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Five chilly libations to beat the heat

It's hot outside -- so hot, in fact, that two restaurants in the Kevin Taylor Group, Prima Ristorante and Palettes, are adding summer happy hours. Prima Ristorante is featuring half-price appetizers, cocktails, beers and wines by the glass daily from 4 until 6 p.m. Palettes is offering half off cocktails, beers and wines by the glass on Fridays from 4 until 6 p.m.

Which is good, because the best way we can think of to beat the heat is to post up with a cold drink. Here are five more libations around town that will help you cool down in the mid-summer heat wave.

1. In the intense heat, instant gratification is as easy as a light beer, particularly when that light beer is combined with lime and served in a salt-rimmed glass as a michelada. Our favorite micheladas in town come from El Olvido, which makes the lime version as well as micheladas rojas with tomato juice.

2. We're shameless about our love for the occasional frozen drink, especially in the summer -- and we're suckers for Interstate Kitchen & Bar's torpedo slushy cone, which is similar to a 7-Eleven slurpee, except that this one is made with booze; the drink comes in blue, red or suicide.

3. Margaritas become an essential part of our diets in the warm months, and our fanaticism takes us, frequently, to El Diablo, where there are a number of takes on the margarita. While we'd happily sit and drink our way through them all, we find ourselves gravitating toward the O.G., El Diablo's house pour, and the Picoso, which includes muddled jalapeños. We just wish the bar poured them by the pitcher.

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4. We love the caipirinha, a refreshing sugar-cane spirit muddled with lime and cachaça that makes us daydream of white-sand Brazilian beaches. We like the traditional versions of this cocktail at Cafe Brazil and Steuben's -- and the rendition made with lemongrass at Linger.

5. Every day around 4 p.m., we ponder going out for an ice cream or a frozen yogurt or possibly a granita, an ice-and-fruit concoction similar in texture to sorbet. But what's better than a granita? An alcoholic granita, which you can currently find at Osteria Marco, concocted with housemade orange cello liqueur, ginger beer, cranberry and pineapple juices and Prosecco.

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