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MIXOLOGY

S U M M E R C O C KTA I L S

Thanks to the season’s bounty of fresh produce, summertime
cocktails run the flavor gamut
BY SALLY KRAL
When summer hits, consumers look for
cocktails that embrace fresh flavors, such
as Hibiscus Collins from Upland in Miami

W
hen summer hits, people let their hair down; restaurant Upland, who adds that she focuses on fresh juices (top left), The Smokeshow from Rustic
they’re more relaxed and easy-going, notes Julieta and natural sugar in her own seasonal drinks. The venue’s Canyon in Los Angeles (above), Spring In
Tokyo (below) from Miami-based Abuzo,
Campos, head bartender at The Whistler in Cucumber & Smoke ($14) comprises El Jimador Blanco Tequi- and the Sake Your Eda'Mame' from Miami
Chicago. “In the winter, our patrons seek out comfort drinks, la, lime and cucumber juices, agave nectar, and Bittermens bar Komodo (bottom left).
but they really loosen up in the summer, and that naturally Orchard Street Celery shrub, and the Hibiscus Collins ($14)
translates to their drinking.” mixes Tito’s Handmade vodka, Cocchi Americano aperitif,
Beth Hoselton, bar manager of The Hourly Oyster House house-made hibiscus syrup, and lemon and grapefruit juices.
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, agrees, noting that she strives At The Hourly Oyster House, Hoselton’s Strawberry Fields
to make cocktails that enhance relaxed, warm-weather activ- ($12) blends Citadelle gin with Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur, house-
ities. “Summer is all about hanging out on a patio or porch, made strawberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, and mint leaves.
lounging with friends, and sipping on something cool and “Gin is my go-to spirit, especially in the summer when it’s so

TKRIGHT) NATE REED; (BOTTOM LEFT) DEEPSLEEP STUDIO; (BOTTOM RIGHT) DYLAN RIVES
refreshing,” she says. well-suited for refreshing cocktails,” Hoselton says. “The same
Summer is a sublime time for cocktail lovers because the goes for Tequila and mezcal, and even rum—a tiki-style drink
season's plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables lends itself can’t be beat when you’re sitting in the sun.” Her Swizzle Me
well to refreshing drinks, notes Nate Reed, bar manager of Timbers ($13) mixes Clément Select Barrel rhum agricole,
Rustic Canyon in Los Angeles. “Our cocktails are popular Bodegas Dios Baco Cream Sherry, St. George Bruto Ameri-
year-round, but the seasonal section of our drinks menu gets cano aperitif, house-made velvet falernum, fresh lime juice,
the most love in the summertime,” he says. “Fresh fruit really and Angostura bitters.
entices our customers.” Indeed, the trend toward all things Aaron Polsky, bar manager of Los Angeles bar Harvard &
fresh and seasonal is still going strong as mixologists continue Stone, says that he generally reaches for clear spirits like vodka,
to experiment with different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. gin, Tequila, mezcal, and rum in the summer. His Sunset Pig
“Fruit-forward drinks with a fresh, herbal element are always ($12) comprises Herradura Blanco Tequila, Giffard Crème de
popular and delicious,” Reed says. “I like to use strawberries, Pêche de Vigne peach liqueur, simple syrup, fresh lime juice,
raspberries, citrus, mint, sage, basil—there are so many Tabasco Original Red hot sauce, and fresh muddled cherries.
options during the summer.” The Sage Advice ($14) from But Polsky notes that dark spirits can also work well in the
Rustic Canyon’s seasonal cocktail menu features Four Pillars summer when paired with the right bright flavors. Indeed, Char-
(TOP

gin, honey syrup, and muddled Meyer lemon and sage. lotte Mirzoeff, bar manager of Temple Court in the Beekman
BY(TK)

“Summer invites tropical and citrus flavors,” says Jennifer Hotel in New York City, enjoys putting a more refreshing spin
PHOTO BY
PHOTOS

Schmitt, beverage manager and sommelier for Miami-based on whisk(e)y-based cocktails. Her Jane Austen cocktail ($18)

