Cool Summer Drinks
Break out the shaker, and crank up the liquid AC. If these summer cocktails had a sound track, you'd hear a splash and a whisper of cool no matter how scorching the weather. We talked hooch and juice with the best bartenders in the East Bay and tasted dozens of their icy concoctions; these five knocked us right into the pool. Up for a swim? Paddle on over to the bars where these drinks were born, or whip them up yourself, and make a splash at home.
The Hemingway Daiquiri
Izzy’s Steaks and Chops
Sam DuVall, owner
Sam DuVall, owner of the recently opened Izzy’s in San Ramon, is a New Orleans native who has traveled to Cuba to collect art. While there, he picked up the recipe for a drink fabled to be Ernest Hemingway’s standard morning order at the bar La Floridita. Hemingway ordered it so regularly that it came to be known as Papa’s Double.
2 ounces light rum
1 ounce ruby red
Splash simple syrup,
Directions: Fill shaker with ice. Pour rum and grapefruit juice over ice. Squeeze in half lime, and add a splash of simple syrup, if desired. Shake, and strain into a glass.
Garnish: Place a thin slice of grapefruit in the glass or garnish with lime wedge.
Paragon Bar and Grill
David Liang, bartender
David Liang has worked at Paragon since it opened in the Claremont Resort & Spa six years ago. He created this refreshing, exotic cocktail made with lychees, a lightly perfumed fruit available in cans in the Asian section of grocery stores.
1 slice orange
1 slice lime
1 whole pitted lychee
1 sprig mint
1½ ounces lychee syrup
(from the can of lychees)
2 ounces vodka
Splash of club soda
Directions: Muddle orange and lime slices, lychee, mint, and lychee syrup in a shaker. Add vodka, splash of soda, and crushed ice to the shaker. Shake gently, then empty drink, including muddled fruit, into a tall glass. Top with additional club soda.
Garnish: Stuff a lychee with a maraschino cherry. Place the stuffed lychee and an additional sprig of mint in the top of the glass.
Tommy Bahama Sunset Rumtini
Patrick Lynn, manager
Patrick Lynn, manager of Mahalo Grille, dreamed up this beautiful multitone drink, which incorporates Tommy Bahama’s new line of rums: White Sand light and Golden Sun dark. Lynn says it’s like a mai tai in a martini glass.
¼ ounce plus three drops grenadine
1½ ounces Tommy Bahama White Sand light rum
1 ounce chilled orange juice
1 ounce chilled pineapple juice
½ ounce Tommy Bahama Golden Sun dark rum
Directions: Fill a shaker with ice. Pour light rum, orange and pineapple juices, and three drops grenadine into shaker. Squeeze the lime over the shaker. Shake, and strain into a martini glass. Pour in the quarter ounce of grenadine—it will settle at the bottom. Top with the dark rum. Garnish: Place a wedge of fresh pineapple on the rim of the glass.
The Paradiso Margarita
José Orona, bartender
The drinks at Doña Tomás, like the food, are a pure expression of Mexican cuisine. Bartender José Orona shuns prefab drink mixes and Triple Sec when making margaritas and says his recipe works only with high-quality añejo tequila, which is aged for a minimum of one year, but often for two or three, and tastes similar to Cognac.
½ ounce Cointreau or Patrón Citrógne
½ ounce simple syrup
2 ounces añejo tequila
Directions: Fill a shaker with ice, and pour in the Cointreau, simple syrup, and tequila. Squeeze in the lime juice. Shake, then strain into a salt-rimmed glass full of ice.
Garnish: Place a slice of lime on the rim of the glass, if desired.
Mango Sapphire Martini
Walnut Creek Yacht Club
Manny Hinojosa, bartender
Manny Hinojosa, the Yacht Club’s famed bartender, is at it again with this crisp, intriguingly perfumed cocktail. He steeps crushed coriander seeds in sugar and water to make the simple syrup for this drink, and unlike most flavored martinis, which are made with vodka, this one actually relies on the classic martini spirit: gin.
For coriander simple syrup
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 cup water
½ cup granulated white sugar
2 sprigs basil (about 20 leaves)
2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
2 ounces mango nectar
1 ounce coriander simple syrup
Directions: Make the syrup ahead.Toast coriander seeds for two minutes in a 375°F oven. Crush lightly. Combine coriander with sugar and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let sit one hour. Strain into a glass container, and chill. Place basil in shaker and fill shaker with ice. Pour gin, mango nectar, and simple syrup over ice. Squeeze half lemon over shaker. Shake thoroughly, then strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish: Place a wedge of fresh mango in the glass.