Beach Bar Cocktails – Summer 2020

A GREAT Cocktail is an escape from the world of same old same old.  It’s an exquisite sensation that stops time – sparks delight – and demands to be sipped not gulped.  

Here are the cocktails I’m making, serving and drinking at the Beach Bar during the summer of 2020. 

Returning Classic from Summer 2019

Hemingway Daiquiri: This drink by one of the greatest writers of all time has made this list for ten straight summers.  Fresh juice is CRITICAL.  Don’t even think about making it with bottled juices.  Shake together the following then serve in a martini or couple glass. 

2.0   ounces Brugal White Rum

1/4   ounce  Luxardo) (1.5 teaspoon or 1/2  tablespoon)

3/4    ounce sugar syrup  (1.5 tablespoons)

3/4    ounce fresh lime juice  (1.5 tablespoons)

1/2    ounce fresh grapefruit juice (3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon) 

Phillip’s Whiskey Sour: This is a classic for the beach bar that everyone will love.  I make it by the pitcher and store the pitcher in a cooler with ice around to keep it cold.     Don’t BE SCARED of the number of ingredients – it’s worth the effort.  

Instead of the sticky sweet chemical soup sour mixes it’s 100% natural.   It was invented by Phillip Kurtz – one of our Master Whiskey Makers.   

To make the sour mix blend together:

1/2  cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice

1/4 cup fresh Lemon  Juice

1/4 cup of fresh Orange  juice

Add Zest from each Fruit…

To make a whiskey sour blend equal parts sour mix with whiskey – I use Old Dexter for smoothness.  Shake and strain – or simply serve over ice depending on your preference. 

Tall Stacks Painkiller: This is Tiki classic made awesome with smoked whiskey in stead of rum.  Like the sour – I often make these by the pitcher.   Yes making these with whiskey instead of rum is EPIC.   Try them side by side.   Great cocktail whiskies – like Tall Stacks and Old Dexter – add tons of depth and richness.   Just shake together: 

2 ounces Tall Stacks Smoked Bourbon (if you don’t like smoke use Old Dexter Whiskey)

1 ounce coconut cream

2 ounces pineapple juices  

1 ounce orange juice

Serve over ice with a sprinkle of NUTMEG on top

New This Summer

My Current “World’s Greatest”  Gin Martini:  At the Beach Bar my first drink is most commonly a Gin Martini – however it’s getting pressure from Dale Degroff’s Whiskey Smash listed next.    When it comes to martini I am a fanatic.  I view it as a never ending quest.  This latest recipe is inspired by the Grill House Martini as detailed in Robert Simonson’s book The Martini Cocktail.   Over the past 10 years no recipe has survived more than 6 months… as I am always looking for a 

Most important in making a martini is to use fresh vermouth.  I always buy small bottles and keep them in the fridge for no more than 2 months.   Yes Vermouth does go bad.    This is my latest version.   Shake the following for 12 seconds.  Yes 12 seconds that’s the perfect time for chilling but not diluting too much. 

1 ½ ounces Plymouth Gin (In memory of Winston Churchill)

1 ½ ounces Tanqueray Gin (in memory of my Dad) 

¼ ounce  (or 1.5 teaspoon)  Noilly Pray dry Vermouth

¼ ounce (or 1.5 teaspoon) Dolin Blanc Vermouth

Strain and serve in a chilled crystal Martini glass (ice and water having sat in glass for a few minutes). I serve mine with a twist of lemon peel and two olives. 

Dale Degroff’s Whiskey Smash:  This is a new cocktail to the list this summer.  It was inspired by a wonderful afternoon that I spent with Dale Degroff – the true King of Cocktails in the USA (look him up).   It’s an AMAZING Drink.  Start by muddling together

  • Just a lemon into quarters and cut one quarter into two wedges to use
  • 5 Mint leaves
  • 3/4 ounce of simple syrup

Add  2 oz Old Dexter Whiskey and shake for 12 seconds.  Serve in an Old Fashioned Glass over fresh ice.   Garnish with a Mint Sprig.

A Riff on Jimmy B’s Margarita: This is crazy good new Margarita recipe.  It is inspired by Jimmy Buffett’s Perfect Margarita from Margaritaville The Cookbook.   It uses more lime juice (sour) than normal and a splash of simple syrup – the result is a more three dimensional margarita that is delicious without being too sweet. 

Shake together with ice or shaved ice for 12 seconds: 

2 ounces of white tequila 

1 ounce of Cointreau (orange liquor)

1 1/2 ounces of Lime Juice

1 ounce of Simple syrup

Serve in a margarita glass with salt on the rim. 

Late Night Cocktails  

As the Sun Comes Down and the Evening is ending these are the three top choices at the Beach Bar. 

Big City™ Manhattan:  This is fresh and clean version “Beach Bar” version of the classic Manhattan.  It swaps out Dry Vermouth for Sweet Vermouth – and Grand Marnier for the orange peel, bitters and cherries. Shake together the following and strain into a martini or coupe glass.

  • 2 oz of Deckhand Rye. 
  • 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth  (I use Dolin Brand)
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier

My Current “World’s Greatest” Sazerac:  In my opinion, the world’s best “Whiskey forward” cocktail is the Sazerac.  Like with the Martini – I am a bit compulsive in my search for the world’s best Sazerac.  This recipe blends Dale Degroff’s core recipe with an Absinthe Bitters invited by the wizards at the Employees Only Bar in NYC and detailed in their book Speakeasy. 

Before you begin –  you need to make the Employees Only Absinthe bitters.  I make it up in volume then put it in a collection of small spray bottles.  I end up giving them away to guests who fall in love with this amazing drink.  Mix together and bottle in spray bottles:

3 cups of Pernod

1/2 cup of Green Chartreuse

1 teaspoon of Peychaurd’s bitters

1 teaspoon of Angostura bitters

2 tablespoons of Fee Brothers mint bitters

To make the “World’s Greatest” Sazarac add to a glass with ice (ideally one big cube)

1 teaspoon of simple syrup

1 ounce of Deck Hand Rye (or Tall Stacks Smoked Bourbon)

1 ounce of Pierre Ferrand Cognac

1 spritz of Employees Only Absinthe Bitters

Stir and taste.  Add more Absinthe Bitters to taste

Last Drink: The last drink is often simply Paddle Wheel 200 Year Wood Bourbon or Tall Stacks Smoked Bourbon over a large ice cube.   Often served with a piece or two of dark chocolate.