As a fair-skinned vampire, I don’t much care for direct sunlight. I’d rather be nestled in a corner booth with low lighting than partying on a patio. And this extreme heat we’re experiencing lately? It’s madness. I can’t even walk to my car without my hair frizzing up like ladies from the ’80s.

Unless you’re submerged in a somewhat large body of water — I’ll allow a kiddie pool to qualify — the radiating over-95-degree sun is just no fun. What we’re all gonna have to do is just stay indoors and load up on cold, sugary treats.

And it just so happens that you’re in luck. Because that’s exactly what I did all last week, so I have a very special report for you.

And by “very special,” I don’t mean a “very special episode” where Punky Brewster gets her period. I mean a hand-scooped, freshly chiseled list of six summertime delectables that put the illin’ in chillin’.

Some of these have alcohol, some don’t. But all of them rank high on quality, taste and blissful sweet-tooth satisfaction.

Enjoy. And in the words of Vivian Ward in “Pretty Woman” as she departs the Beverly Wilshire with $3,000 in her pocket — “Stay cool.”

Watermelon Crack ($5) @ Apocalypse Brew Works
Watermelon Crack is whack. | Photo by Sara Havens

Sweet nectar of the gods! Apocalypse Brew Works serves up its Watermelon Crack beer each May, June, July and August to the delight of many.

Just take a seat at the small taproom on a Friday at 5 p.m. and watch how many thirsty Louisvillians bum rush the doors to fill up growlers for the weekend.

The watermelon-infused ale sits at just 4.2 percent alcohol, so it’s light, refreshing and sippable all day and/or night long.

While I was there, brewer Leah Dienes let me in on a secret. Some people like to mix the Watermelon Crack with the brewery’s popular Fallout Dust — a beer infused with peppercorns — creating a fabulous spicy-sweet flavor in your mouth. I tried just a small sample of such a union and can attest to its charm.

So how should you order it? Just ask for a Dusty Crack.

Rocky Road ($5) @ Ehrler’s
Rocky Road! | Photo by Sara Havens

When I heard Ehrler’s was scooping up my all-time favorite ice cream, Rocky Road, I had to clutch my pearls. In fact, it was the impetus for this entire article, because I needed an excuse to leave work for a “scoop.”

When I finally got away, it was right in the middle of that bad storm that blew through town last month. As debris flew by the windows of the Main Street shop and tornado sirens blared, I sat in complete elation, shoveling in bite after bite of creamy perfection.

I think I may have frightened the staff with the dazed but happy look on my face I can only describe as the Care Bear Stare.

The smooth and silky chocolate ice cream was packed with chocolate-covered almond bits and rivers of marshmallows swirls — and, of course, I had to have my love of hot fudge on top.

Stars & Stripes ($6) @ Big Bar
Happy Fourth of July! | Courtesy of Big Bar

Every Fourth of July, Big Bar empties its frozen drink machine with whatever nasty margarita concoction it contained and fills it with this mouthwatering cup of heaven.

It’s a take on a piña colada, with Bacardi rum and banana and coconut cream. The blue comes from Blue Curacao drizzles, and the red stripes are strawberry puree.

Top it with whipped cream, and you have a bangin’ holiday in a glass. I also like to add an extra shot tube of spiced rum for $2 more because … why not?

Hurry in, because the Stars & Stripes won’t last long. I’m sure there’s a cucumber margarita just waiting to take its place.

The Avocado ($11) @ Seviche

This hunk of goddess goodness on a plate is available all year long at Seviche, but it just seems more appropriate and tastier in the hot summer months. Actually, I’ll eat it just about anytime you put it in front of me, though.

Praise be! | Photo by Sara Havens

It’s made with avocado ice cream, which sounds kinda gross, but trust me — it’s light, creamy and smooth, almost like it’s cat-fishing as mint chocolate. The best part is the pit, made of 100 percent bourbon truffle chocolate. I usually pull that off and enjoy it at the end, because it makes my feet tap and my hand shoot into the air like I’m feelin’ Jesus at church.

The fact that it’s lined with a chocolate shell as well should be a sign that you need to head to the Highlands restaurant for some healin’ ASAP.

Bourbon & Cheerwine Slushie ($9) @ Royals Hot Chicken
Cheerwine & bourbon | Photo by Sara Havens

Cheerwine is a Southern-based, cherry-flavored soda that has been causing cavities and happiness since 1917. So why not add bourbon? Royals usually has two slushie options, and the Cheerwine is one of them at the moment.

And just because you see a pre-made mix of frozen merriment spinning in the machine, don’t assume it’s weak. I had a 16-ounce pour during lunch last week that made me dazed and happily confused — or was that the Gonzo sauce on my chicken? You never know.

Nearby neighbor and sister store Feast BBQ also has several bourbon slushie options, so you could technically make a night hopping from one to the other, back and forth, until the brain freeze overcomes.

Ballotin Banana Split Milkshake ($6) @ Kingfish
Bartender Eddie’s milkshakes bring all the girls to the yard. | Courtesy of Jeffersonville Kingfish

I thought a banana split was one of the most perfect man-made creations of our time. And then Kingfish decided to add whiskey to it — and not just any whiskey but the locally made Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey.

It’s also no coincidence that both Kingfish restaurants can be found on the banks of the Ohio River — their high-powered blenders make the best beach (or beach-ish) drinks this side of the Panhandle.

Throw in some chocolate whiskey and banana and strawberry cream, and out comes this afternoon delight.

If you can’t beat the heat, split it.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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