Stop by your favorite cocktail bar, and you may notice mixed drinks being served sans straws—a nod to the environment, notes Eastend in Greenwich’s Juan Meyer. “There is also a movement among bartenders where we want to have zero waste. So we make lime salt, citrus cordials and citrus stock, all from the citrus husks after juicing.” Here’s what else top bartenders suggest sampling this summer.
Innovative Craft Brews
Restaurants and bars are stocking beers from local favorites like Half Full Brewery in Stamford, CT, and Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, CT, and new breweries are popping up all over the area (including Nod Hill Brewery in Ridgefield, CT, and River Outpost in Peekskill, NY). “Brewers are adding ingredients most wouldn’t think of adding. I see myself leaning more towards some unique infusions with blood orange or pineapple, over your standard IPAs,” says Scott Studwell of Washington Prime in Stamford. Try The Bergamonster from Two Roads, a Belgian-style white beer brewed with bergamot oranges. Or their Road Jam, a wheat ale fermented with rasberries.
Pisco (a Peruvian brandy) is suddenly everywhere. “A pisco sour is perfect for spring and summer because of the fresh, tropical seasonal ingredients,” says Jaime Johel, of Craft14 Kitchen and Bar in Wilton, CT, and The Cup Bearer. See his take below.
Spirit Driven Cocktails
Vodka sodas? Gin and tonics? They’re taking a backseat to cocktails that put top-shelf liquors front and center, says Studwell. His Paper Plane cocktail uses amaro, an Italian bittersweet liqueur that Johel also sees growing in popularity.
Pisco Pasión Sour
2 ounces BarSol mosto verde pisco
1 ounce citrus blend (lime and lemon)
1 ounce reduced passion fruit nectar (see below)
¾ ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake without ice. Add ice and shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass or Champagne flute. Garnish with a few gentle drops of Angostura Bitters, which will settle in
the foam of the cocktail. Using
a pick, swirl the bitters into a simple design.
For pasión fruit nectar:
1 quart passion fruit purée
1 quart sugar
1 half quart water
2 spoons honey
4 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
Heat passion fruit purée up in a pan. When hot, add sugar and water. Then add honey, cinnamon sticks and clove. Stir until sugar and honey are dissolved, let it cool, strain and refrigerate.
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice (strained with no pulp)
¾ ounce Bulleit bourbon
¾ ounce Amaro Nonino
¾ ounce Luxardo Bitter
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and then strain over a large ice cube.