A Slice of Sunshine: Stella Barra’s New Craft Cocktails for the Summer
Stella Barra is more than just a pizzeria: It’s Lincoln Park’s neighborhood hangout that changes with the seasons! And this season, our friends next door will offer four brand-new signature craft cocktails inspired by the sights and tastes of summer. The restaurant’s very own mixologists invented every pick, which use juices that are freshly squeezed every day. Consider it part of Stella Barra’s mantra.
So swing by post-work for an always lively happy hour, or get date night started on the right foot for any of these handcrafted concoctions that deliver on looks and taste.
Summer Cocktail No. 1: Smoke Show
cruz de fuego mezcal, ancho reyes chili liqueur, pineapple, almond ($15)
This drink is made with Cruz de Fuego mezcal tequila, a partnership with Summer House and Stella Barra for the past 2.5 years. It’s good for cocktails because it’s a little on the smokier side, lightly affected by freshly squeezed juices. Color-wise the cocktail looks super fresh, and it pairs well with anything that has a little heat like the Crispy Calamari, or pizzas that have truffle oil. It’s a riff on the tiki drink, as it uses mezcal instead of the traditional (boring) rum.
Summer Cocktail No. 2: Figure of Speech
ezra brooks bourbon, pistachio liqueur, fig preserves ($13)
This is also considered a fall drink, as the fresh fig preserves add an interesting flavor and viscosity. When combined with pistachio liqueur, it has shades of a charcuterie board, in that it has a distinct and familiar savoriness. However, it’s still a light refresher, just a bit more filling than the usual clear liquor and juice drinks you’d see on patios all throughout the summer. It pairs with the Spicy Salumi & Buratta Pizza, Cheese Pizza, and in general, is an amazing palate cleanser!
Summer Cocktail No. 3: Sunset Spritz
aperol, fords gin, lemon, grapefruit, soda ($14)
The cocktail embodiment of Sunset Boulevard. It differs from the run-of-the-mill aperol spritz in that it has more booze (and it’s gin), and features citrus with grapefruit and lemon. It’s more refreshing as a result—aperol spritzes can be syrupy. The Sunset Spritz also uses soda water instead of sparkling to balance out the bitterness. It pairs well with most Happy Hour appetizers like the Garlic Foccacia, plus the classic Buratta with prosciutto.
Summer Cocktail No. 4: Tequila Mockingbird
codigo rosa tequila, lemon, grapefruit, orange blossom ($14)
Codigo’s Rosa tequila is aged for one month in uncharred Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels. Aging the tequila this way gives it a rose color, and brings more density to the flavor thanks to the wood’s characteristics. The glass is rinsed with orange blossom to give more flavor and a floral note you can smell before tasting. It’s floral, citrusy, and fun to be watch made. Pair with something salty like Crispy Brussels Sprouts and the Cacio E Pepe Thin Sin Pizza with pecorino, parmesan cream, black pepper, egg and garlic. Or, go simple with Housemade Potato Chips.