The humidity’s up, so cool down quick with one of our favorite cocktails, adapted from three of our staff’s favorite recipes: the Pimm’s Cup, the Caipiriñha, and the Paloma. They’re easy (or at least fun) to make, and did we mention they’re absurdly refreshing? Cheers!
Pimm’s Cup (makes 2 drinks)
Like a garden party in a glass, the Pimm’s Cup is the official cocktail of picnics, polo, and everything elegant about England in the summer.
1 3-inch piece English cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch slices, plus 2 spears (for garnish)
3/4 cup Pimm’s No. 1
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar or simple syrup
2 sprigs each fresh rosemary, thyme, and mint
2 lemon slices
2 fresh strawberries, halved
Ginger beer, chilled
2 rhubarb stalks (for garnish)
Place cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker, and mash well with a muddler or handle of wooden spoon. Add Pimm’s, lemon juice, and sugar. Fill 2 pilsner glasses with ice; set aside. Add ice to Pimm’s mixture, cover, and shake vigorously for a full minute. Strain into glasses over ice and place 1 rosemary sprig, 1 thyme sprig, 1 mint sprig, 1 lemon slice, and 2 strawberry halves in each glass. Fill to the top with ginger beer, then garnish with cucumber spears and rhubarb stalks.
*For an easier version, fill your glass with ice, mix one part Pimm’s No. 1 with 3 parts chilled lemonade, and add some mint, cucumber, orange and strawberry.
Watermelon Caipiriñha (makes 1 drink)
Like a Brazilian mojito, the classic Caipiriñha mixes cachaça with muddled mint, limes, and sugar for a clean, surprisingly refreshing sipper that packs a punch. We love the refreshing sweetness of watermelon, but you can try your own variations with any number of other juicy fruits (like strawberries or ripe mango). Just be sure to adjust the sugar accordingly!
4-5 fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh watermelon
2 ounces Cachaça
1-2 tsp simple syrup
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup well in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add watermelon pieces and gently mash until pulpy, then pour in Cachaça, lime juice, and ice. Shake gently 5-10 times, then transfer into glasses. Garnish with a watermelon spear, a sprig of fresh mint, or a lime wedge and serve ice cold.
Mango En Fuego Paloma (makes 1 drink)
A simple summer cocktail, the Paloma gets all grown up in this spicy variation, where the heat of cayenne, the bite of cilantro, and the sweet fizz of mango brighten up the dark, smoky flavors of Mezcal.
1 ½ oz Mezcal
½ oz fresh lime juice
Pinch of chili powder
1 tsp cilantro, roughly chopped
6 oz. mango soda
1 lime wheel
Stir the mezcal, lime juice, chili powder, and cilantro in a tall Collins glass, then fill with ice and top with soda. Pour the contents into a cocktail shaker, then back into the glass once. Garnish with a straw and a lime wheel.