I recently had the honor of warming a bar stool opposite the great mixologist Lu Brow, corporate bar chef at Commander's Palace Restaurant in New Orleans. As the temperature in the French Quarter hit 93 degrees, the topic inevitably turned to summer libations. Lu offered these helpful hot weather drinking tips.
1. Keep it light. "A drink should be something in the summer to stimulate your appetite and doesn't need to be anything really heavy."
2. Remember the mixer. "You can drink bourbon in the summer, you can drink scotch in the summer, you just to remember to have some kind of mixer in it, another component."
3. Keep it simple. "I see a lot of resistance to cocktails that are 15 ingredients. I think you see cocktails that are created just to show off that I can put something weird in, and put a weird name on it. When you start thinking about some of the best cocktails ever, that's not what you're getting. A margarita is three ingredients. A sidecar is three ingredients."
4. Avoid shots. "Avoid shots."
As an adventurous alternative to the tired Appletinis and Cosmos of the cocktail world, Lu proposes the Ponchatoula Punch (shown above), which, I am pleased to report, is a glassful of refreshing summer awesome. Cheers!
The recipe is after the jump.
1 1/5 ounces Hendrick's gin
½ ounce crème de cacao
½ ounce Solerno blood orange liqueur
2 ounces sliced strawberries
¾ ounce simple syrup
¾ ounce fresh lemon
2 drops Fees rhubarb bitters
1 2inch sprig of thyme
In a mixing glass muddle fresh thyme and strawberries. Add all liquid ingredients and shake well. Double strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a slice of strawberry threaded with thyme as the stem.