Sipping Pretty

It’s hot. You’re parched. With the best intentions and a stack of glossy bar guides, you set out to mix the perfect grown-up drink – only to end up wasting away, yet again, in margaritaville. To save you from another season of lackluster libations, we’ve persuaded some of the city’s best bartenders to share their coolest recipes. There’s a bracing bourbon iced tea, with the double-mint whammy of fresh leaves and peppermint liqueur. An inspired cross between a gin-gin and a Moscow mule. All Bellini’d out? Look at the world through a rose-colored glass full of St-Tropez fizz, a champagne cocktail infused with passion-fruit-flavored cognac. Town’s Convent in Chile is a Cosmo minus the Cointreau, with enough grapefruit juice and muddled kumquats to keep Carrie and Samantha immune from the common cold. And when you realize how easy it is to mix rum with watermelon, blend it with apple schnapps, or perk it up with pineapple juice and champagne, you’ll reconsider squandering it on Coke. Also, since the occasional margarita craving will invariably strike, we’ve included a recipe for a particularly invigorating mango-flavored version. No, it’s not frozen. We have to draw the line somewhere.

The Recipes

Manzana Verde Daiquiri

1 ounce Bacardi Limón

3 ounces De Kuyper Sour Apple

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce simple syrup

1 cup ice

Garnish: Thin slice of apple

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Serve immediately in a 10-ounce hurricane glass, garnished with an apple slice.


2 ounces pineapple juice

1 ounce light rum

3 ounces champagne

Garnish: Pineapple leaf

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add juice and rum, and top with chilled champagne. Garnish with a pineapple leaf.

St-Tropez Fizz

3/4 ounce Alizé Red Passion liqueur

3/4 ounce Alizé cognac

1/4 ounce Cointreau

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1 and 1/2 to 2 ounces champagne

Garnish: Raspberries

Pour the first five ingredients into a mixing glass, and shake well. Strain into a tall glass half-filled with ice. Top with champagne. Garnish with raspberries.

Bourbon Minted Tea

1/2 ounce lemon juice

3/4 ounce simple syrup

1/4 ounce Branca Menta

3/4 ounce Maker’s Mark bourbon

5 ounces Arizona iced tea

Garnish: Mint sprig

Place the lemon juice, syrup, Branca Menta, and bourbon in a mixing glass, and shake well. Pour into a large glass filled with ice, top with the tea, and garnish with mint.

Convent in Chile

2 kumquats

1 and 1/2 ounces Charbay Ruby Red Grapefruit vodka

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce red-grapefruit juice

1/2 ounce cranberry juice

Dash simple syrup

Garnish: Sliced kumquats

Muddle (mash) the kumquats by pounding them with a wooden spoon in a rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add vodka; lime, grapefruit, and cranberry juices; and simple syrup. Pour into a shaker. Shake well, and return to glass. Garnish with kumquats.

Rum Rita

2 2-inch cubes watermelon

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 ounces Bacardi Límon

1 ounce triple sec

1/2 ounce Rose’s lime juice

1/2 ounce sour mix

Garnish: 1/2 lime

Muddle the watermelon in a mixing glass with the simple syrup until flesh is smashed and liquid. Add the rum, triple sec, and Rose’s lime juice; add ice; and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled highball. Top with sour mix, and garnish with half a lime.

Gin-Gin Mule

3/4 ounce lime juice

1 ounce simple syrup (or 1 teaspoon superfine granulated sugar)

8 to 10 mint leaves, chopped

2 ounces ginger beer

1 and 1/2 ounces Tanqueray gin

Garnish: sprig of mint

Muddle the lime juice, simple syrup, and mint leaves together in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add ginger beer and gin. Shake well. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice, and top with additional ginger beer and a sprig of mint.

Closing Bell

1 lime wedge

Sugar for garnish

1 and 1/2 ounces Don Julio tequila

1/2 ounce triple sec

Dash lime juice

1 ounce mango purée

Dash simple syrup

Dash Grand Marnier

1 ounce sour mix

Dash tonic water

Rub the rim of a tall glass with rind of lime, and dip the rim in granulated sugar to coat. Pour the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, purée, syrup, Grand Marnier, and sour mix into a shaker, and shake well. Fill the glass with ice, strain the shaker’s contents into the glass, and top with tonic water.

To make simple syrup: Combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil for a few seconds. Set aside to cool.

Note: One fluid ounce equals two tablespoons.

Sipping Pretty