Barefoot walks on the beach, bicycle rides to the ice cream shop, and late nights on seaside porches are nearly upon us. After a Spring filled with unpredictable temperature swings and consistently heavy rains, we at Skurnik Wines and Spirits are extremely excited for what we expect to be another amazing summer. As always, we have you covered with seasonally appropriate libations to enjoy during this summer’s escapes to the shore.
Eye openers anyone? A historic name for the cocktail, an eye opener was our morning time obsession before it became the perfect cup of joe or exotic tea. Throw on some light reggae, heat up your breakfast griddles and whip up a beverage. Beach day cooking should never be done without a cocktail in hand.
If you are beaching in the Northeast, Beach Plums are native to our shores and can only thrive between Maryland and Maine near the Atlantic Ocean. Greenhook Ginsmiths, based in Brooklyn, gets their wild beach plums from the East End of Long Island and macerates the fruit in their American Dry gin for seven months before filtering, adding a bit of turbinado sugar and bottling. Deep red in color, the Beach Plum Gin is dryer than expected, but remains fruit forward with subtle notes of marzipan and bitter almond. It has many excellent applications but works particularly well in the Beach Plum Cup, a refreshing start to a day in the sun.
Beach Plum Cup
- 1 oz Greenhook American Dry Gin
- 1 oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin
- .5 oz fresh lemon juice
- Fever Tree Bitter Lemon Soda
Toss some sliced strawberries, lemon wheels and full raspberries into a wine glass with ice. Add in the gins and lemon juice, top with bitter lemon soda, stir, and put a lemon wheel on the wine glass for garnish.
Are you a raspberry person? Or perhaps a strawberry person? Maybe a peach, apricot, grapefruit, or pineapple person? We think you get the point. Having a few of these around with some sparkling wine is simple, tasty and pairs perfectly with suntan lotion and morning rays.
Perhaps you are looking for a bit more booze (we thought you might be), here is another beach day starter:
- 1.5 oz El Dorado Cask Aged 3yr White Rum
- .5 oz Giffard Banane du Brasil
- .25 oz Rapa Giovanni Walnut ‘Liquore di Noci’
- .5 oz fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker, shake and strain into a champagne flute and top with Contessa Prosecco. Garnish with a sliced banana (leave the peel on!).
Now that breakfast is done, the clouds have burned off for the day, and the sun’s heat is starting to feel powerful, we recommend a few pre-batched options that don’t require much more than ice and an insulated water bottle. Because no one likes a sandy cocktail!
Bloody Marys are easy to batch and can vary tremendously depending on what spirit you use. A Bloody Mary on the beach is satisfying, can curb midday hunger and plays excellently with the salty air. This happens to be the ultimate start to your beach day imbibing if you didn’t indulge in the breakfast cocktails we recommended. These would also be most enjoyable before the high noon heat begins to beat down and make savory or spicy drinks unpleasant. We have a few base spirit options for you that will take you on a boozy adventure across the world while you sit comfortably in your beach chair. Ready?
Brennivin Aquavit is an Icelandic caraway distillate that tastes a lot like rye bread. This makes one of our favorite Bloody Marys as the caraway pairs nicely with tomatoes and horseradish. From Iceland, we trek back home to the US and try another option using Square One Basil Vodka. We are not reinventing anything here. Basil and tomato work well together and the Thai basil spice that comes through in Square One’s Organic Basil Vodka is simply delightful in a Bloody Mary. Let’s head down to our final destination, south of the border to Oaxaca, Mexico. Bloody Marias, as they have come to be known, are mezcal Bloody Marys that have smoky, savory and sweet notes of mezcal coming through the spicy and peppery tomato mix.
- 2 oz choice of:
Square One Basil Vodka
Agave de Cortes Mezcal Joven
- .5 oz fresh lemon juice
- Bloody Mary Mix
- Dollop of Horseradish
Olives, Gherkin pickles and other savory small bites of your choosing to garnish.
This can be toted along in a large insulated vessel by combining all ingredients prior to heading out to the beach. Batch accordingly depending on how many people are going to be drinking the beach bloodies. Feel free to add a little ice to ensure it stays cool. When on the beach, shake up the vessel, pour over ice into a plastic cup and enjoy!
Summertime Negronis on city rooftops are only outdone by beachfront Negronis with salty breezes and the sound of ocean waves. The bitter, pithy and boozy sharpness of a Negroni is surprisingly refreshing and quintessentially summertime.
Adjust portions accordingly based on the size of the vessel you will be toting to the beach. Put a handful of ice and a few orange peels into the vessel. Before pouring, rotate the vessel into a circular motion to make sure the cocktail is properly mixed but do not shake, pour over ice and enjoy!
We had to include one Tiki inspired drink in the mix. This one is going to require a little bit more prep work and a good shake prior to each pour, but is well worth the additional work. Rum, oranges, citrus, pineapple, orgeat and island spices on the beach? Yes, please.
White Caps Crashing
Depending on how many drinks you intend to have at the beach, just multiply this recipe as many times as you’d like. Put a few fresh ice cubes in each time you are ready for a drink, shake vigorously and pour over ice. This is a great all-day sipper, but if you decide to hold off on drinks until after dinner, this is an excellent way to transition from dinnertime rose into a boozy evening of laughter and memories.
Summer 2017, we welcome you with open arms (and booze filled glasses)!