As we went to work on creating this issue, it became apparent that in all likelihood, we would all be drinking at home for at least a few weeks, even into May. Rather than offer an aspirational glimpse at beautiful new bars, we thought it best to talk to some of our city’s best bartenders about the easiest and most delicious cocktails to make at home. The only rules we gave them were that it had to be something that nearly anyone could pull off, and that they had to assume we don’t have professional bar equipment in our homes. In the spirit of David Frizzell’s old country lyric “I’m gonna hire a wino to decorate our home,” here are some summery drinks that you can make, even after we’re no longer quarantined.
Pump Bar and Bunker Club
Frozen Avocado Margarita
In a blender, mix one cup blanco tequila, half a cup of orange liqueur and one avocado until smooth. Add one to two cups of ice and half a can of limeade concentrate (Minute Maid is excellent), and blend until combined. Hensley kicks hers up with chili-lime salt (Tajin) on the rim of the glass.
Barkeep Supply and The Daley
You will need berry simple syrup first, and it’s super easy to make. Take one cup of berries you have on hand (fresh or frozen) and combine with one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a pan. Bring to a boil, then let cool, strain and refrigerate. It’s good for about three weeks.
In a shaker, combine 1.5 ounces of gin (dry is better) or vodka, 3/4 ounce berry simple syrup and 3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice. Shake. Pour over ice in a Collins glass. Top with ginger ale or soda.
1 oz Pimm’s
1/2 oz honey
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3-4 fresh basil leaves
1 medium strawberry
1 dash cucumber bitters (pro tip: orange is fine, too, or it works without bitters)
1 1/2 oz dry sparkling wine
In a shaker, muddle basil leaves and strawberry with the honey and bitters. Add Pimm’s and lemon juice, and then shake with ice. Fine strain into a rocks glass or coupe. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a basil leaf.
R&J Lounge and Supper Club
You will need homemade cherry syrup for this one, and once again, it’s very easy to make. Rather than toss the leftover syrup from the jar of Amarena or Luxardo cherries, combine with vodka in a 2:1 ratio. Zest orange peel into the mix. Add sugar to taste.
2 oz dry gin
3/4 oz cherry syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry.