Just walking into Five Eleven (511 Second Street, Eureka) is relaxing. The restaurant and bar's softly vibrant blue tones ease you into a happy thirst, and pulling up a white stool to their beautifully tiled bar is like dipping your toes into a pool.
Try the Day Spa and the Cool Breeze ($9). Like their names suggest, the cocktails are a refreshing respite from the heat of the summer. (What? This is hot for us.) The Day Spa features Crop Organic cucumber-infused vodka, balanced with white grape juice and soda water. The cucumber and thyme garnish is an advertisement for the mellow deliciousness you're about to imbibe. It's a little on the sweet side, but the evaporative quality of the cucumber offsets the immediate surge of sugar.
The Cool Breeze is a stronger alternative. The concoction of citrus vodka, St. Germaine, muddled cucumber and lime juice is served up in a martini glass. It has a two-toned kick: The vodka hits you first but the floral notes of the St. Germaine are not far behind. Both cocktails are as full of sensation as they are flavor. You're a hammock and a palm frond away from exactly where you need to be.
Not drinking? Don't miss out on the poolside vibe. The virgin Basil Limeade ($5) with muddled basil, lime juice and soda — minus the Ketel One — is rimmed with a chili-sugar mix to keep things interesting. Was Shirley Temple ever this cool? •