Long days and balmy nights are reason enough to reach for an icy beverage spiked with your favorite summer alcohol. But it’s the newly ripe and delicious fruits that have us craving something seasonal. Thankfully, local mixologists are all about changing up their menus with nuanced recipes and fresh flavors.
Steen Bojsen-Møller, beverage director of Foundation-10 Creative and co-owner of Seymour’s Lounge at Mr. Lyons Steakhouse, may be partial to mangos, but it’s strawberries that he favors for summertime drinks. His Strawberry Gin Smash is punctuated with the addition of watermelon cubes for another dimension of prime-season flavor.
“I wanted to make something light and fruity for the beginning of the Palm Springs summer,” Bojsen-Moller says. “It’s refreshing, hydrating, and also tastes and looks great.”
From peach puree to basil leaves, five bartenders suggest their preferred ingredients for July. Try these cocktails direct from the venue, or make one at home and take it poolside.
By Steen Bojsen-Møller, co-owner, Seymour’s Lounge
2 ounces Strawberry Infused Brokers Gin
1 ounce Lime Juice
1 ounce Cane Sugar
4-5 leaves mint
Top with Soda Water
Compressed Watermelon Ice Cubes
The Watermelon Cubes are made by dicing the melon and then putting the cubes in a commercial vacuum sealer called a CryoVac.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SEYMOUR’S LOUNGE
The ingredients except for the soda water are shaken with regular ice, then fine strained over the watermelon cubes in a Collins glass. Topped with soda and garnished with a sprig of mint and a strawberry.
Seymour’s Lounge, 233 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-327-1551; mrlyonsps.com/new/mr-lyons-home.html
By Sherman Chan, mixologist,
1.5 ounces Effen Vodka
0.75 ounces Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
3 Fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
0.5 ounces lemon juice
0.5 ounces honey syrup
PHOTO COURTESY OF TRIO RESTAURANT
The honey syrup is created mixing half regular honey and half simple syrup made with Demerara sugar.
In a shaker tin, lightly muddle the basil leaves until they are bruised, just enough to release the flavor. Add Effen vodka, apricot liqueur, lemon juice, and honey syrup. Add ice and shake. Pour contents into a double Old Fashioned glass, top off with club soda, and garnish with basil sprig.
Trio Restaurant, 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-864-8746; triopalmsprings.com
By Stefanie Toledo, bartender, Johannes
Cut watermelon into 1-inch by 1-inch cubes
Place 3 watermelon cubes and 5 to 6 large ice cubes or 20 smaller cubes ice into mixer. Muddle it.
2 ounces watermelon vodka
1 ounce watermelon Schnapps
Make sure shaker is cold. Shake well for 3 seconds and pour it up.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHANNES RESTAURANT
Palm Springs Peach
By Chris Bluhm, beverage manager,
Lulu California Bistro
1 ounce Herradura reposado tequila
½ ounce peach schnapps
½ ounce margarita mix
½ ounce cranberry juice
Dash peach puree
Lime wedge, for garnish
Stir ingredients with ice; strain and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LULU CALIFORNIA BISTRO
Absolut Strawberry Mule
By JD Pearce, bartender,
Copley’s on Palm Canyon
1.5 ounces Absolut Vodka
Splash of Lime Juice
Heavy splash of Strawberry Puree
Fill the rest of the mug with ginger beer. Garnish with lime and strawberry.
Copley’s on Palm Canyon, 621 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-327-9555; www.copleyspalmsprings.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF COPLEY’S ON PALM CANYON
VIDEO: Watch Copley’s bartender JD Pearce create an Absolut Strawberry Mule. (Video by Steven Salisbury).