The dog days of summer call for new, lively recipes for the coolest beverages.
He’s got nothing against Ginger Rogers, but sometimes SF’s Marcovaldo Dionysus just wants to encourage customers to try something else. That’s why the Absinthe bartender has moved the drink’s place on the bar menu from its original perch at the top of the list to various spots at the bottom and in the middle of the list. But still, folks just can’t seem to get enough.
The Ginger Rogers is a perfect summer drink: tall, icy, with a touch of citrus and some lively bubbles for refreshment. Dionysus calls it “a Mojito, backwards and on high heels.” It starts with the same sprig of fresh mint, but ends with the distinct kick of ginger. Summer or not (but especially summer), the Ginger Rogers is consistently the top seller at the San Francisco watering hole.
Soon, we’ll be coming into the season when heat or humidity (or both) give customers a deep thirst, and the job of smart beverage operators becomes quenching that thirst in sensible style. Look for drinks that have less of a hit of alcohol and emphasizes the basic elements of summer refreshment: ice, citrus, fruitiness, and effervescence.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
When Marie Maher, beverage manager at Beacon in New York City, thinks summer cocktail, her mind turns to Margarita. “There’s so much you can do with it,” she points out, “so many twists.” A successful variation served at Beacon adds natural fruit purée, one version being their Mojo Margarita made with mango and served either frozen, straight up or on the rocks. Try it with other tropical purées, such as passion fruit or guava, and you’ve got some ideal summer quaffs.
Also along the tropical lines is Beacon’s Tango cocktail. “It’s influenced from a trip I took to Australia, where they drink lots of gin,” says Maher. In the garden outside her friend’s house grew ripe passion fruit, and she played around a bit with the tropical fruit, adding some fresh grapefruit juice. Back at Beacon, she uses Passo