Park City’s master mixologists compete every July to concoct sassy summer cocktails for a thirsty panel of judges and patrons, so there’s always something new on the town’s bar menus. The trend is to lighten things up, replacing dark liquors with clear vodka, gin or tequila, and adding other ingredients that run the gamut from fresh fruit and herbs to inventive simple syrups and even jalapeno peppers. Get your ‘liquid fresh” at some of these local watering holes.

RIVERHORSE Park City’s “Main Street Bees Knees” puts a new spin on an old London cocktail, and it’s been a hit with Parkites and visitors. A mix of Utah’s Beehive Botanical Gin, organic honey, fresh lemon juice and lavender bitters, it’s an aromatic and refreshing way to start your summer happy hour on Riverhorse’s front deck overlooking Main Street.

In addition to wine and beer on tap, THE SPUR BAR & GRILL offers a full menu of signature cocktails made from local spirits like their very own Spur Whiskey. Jump-start your Sunday with a “Kicked Up Mimosa,” fizzy fun in a glass, made of sparkling wine, alpine preserve and orange juice. Or try the “Persistent Kick,” a blend of Alpine Persistent Vodka, Domain Canton, jalapeno and cucumber served on the rocks.

Watch the sunsets and enjoy BUTCHER’S CHOP HOUSE & BAR’S outdoor patio at the base of the Town Lift and sip a “Something About Rosemary,” Kettle One vodka, Aperol Italian aperitif, lemon, rosemary cinnamon simple syrup and soda. Th e “Blackberry Bramble,” a mix of Tanqueray gin, lemon, blackberry shrub, simple syrup and soda and the “Ginger Margarita” are two popular drinks, and I would order the “Larceny Smash” just for its name.

Looking for a little off-Main laid-back patio time? Head to the back garden at LESPRI for an intimate, fireside spot to partake of liquid sparklers like the Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade made with fresh-squeezed lemonade, or the thirst- quenching Water-melon Gin with fresh basil. Enjoy Lespri’s extensive wine list, sampling a bottle of bubbly like Veuve Cliquot or a crisp 2010 Grgich Hills Fume Blanc.

FLANAGAN’S ON MAIN has created the “Cilantro Jalapeno Margarita,” a zesty summer cocktail of Hornitos Reposado, cilantro jalapeno simple syrup and lime juice with a splash of soda that’s sure to wake up your taste buds. Or opt for the “Irish Rosemary Ginger Whiskey Sour,” a blend of Jameson whiskey, lemon juice and rosemary ginger simple syrup.

Emerge from the shadows of shoulder season into the light and warmth of July. Grab your flip-flops and your straw hat and keep it cool, fruity and fresh this summer.

540 MAIN ST | 435-649-3536

352 MAIN ST | 435-615-1618

751 LOWER MAIN ST | 435-647-0040

1765 SIDEWINDER DR | 435-649-5900

438 MAIN ST | 435-649-8600

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