Signature Summer Cocktails
Summer brings easy-drinking cocktails with fresh, light flavors. Here are three favorites from popular South Coast Plaza restaurants, presented in beautiful Baccarat crystal glasses.
We’ve included recipes that will bring you close to experiencing these signature drinks at home, but recommend a restaurant visit to taste-test mixology at its best!
It’s only 100 calories, but the Stoli Doli doesn’t taste skinny. Its simplicity is exquisite: ripe Dole pineapples are marinated in Russian Stolichnaya vodka for a week, pressed and then shaken over ice. Although only fruit and booze, the drink is approachable, tropical and refreshing.
1 large ripe pineapple, top and rind removed
1 750 ml bottle Stolichnaya vodka
Place one-inch slices of pineapple in a large glass container, layering them flat. Add entire contents of vodka to container. Cover and let stand at room temperature for seven days. When ready to serve, press pineapple slices to release all infused-vodka. Fill a martini shaker with ice, pour in 4 oz. of mix and shake aggressively. Strain into chilled martini glass.
Spain’s gin and tonic obsession gets a slushy twist at Vaca. Beverage director Michael Rooney slow-churns Brooklyn Small Batch Gin and Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean Tonic in a frozen cocktail machine and serves it icy, topped with fragrant basil blossoms.
The proprietary recipe is created at Vaca with a professional machine that freezes the ingredients so no ice is needed. Here’s a close version to try at home.
1.5 oz Brooklyn Gin
2 oz Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic
1 oz simple syrup
Juice from half of a lime
Freeze ingredients for two hours then add to a blender with a handful of ice. Serve slushy in chilled glassware and top with basil blossoms
Pastel green in color with a festive cucumber, basil, and jalapeño-lime nose, this favorite has all the makings of a spa day at a five-star Mexican resort. The ancho chile salt rim adds a touch of smoky heat, complemented by a balance of sweet agave and citrus.
2 oz blue agave silver tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz cucumber purée (see recipe below)
.5 oz agave syrup
Garnish: cucumber slice
Rim the outside of large rocks glass with fresh lime and dip only the outside of the glass into ancho chile salt. Shake off excess salt and fill with fresh ice. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice, shake, and strain into the ancho chile salt rimmed glass. Float a cucumber slice garnish.
Cucumber Purée Recipe
2 whole hothouse cucumbers
10 medium basil leaves
2 medium jalapeño peppers
Remove the ends of the cucumber and rough chop. Add to a Vita Mix blender and begin to blend on low speed. As the cucumber begins to liquefy, increase the speed to high. Remove the stem from the jalapeño peppers and drop in along with the basil. Purée on high until all particles go into solution about 30 seconds.