Welcome to summer. The season’s first official day is Saturday, June 20. Anticipating the heat Baton Rouge is experiencing, we searched for a few thirst-quenching beverages and light meals from around town to help you cool off.
Freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime, tequila and simple syrup served frozen make the Paloma a classic summer cocktail choice. The acidity of the citrus and sweetness of the simple syrup balance out to create a cool and fresh drink.
The Radio Bar always releases an exciting lineup of summer cocktails, and coronavirus times are no different. The bubbly Cucumber & Mint Sparkler is sparkling white wine topped off with cucumber vodka, mint syrup and lemon. The bar curates a solid list of summer wines, too.
Bumsteers‘ Tropic Like it’s Hot cocktail and Sparkling Lavender Lemonade
Tropic Like it’s Hot is a light and refreshing cocktail that still packs a punch. Jalapeno and pineapple flavors are mixed with whiskey, lemon and finished with Sprite. The sweet and relaxing Sparkling Lavender Lemonade blends lavender simple syrup and chamomile with lemonade. The drink is floral and citrus-y and almost reminiscent of tea, thanks to the chamomile. Get it to go for a chill pool day.
You may have already tried BRQ’s Frose or frozen Spicy Margarita, so this time give the Whiskey Wake-Up a spin. The caffeinated frozen cocktail is like a frozen coffee with a kick—Sazerac rye, Community Coffee cold brew, vanilla and Kleinpeter dairy. Buy two gallons to get a half-gallon free.
Blackened shrimp served on a bed of mixed greens, tossed with feta, bacon and mandarin oranges make the Blackened Shrimp Salad a healthy but filling dish. A wrap is the perfect on-the-go summer meal, and the Cali Wrap pairs the crunch of fried chicken breast with creamy mozzarella, avocado, remoulade sauce and bright lettuce. Order it to go, and pick it for a picnic lunch.
If you’re bored of the usual bowl of greens and need a remix, the Chinese Chicken Salad is a salad on steroids. Romaine, spring mix, a few ounces of rotini pasta and mandarin oranges are tossed in a sesame ginger vinaigrette, topped with fried wantons for a satisfying crunch. BLDG 5 co-owner Brumby Broussard recommends adding Cholula sauce for those who like a little extra spice. While most crab cakes include a lot of breading, BLDG 5 lets the crab meat take the spotlight in its crab cakes. They contain a quarter-pound of crab along with bell pepper and green onions in a panko crust.
Beausoleil’s Seared Ahi Tuna
This staple dish at Beausoleil has recently been revamped by its new chef, Michael Dennis. It now includes an Everything But the Bagel seasoning crust. The tuna is then sliced and served over a shaved Brussels sprout coleslaw with honey ginger vinaigrette and drizzled with Yum Yum sauce. The cold dish is light and perfect for a summer day, says Beausoleil owner and operator Jeff Conaway.
What’s more summery than a bright salad and fresh sushi? One that also comes with tropical add-ons like mango, pineapple, coconut and more. Throw on some citrusy Yuzu dressing and you’ve got a bounty of colorful flavors and contrasts to satisfy you while also feeling not-so-guilty about practically licking the plate clean.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting a fresh ceviche, then aguachile should be your next culinary adventure. It’s basically a shrimp cocktail with all the bright and spicy flavors you’d expect from Mexican cuisine. At Blue Corn, you can get aguachile doused in a Clamato house blend or a green tomatillo and jalapeno pepper sauce. Both versions are mixed with red onions, cucumber, cilantro and avocado and served with chips.
What are some of your go-to summery drinks and dishes around Baton Rouge? Let us know in the comments!