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summertime cocktail. “What peach shrub, lemon juice, agave nectar, Earl Grey tea, and ogists are experimenting with other spirits such as Pisco, aroma-
matters most is the flavor roasted thyme. At The Whistler, Campos similarly keeps her tized wines, and cachaça. The Pisco Flower ($14) at The Lobby
profile of the drink—refresh- Midnight Muse ($12) at a lower abv by using a liqueur base Lounge in the JW Marriott Chicago features ginger-infused Barsol
ing is the first rule, carbon- and just an ounce of spirit. The drink features Apologue Pisco, house-made hibiscus syrup, lemon and lime juices, and egg
ation is always a good idea, Aronia Berry liqueur, Agave de Cortes mezcal, simple syrup, white. Polsky’s Warlock of Love ($13) at Harvard & Stone blends
and, last but not least, it must fresh lime juice, fresh cucumber, Weatherby’s Cola bitters, and Avuá Amburana cachaça, Casa Magdalena rum, house-made
have acidity,” he says, adding Gosling’s ginger beer. “I like low-abv effervescent cocktails in watermelon syrup, lemon and pineapple juices, and mint.
that ice is another essential the summer,” Campos says. “Summers can be hot and humid “I feel like we’re all on vacation when summer hits and patrons
factor in the summer. “If you so a bubbly cocktail that I can drink all day long is ideal.” don’t want to think too hard about what they are drinking, but
pour a classic Old Fashioned Temple Court’s Mirzoeff adds that because day drinking is I can also get away with ‘in your face’ flavors such as cactus,
into a Collins glass over more common in the summer months, sessionable drinks are passion fruit, and watermelon,” Campos says. Her Definitely
crushed ice and top it with very popular. “People are jumping on the Spritz bandwagon Not Poison cocktail ($12) comprises CH aquavit, BG Reynolds
tonic water, it will be a hit.” now more than ever—I’ve seen so many Spritz menus popping Passion Fruit syrup, Abano amaro, lemon juice, and oat milk.
Indeed, long drinks are up for the summer that are really The Hourly Oyster House’s
always popular when the interesting and fun,” she says. Hoselton is inspired by experimen-
temperature rises. “I love Temple Court offers the classic tal techniques and flavors. “I get
While fruit-based cocktails are summer staples, mixologists are using savory flavors to keep drinks refreshing making citrus-forward drinks Negroni Sbagliato ($14), a lighter very excited about unique infu-
(Freedom From Want from Chicago's Split Rail left; Los Angeles-based Rustic Canyon's Sage Advice right). and pouring them over a large take on the Negroni that features sions, fat-washed spirits, and incor-
ice cube,” Rustic Canyon’s Campari aperitif, Carpano Antica porating unusual ingredients that
features Evan Williams Bourbon, Cappelletti aperitif, Green Reed notes. “Shandies are popular because they’re lower in Formula vermouth, and Le Vigne you wouldn’t typically find in a
Chartreuse liqueur, acid-adjusted rhubarb juice, and muddled alcohol content, long, and refreshing.” His Summer Shandy di Alice Damàn Prosecco. At the cocktail, such as mushroom, carrot,
strawberries and dill. “It’s harder to get someone to order ($13) blends Capurro Pisco, Manuel Acha white vermouth, Italian steakhouse Torali in The or celery,” she says.
whisk(e)y in the summer but I’m up for the challenge,” she says. house-made strawberry shrub, fresh lemon juice, and saison Ritz-Carlton Chicago, the Torali Rustic Canyon’s Reed incorpo-
beer (brand varies). Spritz ($14) is a riff on the classic rates amaro into many of his cock-
Low And Slow The Up Room’s 5 O’Clock Tea ($14), created by Da Cruz Aperol Spritz, featuring Aperol tails. “The great thing about amaro
Douglas Da Cruz, Jr., manager of The Up Room lounge at the and manager Tim Hollingsworth, keeps the abv low by using aperitif, St-Germain elderflower is that the flavor is very different
Robey Hotel in Chicago, believes that any spirit can work in a just an ounce of Knob Creek Bourbon mixed with house-made liqueur, Veuve Clicquot Brut between brands,” he says. “If I find
Champagne, club soda, and a cocktail is lacking in a certain
house-made lavender and jasmine flavor category or coming on too
Summer Cocktail Recipes essence tincture. The drink was strong in another, choosing the
created by Leo Enriquez, food and right amaro will help balance the
FREEDOM FROM WANT 5 O’CLOCK TEA SMOKESHOW beverage manager for the hotel. drink.” His Smokeshow cocktail
By Brenna Washow By Douglas Da Cruz, Jr. and By Nate Reed At Chicago restaurant Split- ($16) blends Angeleno amaro with
