There are few things better than a cool, boozy drink on a hot summer night. With June in full swing, we looked to bartenders in New York City and Los Angeles for their favorite cool-off cocktails of the season. Learn from the pros, and check out these five recipes full of refreshing goodness to try out at your next summer BBQ.
Buscando Guava by Luis Serrano, The Penrose Bar (NYC)
It can be hard to imagine the terms “poppin'” and “Upper East Side” in the same sentence, but if there is a bar that is making the phrase palatable, it’s The Penrose. On any given day, the massive bar is filled with room after room of young, attractive single people, who cram in for good cheap eats, an extensive beer selection, and tasty cocktails. Below, check out bartender Luis Serrano’s recipe for the delicious Buscando Guava.
1 1/2 oz. Ron Diplomatico Añejo
1/2 oz. Mr. Katz Rock N Rye
1/2 oz. Rainwater Madeira
1/2 oz. Illegal Mezcal Joven
3/4 oz. Guava puree
1/4 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Green tea syrup
Your favorite juicy summer fruit and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
Mix all ingredients and quickly shake over ice. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice and finish it off with garnish.
Michelada Popsicle, by Summer Stearns, Diablo (Los Angeles)
Imagine a michelada that actually gets better in the summer heat. That’s what the mad geniuses at Diablo have given us with their michelada popsicle creation. Dunk your michepaleta – which contains all the ingredients typical of michelada mix – into your beer and let the sun do its melty work. Diablo offers a range of paleta flavors that you can mix and match with the beer of your choice. For at home purposes, check out an adaptation of their concept below.
Fresh tomato juice
Fresh lime juice
A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
A few shakes of Tapatio hot sauce
Dash of celery salt
Combine equal parts tomato juice and Clamato with the rest of the ingredients. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze with popsicle sticks. Rim large beer glasses with lime, chile de árbol, and kosher salt. Serve with the beer of your choice.
Tia Mia by Ivy Mix, Leyenda (NYC)
Brooklyn bar Leyenda is an ode to Latin American spirits; its menu prominently features cachaças, rums, tequilas, piscos, and mezcal in creative concoctions perfect for summer. Their Tia Mia cocktail is a play on the classic mai tai; it sprung from the brain of Ivy Mix, who used to tend bar in Guatemala.
1 oz Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
1 oz Appleton VX Rum
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz orgeat (almond) syrup
½ oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
¼ oz simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a chilled glass. Top with crushed ice and mix for dilution. Finish with garnish of mint sprig, lime wheel and orchid blossom.
Petty Cash Margarita by Julian Cox, Petty Cash (Los Angeles)
Petty Cash’s classic, simple margarita is unfuckwithable, which is why it’s made plenty “Best Of” lists in the LA area. Sometimes the purists are right: less is more.
2 oz 100% agave tequila
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz lime juice
1 oz citrus-spiked agave nectar (agave infused with lemon and lime zests)
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour in a glass.
Cuzco Fizz, Lynnette Marrero, LLama Inn (NYC)
Since it opened in early 2016, modern Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn has been packing crowds into an otherwise dark corner under the BQE. People come through not just to try Erik Ramirez’s forward-thinking takes on Peruvian classics, but to quaff cocktails from Nomad alums Jessica Gonzalez and Speed Rack co-founder Lynnette Marrero. Below, check out Marrero’s go-to recipe for a summer pisco cocktail.
5-6 green grapes
2 oz Macchu Pisco
1 oz St-Germain
¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Muddle grapes in a shaker. Add all ingredients except the sparkling water; add ice. Shake and roll into a highball. Add fresh ice and top with Perrier. Garnish with grapes.