By Michele Stueven

This summer is a scorcher and we’ve got six sexy tips to help you cool down, whether it’s a block from the beach in the only green zone on the weather map at The Victorian or by getting a brain freeze at Piccalilli.

In the 1970s, two of Santa Monica’s most iconic and historic Victorian homes on Ocean Avenue were lifted off their foundations and trucked down to the corner of Main Street and Ocean Park Boulevard, saving them from demolition due to development.

One was the home built in 1894 for Roy Jones, son of longtime U.S. Sen. John Percival Jones, co-founder of Santa Monica. The other was the lesser known and somewhat mysterious Kyte House, built around the same time and inhabited by the leader of the Southern California Masonic Lodges, Dr. George I. Kyte, and his family.

They found their forever homes in what is now Heritage Square and were reborn as, respectively, the California Heritage Museum and a restaurant, the Victorian.

The summer cocktail menu in the breezy patio includes a dramatically cool Tits Out And Sunny, complete with an orangesicle, a crisp Miss Gindependent with Hendricks, honey lemonade and strawberry.  The Transfusion offers Titos, ginger ale, grape and lime relief from the heat. Bites include a cool tartine trio of ricotta, hemp seed and strawberry, hot honey – cold smoked salmon with fried capers and whipped cream cheese and a deviled egg salad with cornichon. There’s also a crisp pork belly bao with grilled pineapple and slaw. The Italian chopped salad crostini with pepperoni, salami, pepperoncini, smoked mozzarella in a red wine vinaigrette pairs well with a Calamigos Rose.

Even if you don’t make it to Italy this summer and are getting pretty sick and tired of everybody’s else’s vacation pictures, North Italia locations have brought back its annual Summer Sips campaign through Labor Day,  Sept. 4, including Los Angeles and Orange County at Del Amo Fashion Center, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Fashion Valley, Irvine and Del Mar.

The selection of limited-edition cocktails include the Capri Gimlet with Hendrick’s Gin, cucumber, Italian elderflower and fresh lime, the Dolce Fiore with rose infused Aviation Gin, Fiorente, Starlino Rosé and lemon, a Amarena Sour with Yellowstone Bourbon, Disaronno, Grand Marnier, Luxardo Cherry and pressed lemon, as well as the Il Cielo with Vulcanica Sicilian Vodka, Fiorente, Blue Curacao and lemon.

Helmed by Executive Chef Rigoverto Salas and curated by new Food and Beverage Director Daniel Sabo, the newly reopened Rosy Café is a palm-shaded oasis by the pool at The Hollywood Roosevelt. It is open all day for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner. Special summer cocktails include the Rosy Negroni, The Garden Cosmonaut, and Ferrari Shakerato, as well as all your champagne fantasies, delivered via a roving vintage bubbles cart, featuring vintages of Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon, rosé by the glass and large format bottles for any summer patio brunch needs.

Wednesday, July 19, is the 125 th birthday of the Daiquiri.  Created in the 1890s in Cuba, the Daiquiri was developed by mining engineer Jennings S. Cox using three ingredients local to the island — lime juice, sugar and  rum — to cool down from the sweltering summer heat. He used BACARDÍ Superior Rum in the original recipe. Here’s the original recipe for the company’s frozen daiquiri:

BACARDÍ Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
1 1/2 oz. BACARDÍ Superior Rum
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3-4 sliced strawberries
1 cup(s) crushed Ice

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a blender. Add 1 cup of crushed ice and blend until a slushy consistency forms. Serve in individual highball glasses. Garnish with a strawberry slice.

Downtown Culver City’s Piccalilli has a new specialty Slushie Cocktail program that includes:

It’s Elemen-Cherry My Dear — Angelisco Blanco Tequila, lemon, lime, sour cherry, candied cherry syrup, Dry Curacao

Freeze the Pain Away — Plantation three Stars Rum, orange juice, pineapple, coconut cream, Diplomatico Reserva Aged Rum, nutmeg

Phuket Phreeze — Blue Ice potato vodka, sweetened Thai iced tea, coconut cream

Hummingbird Nectar — Yuu Baal Mezcal, apricot and elderflower liqueur, Aperol, Brandy, lemon and ginger

This piece first appeared at

Michele Stueven