Philadelphia may be far from the Caribbean, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great tropical beverage to enjoy on a hot summer day. These drinks will make you feel like you’re on vacation without ever having to leave the city. Whether it’s a daiquiri, mojito or pina colada, you’re sure to find a fruity, delicious drink to help keep you cool. See below for some of the best tropical drinks found in Philadelphia bars.
Alma de Cuba
1623 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Celebrated culinary artist Chef Douglas Rodriguez and restauranteur Stephen Starr bring this Cuban restaurant to life with authentic Cuban fare, trendy décor and perfectly made rum-based cocktails. Rum punches, mango martinis, daiquiris and mojitos are the norm here, but for something a bit different, try the Havana take on the classic old fashioned, made with Bulleit, orange, pomegranate seeds and housemade cigar bitters. For a real tropical drink, try the picante pina, comprised of cazadores blanco, lime juice, jalapeno and fresh pineapple. Pair your drink with Cuban cuisine, such as ceviches or the lechon asado, which is crispy roasted pork with congri rice and sour orange mojo.
4000 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The Copabanana has two locations, one on the legendary South Street and the other in University City, and both serve delicious tropical drinks. While the University City location is geared more toward the college student (especially the one on a tight budget!), the original Copa on South Street is a premier location for those looking to add color to their night. Order one of the fruity margaritas (pomegranate, raspberry), fruity mojitos (coconut, orange-mango) or a specialty drink, like a pina colanda or a copa lemonade.
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10 S. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Cuba Libre is popular in Old City for its salsa dancing every Friday and Saturday night, as well as its Cuban cuisine, but this place also serves well-crafted tropical cocktails that’ll keep you coming back for more. Cuba Libre has a huge cocktail list featuring mojitos, rum punch, caiprinhas and specialty tropical cocktails. Don’t drink alcohol? No problem. Cubre Libre has a selectional of carefully crafted tropical mocktails, like the Lychee Ti’, made with lychee juice, iced tea, lime juice, guarapo and almond syrup.
Reef Restaurant & Lounge
605 S. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Reef Restaurant and Lounge is a fun spot on South Street for salsa dancing, Caribbean food and tropical drinks. Reef offers an exotic escape away from city living and its colorful drinks range in price from $9-$11. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a frozen treat, including frozen margaritas, daiquiris and specialty drinks including the brandy alexander, made with brandy, dark crème da cacao, ice cream and grated nutmeg. Tropical martinis and mojitos in flavors like mango and pineapple also are plentiful here.
The Yachtsman, by PYT’s Tommy Up and co-owner Sarah Brown, recently opened in Fishtown. Here you’ll find cocktails prepared by the folks behind the nearby popular cocktail bar Emmanuelle. As Philadelphia’s only complete tiki bar in decades, the Yachtsman has Polynesian décor and plenty of rum-based cocktails, some even served in coconuts. If you’re not in a cocktail mood, the Yachtsman also has cheap domestic and Hawaiian beer. No food is served here, but you can have food delivered to the bar or bring in something from one of the food trucks parked outside.
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Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.