serves an eclectic collection of local and sustainable fresh seafood, steaks, and small plates. Enjoy seasonal cocktails, many with local spirits, anytime. Or, on the weekends, sip something special while listening to live music in a comfortable environment. Try one of these deliciously crafted cocktails during your next visit: Strawberry Fields — house-infused vodka with strawberry and rosemary, lemon, strawberry simple syrup, and prosecco; passionate Pittsburgh, Big Spring Spiced Rum, passionfruit puree, mint, lime, ginger, simple syrup, or the Marigot Bay, Boyd & Blair Vodka, Thatcher’s Prickly Pear Liqueur, guava puree, and lime.
Story by Star Laliberte / Photography courtesy of each corresponding restaurant
Subscribe to TABLE Magazine’s print edition.