by Keeley Nakamoto
There’s no doubt about it; Summer has come, and it’s not leaving anytime soon. While your daylight hours may be spent in a cramped cubicle–ears buzzing from the incessant hum of fluorescent lights and eyes straining from the cold glare of your computer screen–when the sun starts to set, the warm breeze ruffles your hair, and the relief of another workday done finally sets in, you’ll undoubtedly be craving something spirited to help you unwind. We’ve already given you a comprehensive guide to drinking outdoors, and extolled the virtues of sherry as a warm weather refresher, so here we’ll share some additional summertime tips including recipes in case you’re inclined for some DIY action.
The Palliative Power of Pisco
Rather than pairing your lighter fare with the enduringly popular margarita, try ordering a drink featuring pisco instead. A brandy-like spirit produced from grapes in Peru and Chile, pisco is an out-and-out winner when it comes to summer drinking. La Diablada Pisco, a beautifully balanced, aromatic pisco with hints of honeydew, cherries, peaches, and spices, has gained increasing popularity and is being used in quenchers all over the city:
Miraflores at Los Americanos
Moses Laboy, of Los Americanos in TriBeCa, shakes up a twist on the classic Pisco Sour with this combination of Hibiscus-infused Pisco Porton, egg white, lime juice, and simple syrup.
El Diablada at PDT
Jim Meehan of PDT is serving the El Diablada: La Diablada Pisco, NY Distilling Co. Perry’s Tot Gin, lemon juice, Caledonia Elderberry Cordial, ginger beer, and honey syrup, served over pebble ice and garnished with a lemon wheel and piece of candied ginger.
Andean Dusk at Raines Law Room
At Raines Law Room, Meaghan Dorman goes for a far simpler approach in Andean Dusk with La Diablada Pisco, muddled red grapes, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne. This fabulous cocktail was served at Dipsology’s launch party last September.
Repent & Drink at Desnuda
Across town at Desnuda, Chaim Dauermann’s Repent & Drink combines the spirit with beer: La Diablada Pisco, kiwi/jalapeño shrub, and Lagunitas IPA.
Bartender, May I Please Avua Another?
Staying with our theme of South American spirits, a relative newcomer to the world of Brazilian sugar-cane liquor is Avua. Cachaca is most known for being the main ingredient in caipirinhas, and Avua is a new brand of cachaca that, like its name promises, (Avua is derived from the Portuguese word “voar,” or, to soar) skyrockets above the standard. This hand-crafted, single sourced cachaca comes in the original “Prata,” or the aged “Amburana” varietals. While the Prata is crystal clear and crisp with floral notes, the Amburana takes on a light, golden hue after being aged in Amburana wooden barrels. It is this Latin American wood that endows the Amburana with its warmth and makes it equally versatile for mixing or sipping. Released from its usually obligatory caipirhina appearance (don’t get us wrong, caipirhinas are delicious), Avua is being featured in a number of cocktails around town that practically scream “summer.”
Hercules at The Dutch
This Elysian combination at The Dutch is worthy of the Greek Gods themselves: Avua Amburana Cachaca, Green Chartreuse, Mount Olympus flowers, and lime.
Banana Cognac!! at Death & Co.
As Adrienne here at Dipsology put it, “some kind of banana heaven that should come with a side of beach hammock”: Death & Co Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Avua Amburana Cachaca, Banana Cane Syrup, Orgeat, fresh orange juice, fresh lemon juice, and Angostura bitters.
Reformer at Desnuda (BK location)
Moruga scorpions, recently named the hottest chiles n the world, are used in a syrup that stars in this cocktail, but don’t pass up this drink for fear that you can’t take the heat. Served on the rocks and garnished with a lemon peel, this fireball is not too spicy, perfectly balanced, and complemented by the Avua: Avua Amburana Cachaca, Fino Sherry, Cherry Heering, Pasilla/Moruga Scorpion chile syrup, Peychaud’s bitters.
DIY: Summer Cocktails
If you’re looking for something a bit more home-bar friendly but equally delicious, try my personal favorite summer cocktail: the Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Often described as “Bermuda’s National Drink,” this cocktail trademarked by Gosling’s Export Limited of Bermuda is as easy to make as it is to drink. While a true Dark ‘n’ Stormy must be made in a highball glass with Gosling’s Black Seal rum, Gosling’s ginger beer, and a slice of lime, any combination of good quality dark rum and a ginger ale with real integrity will do. The mixologists at Mount Gay Rum have come up with a fantastic variation that introduces bitters into the equation. Notable about Mount Gay’s recipe is that it features their newest blend, Black Barrel Rum. Unlike their flagship, Eclipse, Black Barrel is smoother, aged longer, and showcases boldly spiced flavors of oaky vanilla and sweet caramel.
2 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
A superior ginger ale or a good quality ginger beer
Fresh lime wedge
Pour the rum in a highball glass with ice and top with ginger ale to fill. Add two dashes of bitters and garnish with a lime wedge.
Craving something with a fruitier feel? Luckily for you, July was Rickey month and we have two fun twists on this classic cocktail to try at home, courtesy of Kyle Ford of Remy Cointreau.
Muddle the cucumber and mint in the bottom of a highball glass. Add the remaining ingredients with ice. Stir briefly and garnish with a slice of cucumber and a sprig of mint.
Muddle the strawberry and basil in the bottom of a highball glass. Add the remaining ingredients with ice. Stir and enjoy!
We hope you enjoyed our roundup of summer sipping in the city! Not only do you now know where in the city to get some delicious drinks from south of the Equator, you also know how to impress your unsuspecting friends when they come over expecting the typical gin and tonic home fare. As always, if you still are not sure where to go for great drinks in your area this summer you can always get personalized recommendations by tweeting Dipsology or texting us at (347) 674-8206. Cheers!
Born and raised in Southern California, Keeley Nakamoto has found her home-away-from-home in the arms of Manhattan’s eateries and alehouses. A recent college grad, she is still trying to figure out her place in the culinary cosmos, but rest assured the night will always end in a nosh-fest–a savory specimen in one hand and a boozy brew in the other.