Shake It Good

Want to pour like the pros? Check out these cocktail recipes from top Hamptons hot spots.

Sometimes the midsummer traffic is just too much for a night on the town. If the party’s taking place at your house, why not consider serving one of these drinks, courtesy of some of the East End’s top barmen? You can even mix them in advance, and then just finish them off with a splash of soda or wine over ice as your guests arrive.

Cucumber Cooler
Courtesy of bar manager William A. Varona, Townline BBQ, Sagaponack
5 slices cucumber, plus extra for garnish
6 mint leaves
2 oz. Hendrick’s gin
1 oz. fresh lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
Club soda

Muddle cucumber and mint in a large glass and add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and some ice; shake. Strain over fresh ice into a 16 oz. Mason jar and garnish with a cucumber slice. Serves 1.

Saintgria Rosa
Courtesy of beverage manager Martin Cabrera, Navy Beach, Montauk
1 c. sliced red and white seedless grapes
1 c. sliced fresh peaches
2 oz. St. Germain
1 bottle Côtes de Provence rosé

In a bowl, marinate fruit slices with St. Germain, then pour in a jar or carafe over ice and add rosé. Serve in highballs with ice and some of the fruit. Serves 6.

Strawberry Rum Punch
Courtesy of beverage director Josh Sontag, Byron at the Surf Lodge, Montauk
3  stemmed strawberries, plus sliced strawberries for garnish
2 oz. Cruzan rum
1 oz. fresh lime juice
¾ oz. agave syrup

Muddle strawberries and combine with other ingredients in a cocktail shaker, then shake and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with strawberry slices. Serves 1.

Ruby Rita
Courtesy of bartender Rich Lamiroult, The Bell & Anchor, Sag Harbor
2 oz. Milagro tequilla
1 oz. triple sec
3 oz. sour mix
1 oz. fresh blood orange juice
Lime wedges, for garnish

Shake liquid ingredients together and pour over ice in a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Serves 1.


Winning Wines for $20 or less

HC&G’s favorite easy-drinking summer party wine is New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It’s citrusy and refreshing, often with delightful tropical fruit flavors. Consider these excellent choices from the Marlborough region on the northern tip of the South Island, the gold standard for Sauvignon Blanc.

Goldwater ($20): From the extraordinary Wairau Valley, this lush wine displays grapefruit, passionfruit, and melon notes.

Dashwood ($15): Bright and crisp, and bursting with guava, grapefruit, and lemongrass flavors.

Clifford Bay ($10): An eye-opening value from vineyards near Cook Strait and the Tasman Sea, it possesses citrus and lemongrass notes and a crisp finish.

For medium-bodied summer reds, look for Beaujolais Crus—not to be confused with Beaujolais Nouveau—from the Beaujolais region of Burgundy. Made from the fruity Gamay grape, these crus exude floral aromas, a refined elegance, and the best value in summer reds. Serve them slightly chilled.

Fleurie Domaine des Quatre Vents ($19): Displaying pervasive scents of violet and flavors of raspberry and cherry, this cuvée, with a portion aged in oak, has fine tannins and finesse.

Morgon Domaine Jean-Ernest Descombes ($18): A purple-hued gem, Morgon is a highly esteemed cru with roses and violets on the nose and peach and wild cherry notes.

Georges Duboeuf Juliénas ($16): Boasting floral and spice aromas (think peony and pepper), Juliénas surprises with its distinctive black raspberry flavor and elegant long finish.

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