The first day of autumn has arrived but, depending on where you live, summer can, effectively, drag on until Halloween. This is not good news for those of us who grow weary of the insistent humidity and unrelenting temperatures. However, there is an upside, and we found it: Drink Me asked 15 mixologists to come up with their most refreshing cocktails ever, to help get our readers through the final stretch of summer. It seemed like the responsible thing to do.
Maybe it’s the fruity hibiscus mint syrup with lemon that makes this highball so uplifting, bright and fragrant. Or, maybe it’s the skillful hand of its creator, Eliza Till from Pedaler’s Fork in Calabasas, Southern California. Likely, it’s a combination of both but whatever the reason, we’re grateful for this must-try drink that tops our list of Refreshing Cocktails to imbibe before the high temps. dwindle.
1 oz Muddle & Wilde Hibiscus Mint Syrup
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz Absolut Vodka
4 fresh mint sprigs (smacked in the palm of hands to release aroma)
Sliced Lemon for Garnish
Build ingredients over ice in a 16 oz pint glass. Stir gently and serve immediately, preferably outside.
Like our climate, the mezcal category is getting hotter each year and finding a way to make that smoky Oaxacan liquid into a summery, spritzy cocktail is always a welcome task. The team at Neighbor in Venice Beach, California did just that when it created this minimal-ingredient mezcal masterpiece that balances fruit juices with a perfectly stabilized smoky-bitter aftertaste.
Top with soda and a pinch of salt.
Jimmie Saito of Mastro’s Steakhouse in New York City elected to refresh the heck out of his cocktail. Just writing the word combination: fruit-forward gin, grapefruit vodka and orange liqueur is enough to make a parched writer salivate. Ginger beer brings the exact amount of spice needed for depth and complexity to this blend.
Build a tall glass with ice
1 oz Nolet’s Gin
1.5 oz Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka
0.25 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1/2 Lime squeeze and toss
Splash Tres Agave Nectar
Shake, top with Fever Tree Ginger Beer
Serve in a wine glass and garnish with a grapefruit slice.
Jordan Raenaldo from The Point at Red Frog Beach Island Resort in Bocas del Toro, Panama takes his job seriously. We asked for his most refreshing cocktail ever and he delivered it. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Jordan reminded us of how energizing the watermelon and mint combination is. His local choice of rum brings in sweet toffee and caramel flavors matched with floral vanilla for an uplifting mixture.
0.5 Medium seedless watermelon
1.5 oz of Ron Abuelo Rum
4 tsp Agave
1/3 Cup sparking water
Handful of mint
Slice the watermelon in half. Scoop the watermelon out of the shell. Transfer the flesh of the watermelon to a blender, along with the limes, agave syrup, mint, sparkling water and rum. Pulse until smooth and frothy. Taste and then adjust the agave syrup or ice situation accordingly. Pour the mojito into the watermelon and serve with lime wedges and add a few fresh mints on top.
SAKE YOUR EDA’MAME’
Mikey Yoder of Komodo’s in Miami, Florida is to be commended for a sleek and clean-tasting cocktail that refreshes as it invigorates. His choice of pure-style sake offers a cleansing acidity that sets the tone for this simple but well-structured drink. The edamame puree ties the ingredients together harmoniously.
Add all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an open edamame pod.
PEACH BERRY SPRITZ
Looking for a low-alcohol, cool-me-down, pick-me-up at lunchtime? Hyung Jin of Gaonnuri on Broadway in New York has your back. An alternate name for this cocktail could be Healthy and Happy. This blueberry-centric cocktail, made effervescent by Prosecco, is armed with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and iron. It will refresh you as it restores you.
2 Tablespoons of blueberry syrup*
0.25 Cup of Peachberry Detoxwater
0.5 Cup of peach juice concentrate
0.5 Cup of Prosecco or seltzer water
Rosemary for garnish
0.75 Cup of blueberries
2 tbsp syrup
0.25 Cup water
Fill a mason jar with ice. Pour 2 tablespoons of blueberry syrup over the ice. Pour 0.5 cup peach juice followed by 0.25 cup of Peachberry Detoxwater, and 0.5 cup of Prosecco. Garnish with additional blueberries and a stick of rosemary. Sip and enjoy.
*Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar and water over medium heat. Once the mixture starts to get warm, smash the blueberries. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Once boiled, remove mixture from heat and allow to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes. Blend the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove any excess pulp.
THE NEW ALLENHURST
Diana Pittet of Night Owl Hospitality, Asbury Park in New Jersey changed up the Old Cuban (basically a mojito with sparkling wine) and created The New Allenhurst which uses crisp, white rum instead of aged. The result is a lighter and more refreshing drink that not only highlights the mint, but also allows the clean, natural flavors of the lime and pomegranate to shine through.
8 Mint leaves
0.5 oz Grenadine, preferably homemade*
0.25 oz Simple syrup**
0.75 oz Fresh lime juice
1.5 oz El Dorado 3 Year Old Cask Aged White Rum
2 oz Dry sparkling wine
Garnish with mint sprig
Place the mint leaves at the bottom of a mixing glass. Add the grenadine and simple syrup, and muddle. Add the lime juice and rum and fill with ice cubes. Shake until chilled. Add sparkling wine. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.
* Grenadine: Gently heat 2 parts unsweetened pomegranate juice to 1 part sugar until the sugar dissolves and then add a pinch of salt. Let cool.
** Simple syrup: Gently heat 1 part sugar to 1 part water until the sugar dissolves. Let cool.
WATERMELON MINT MARTINI
Chef Antonio created this refresher for his Cabo Flats, Delray Beach location in Florida and we can see why his customers love him for it. It’s simple and the ingredients are minimal but it gets the job done. We’re including it on our Most Refreshing Cocktail list because the fluidity of this drink is as clean as the fresh flavors are vast. This is a magical mixture to combat sweltering temperatures.
2 oz Svedka Vodka
5 cubes/1oz Fresh watermelon
1 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
3 Fresh Mint Leaves
Pre-chill the martini glass with ice. Muddle watermelon cubes in shaker, squeeze in 2 lemon halves. Add simple syrup, ice and mint leaves and shake vigorously 20 times. Strain into the chilled martini glass. Garnish with mint leaf.
SUMMER WHITE NEGRONI
Anyone who loves the Negroni as much as we do, knows this cocktail is all about balance. Chris Adams of Ellis Adams Group created the Summer White Negroni for 1KEPT in Charleston, Atlanta and, fortunately, shared it with us for this article. All the herbal undertones of the classic Negroni are here, but the barrel-aged gin adds another dimension of spice. Complexity intensifies with the raspberry-vanilla-coriander Aperol mixture, and flavors unify seamlessly through the cold brew infusion method. Worth the extra effort required to make it.
Combine all ingredients into mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with 2 raspberries and orange swath on pick.
Raspberry-Vanilla-Coriander Aperol Cold Brew Infusion:
1 bar spoon coriander seeds (muddled)
2 packets of raspberries (washed)
½ Vanilla bean – slit open and cut into 3 (do not scrape seeds)
2 Bottles Aperol
Combine coriander seeds, raspberries, and vanilla bean into bowl, gently stir. Place small filter at the bottom of middle beaker. Place raspberry mixture in the middle beaker of cold brew.
Place coffee filter on top of raspberry mixture. Ensure spout is closed. Pour in one bottle of Aperol to the top container of cold brew and cap. Ensure bottom container is clean, empty and aligned. Turn spout to left until slow drip of bourbon flows into the middle container – about 1 drop per 5 seconds.
Add second bottle once there is room. Once all liquid has filtered through, it is ready to use.
