Ask A St. Louis Expert: Top Summertime Vodka Cocktails

July 31, 2014 6:00 AM

There is more than one way to cool down during the summer’s oppressive heat, and not all of them involve syrupy sweet beverages enjoyed as a kid. This one hot spot in the Central West End offers such a wide variety of vodka, that chances are there is something new to discover all summer long. When it comes to the best summertime vodkas in the area, Sub Zero Vodka is the one place that knows how to mix up the most unique vodka that is light and refreshing enough for a summertime treat. With more than 700 vodkas behind the bar to choose from, the options are endless. Corporate bartender and chief mixologist Dustin Parres has come up with a few summertime vodka cocktail recipes he’d like to share.
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Dustin Parres (Courtesy of Sub Zero)

Dustin Parres
Corporate Bartender, Gamlin Restaurant Group
Sub Zero Vodka Bar
308 N. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 367-1200

Dustin Parres has been working behind a bar for more than eight years now, so he knows how to properly prepare a drink that smoothly changes from season to season. He knows how to fire up a drink that will warm you during the freezing winter temperatures, and he is experienced in using his skill to turn his unique vodka drink mixes into one fit for a summer night. During his time behind the bar, he also studied hard and received a chemistry degree, which has given him a new look at how to craft creative cocktails. One of his favorite parts of the job is exploring new expressive and flavorful ways to work with a variety of vodkas. Because he feels that crafting drinks to fit any season can be a blank canvas or a fun exploration of working with some over-the-top flavored vodkas, he would like to share recipes to what he is currently mixing up for a summertime treat.

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Basil Gimlet (Courtesy of Sub Zero Vodka Bar)

Basil Gimlet


  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces of Shpilka vodka
  • 1 ounce of freshly prepared basil syrup
  • Just a splash of club soda


  1. Prepare the basil syrup by mixing 1 cup of fresh basil, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.
  2. Combine all ingredients, including the basil syrup, in a food processor.
  3. Use cheese cloth, or a fine strainer, to remove the basil.
  4. Store in a refrigerator until it is chilled and ready to serve.
  5. Serve in a rocks glass.
cbs sub zero szsummerdrinks tainted love l Ask A St. Louis Expert: Top Summertime Vodka Cocktails

Dustin Parres (Courtesy of Sub Zero)

Dustin Parres


  • 2 ounces of passion fruit vodka
  • 1/2 ounce of sour
  • 1/2 ounce of grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce of cranberry juice


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice to fill halfway.
  3. Shake thoroughly for at least 30 seconds, and up to five minutes, until blended well.
  4. Strain into a cocktail glass and add a garnish of your choice.

Related: Top Spots To Get A Hot Toddy In St. Louis

cbs sub zero 1 Ask A St. Louis Expert: Top Summertime Vodka Cocktails

Deep Freeze Pitcher (Courtesy of Sub Zero)

Deep Freeze Pitcher


  • 18 ounces of Reyka vodka
  • 30 ounces of lemonade
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries


  1. Place all ingredients in bottom part of a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill shaker with ice cubes about three-fourths of the way full.
  3. Stir with a bar spoon.
  4. Let the mixture rest 30 seconds or so to allow the alcohol to chill and the ice to slightly melt.
  5. Stir again.
  6. Strain into a cocktail glass and add a garnish of your choice.

Related: Ask A St. Louis Expert: Dressing For Work During The Summer Heat

Tere Scott is a freelance writer and author of e-books and two educational blogs. She loves to research information to share. She currently resides in St. Louis. Her work can be found at

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