Tim Hollingsworth Rail, beverage manager Brenna Yola mezcal, Leopold Bros. Ameri-
Ingredients: Washow developed a section on can Orange liqueur, house-made
Ingredients:
1 ounce Yola mezcal;
1¼ ounces Salers gentian liqueur; Ingredients:
¾ ounce Angeleno amaro;
the drinks menu dedicated to low- With long drinks immensely popular in hot weather, the grapefruit-rosemary syrup, fresh
¾ ounce St. Elder elderflower liqueur; 1 ounce Knob Creek Bourbon; and no-proof cocktails that are 5 O'Clock Tea (pictured) from The Up Room in Chicago lemon juice, and muddled raspber-
½ ounce Leopold Bros. American Orange
1½ ounces grapefruit juice; 1 ounce peach shrub2;
2 dashes cinnamon tincture1; 2 ounces Earl Grey tea liqueur; ideal for summer. Her Freedom uses only an ounce of Bourbon to keep the alcohol low. ries. At Split-Rail, Washow’s Noth-
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice; From Want cocktail ($8) comprises ing Left to Burn ($8) features
Rosemary sprig. ½ ounce lemon juice;
½ ounce grapefruit-rosemary syrup3;
¼ ounce agave nectar;
3 fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish. Salers gentian liqueur, St. Elder elderflower liqueur, grapefruit Averna amaro, Wild Sardinia Mirto liqueur, lemon and grape-
Recipe: 1 thyme sprig, roasted. juice, and house-made cinnamon tincture, while her Rhodium fruit juices, and simple syrup.
Pinch salt.
Combine liqueurs, juice, and tincture in an
ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake. Strain Recipe: Nights ($8) blends Miner Viognier, Pür Likor Williams pear While fruity drinks will always be popular in the summer,
Recipe: liqueur, lemon juice, and club soda. bitter, herbal, and savory flavors are growing more common,
into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish Combine Bourbon, shrub, tea, lemon juice,
Add mezcal and 3 raspberries to cocktail
with a rosemary sprig. and agave in an ice-filled cocktail shaker
shaker and muddle. Add amaro, liqueur, Many Asian spirits are naturally lower in alcohol content notes Da Cruz of The Up Room. His and Hollingsworth’s Duck
shake. Pour into a tea kettle containing the than traditional Western spirits, making them perfect ingre- Fried Rice ($14) features lemongrass-infused Ford’s gin, sesame
lemon juice, syrup, and ice. Shake 15 seconds.
roasted thyme sprig. Pour from the kettle
into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Double strain the drink over 1 large ice cube dients for light, summer cocktails. The Spring in Tokyo ($16) oil-infused Aylesbury Duck vodka, Bittermens Tepache spiced
in a rocks glass. Garnish with a raspberry at Azabu in Miami features Mizu Lemongrass shochu, Kaori pineapple liqueur, lime juice, and house-made Aylesbury duck
topped with a small pinch of salt.
Umeshu, yuzu juice, simple syrup, and egg white, while the fat tincture. Temple Court’s Mirzoeff also doesn’t shy away from
1Steep
Sake Your Eda‘Mame’ ($17) at Komodo in Miami splits the vegetables and bitter ingredients in her summertime drinks. Her
2.25 ounces of coarsely crushed cinnamon sticks in 22 ounces of Gem Clear grain alcohol for at least five days, shaking once daily.
Strain and store in a clean container. base between Enter Black Dot sake and Stoli Elit vodka, Ian Fleming ($18) mixes carrot-infused Simple vodka, Hendrick’s
2Blend together 2 quarts peach purée, 1 quart sugar, and 1 quart apple cider vinegar in batches in a blender until smooth. Keep for up to a mixed with fresh lemon and lime juices, simple syrup, puréed Gin, and Italicus Bergamotto aperitif, while her Harper Lee
PHOTO BY (RIGHT) NATE REED

month in the fridge. edamame and Musashino nigori sake, and shiso. ($18) features Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Cynar amaro, La Guita
3Zest enough grapefruit to get ¼ cup, avoiding the pith. Juice the grapefruit, weigh the juice, and record weight. Add juice and zest to a
Manzanilla Sherry, and cucumber.
saucepan over medium heat. Calculate 80% weight of the juice and add an equivalent amount of sugar by weight, slowly stirring it in as the
juice heats. After sugar is dissolved, add rosemary and lightly simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Exotic and Experimental “Savory is the newest summer cocktail trend,” Da Cruz says.
Remove the rosemary, then bottle and refrigerate. The Whistler’s Campos notes that while gin, rum, and agave “I like to surprise my guests—unexpected flavors and weird
spirits are the more obvious choices for summer cocktails, mixol- combinations are my favorite.” mw

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