WIT AND WISDOM
At last tequila makes an appearance as an ingredient on our list of Most Refreshing Cocktails. We love this offering from Robert Garrison of the Four Seasons in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s quick and easy, fresh and balanced. The mezcal and tequila combination makes for a smoky wood taste, complimented by the sweet and bitter flavors from the homemade grapefruit cordial. A little lime juice and Aperol give this drink fun and depth, or as Robert would say, “wit and wisdom”.
Shake all ingredients in a shaker tin. Fine strain over ice and garnish with a grapefruit zest in an old bay rimmed rocks glass.
16 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
8 oz Sugar
Cook ingredients over low heat for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate.
CURES WHAT ALES YOU
When Gareth Howells of VNYL in New York City created Cures What Ales You he clearly wanted you to feel refreshed and energized, bitter and sweet. This cocktail comes layered with complexities that grab your attention from first-sight to aftertaste. Think citrus, licorice, spice and particularly mint. This recipe is made even bolder with the addition of Arrogant Bastard Ale. Not for the feeble.
1 oz Jägermeister
1 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
2 oz Arrogant Bastard Ale
1 Orange segment 0.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
0.75 oz Simple Syrup
2 Dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
8 Mint leaves
Garnish with Mint Sprig
Muddle orange, mint and sugar in a glass. Add egg white, lemon juice, simple syrup, rye whisky and Jägermeister. Dry shake to emulsify. Add ice and wet shake. Add Arrogant Bastard and strain into a glass. Garnish with mint sprig
GIN (SUMMER) RICKEY
Oftentimes it’s the subtleties that set creative wizards apart from the rest of us, and here at Drink Me, we appreciate that. Colin Carroll at Trifecta Tavern in Portland, Oregon makes a delicate change to the Gin Rickey for this summer variety in which he adds kaffir leaf to bring lighter flavors to a beloved staple.
1.5 oz The Walter Collective Gin
0.5 oz Kaffir leaf
0.25 oz Fresh lime juice
0.25 oz 1:1 Simple syrup
Combine ingredients in shaker, add ice, shake and double strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with soda and garnish with 2 lime wheels.
CASH ME OUTSIDE
The prize for best named cocktail goes to Paul Blackwell from Bar 54 in Times Square, New York for Cash Me Outside. For those of you who have been vacationing on Mars the phrase refers to a Doctor Phil let’s say, guest who challenged any audience member who took exception to her, let’s say, reasoning process, to take the matter outside. The phrase became a popular meme, and here’s the silver lining…also a gin-based stimulating cocktail. Paul employs a little Suze Liqueur which contributes to the spice from Plymouth Gin, and adds a gentle bitter balance.
Muddle the dill with the simple syrup, add all other ingredients, shake and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a spring of dill and a cucumber disc.
PASSION AND GRANATE
Thank you Jessica Zarate of Casa Amate in Mayakoba, Mexico for reminding us about the unmatched essences cachaça has to offer like Christmas spices, dried fruits and coffee – all of which balance flawlessly here with the pomegranate sourness and that fresh tart anomaly found only in passion fruit. This flavor-punched cocktail was always destined for our Most Refreshing Cocktail list.
1.5oz Fresh pomegranate juice
1 oz. Passion fruit juice
1.5 oz Capucana Cachaça
0.5 oz Simple syrup
A twig of rosemary
Muddle the rosemary in the shaker, add the rest of the ingredients, shake and serve over a fresh glass of ice and garnish with slice of pomegranate.
PUT IT IN YOUR PURSE
Kevin Arndt of Juniper in St. Louis, Missouri is, doubtless, a mixologist who knows how to resuscitate his customers after a long, scorching day. Broker’s London Dry Gin’s flavor profile (clean, defined juniper) stands up strong in any cocktail, so the addition of Cocchi Rose Apertivo and all the herbs, spices and bitter flavors that it brings with it, balance evenly here in Kevin’s Put It In Your Purse formula. The addition of grapefruit zest from Giffard Crème de Pamplemousse Rose ensures your senses are triggered.
Combine all ingredients. Shake and double strain. Top with champagne & enjoy!