Hot Nights, Cold Drinks—Naperville Bars and Restaurants Showcase Their Summer Flavors

July 2012 View more


Most people agree that Naperville summers are much too short. So what better way to savor the season than with a refreshing icy drink from one of the city’s finest watering holes? Over the rocks or in an icy blend, the tastes of summer have arrived at Naperville restaurants and bars!

Viva the Margarita!

Potter’s Place, 25 W. Jefferson St., is just one place to sample a seasonal favorite. Executive Chef Donny Greco says the beverage consumption at Potter’s Place triples in the summer months, largely due to their roomy, festive, outdoor patio and accompanying live music almost every night of the week. The most popular order at this Mexican restaurant is the margarita. “It’s prepared from our special recipe which I don’t wish to reveal,” said Greco. The most popular among their more than 15 margarita flavors is the ultimate margarita, which contains 1800 Reposado tequila, Grand Marnier, sour mix and lime. Fruit lovers can find the standard margarita flavor selections such as fresh strawberry and mango puree, along with contemporary favorites like pomegranate, melon, and apple, served on the rocks or blended into a frozen delight. Non-alcoholic versions of the original, strawberry, or mango margarita can also be ordered on the rocks.

Another summertime favorite at Potter’s Place is their selection of twisted lemonades—a blend of lemonade and flavored vodka such as raspberry, blueberry, pomegranate, or cranberry. Look for another interesting summer offering on the menu called the ‘iceberg’. “It looks like softened ice cream floating on a sea of beer,” said Greco. The main ingredients are Modelo
Especial beer topped with a dollop
of their frozen margarita.

Upstairs from Potter’s Place is Two Nine—a contemporary martini lounge. Here customers can order their favorite martini inside or outside at the shanty bar on Two Nine’s intimate balcony. While all the favorite martini flavors remain during the summer, the season brings out some new flavors including the bombpop martini, which looks just like the frozen novelty that bears its name. The Two Nine bartenders skillfully create layers of red, white, and blue from blue curacao, grenadine and lemon juice. In one sip, the drink produces the conflicting emotions of childhood longing and appreciation for being of age to drink.

Light and Healthy

At CityGate Grille, 2020 Calamos Court, as the temperature climbs, the drinks shed their calories. “We change our drinks seasonally,” said Manager Vanessa Felice. “In the summer, people are looking for something lighter.”

One example is the celery and cilantro cocktail which combines the two natural flavors with Smirnoff vodka, lime, citrus, and soda water for a refreshing drink that only contains 130 calories. Likewise, the refreshing cucumber and ginger cooler uses a ginger infused syrup and Hendrick’s gin, which is infused with cucumber and gives the drink its distinctive flavor. A heavier, but still healthy offering, is the new blueberry yogurt martini. Blueberry greek yogurt, Smirnoff blueberry vodka, lemon juice and muddled blueberries combine for a delicious dessert cocktail.

Cool Summer Drinks: Courtesy CityGate Grille

1-ounce Jim Beam bourbon

1-ounce Jeremiah Weed sweet tea vodka

3-ounce lemonade

1-ounce sweet and sour mix

Fill cocktail glass with ice and put in Jim Beam Bourbon and Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka. Add splash of sweet and sour mix and fill rest of the glass with lemonade. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

1-ounce Korbel Organic Brut Champagne

½-ounce St. Germain liqueur

10-ounces soda water

1½-ounces Grey Goose Citron vodka

Fill shaker with ice and add St. Germain and Grey Goose Citron. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with splash of soda water and Korbel.