Sagaponack Spritz

IMG_8531

Grab a beach blanket, pour yourself a glass of rosé, and brace yourself for traffic of epic proportions – summer in the Hamptons is here! I’m celebrating the beginning of “the season” with a cocktail in honor of the Hamptons’ favorite pink drink.

The Sagaponack Spritz is named for the Southampton village that’s home to Wölffer Estate Vineyard, producer of one of the Hamptons’ favorite local rosés. (Justin Bieber was just spotted there last week and apparently tried to order red wine instead. Silly Bieber!)

IMG_8501

Sweet, tart and a little bit bubbly, the Sagaponack Spritz is reminiscent of an Aperol Spritz, but in this year’s big color – pink!  It’s the easiest drink in the world to make- no one needs to be spending an hour in the kitchen making cocktails when you could be outside drinking this one in about three minutes. The Spritz is also a great cocktail for day-drinking. It’s light, refreshing, and not so strong it’ll end your day at 3 PM.

IMG_8512

San Pelligrino makes the best sparkling juice sodas. I made this cocktail with their blood orange soda, and loved the bright orangey-pink color, but it’s also delicious with their grapefruit soda (though you won’t have quite the same pretty shade of pink.) AND, full disclosure, though I would typically suggest garnishing a blood orange drink with a slice of blood orange, all I could find were grapefruits, and no one even noticed the difference. I’m sure Bieber wouldn’t have been able to tell, either.

IMG_8542

Sagaponack Spritz

makes 4 drinks (easily multiplied) 

ice cubes
1 (750 ml) bottle rosé wine
1 (11.15 fl oz) can sparkling blood orange or grapefruit soda, such as San Pelligrino
fresh mint sprigs
blood orange or ruby-red grapefruit wedges

For each drink, fill a tumbler three-quarters full with ice. Pour 1/3 cup rosé into each glass, followed by 1/3 cup soda.  Garnish with a mint sprig and blood orange or grapefruit wedge, and serve.

Montauk Mules

IMG_5556

Watermelon juice is having a moment. It seems to be on every cocktail menu I’ve seen in the Hamptons this summer- and for good reason. It’s really refreshing on the sweltering days we’ve been having lately, and it’s versatile. I’ve had delicious watermelon cocktails with vodka, tequila, gin, rum, and even champagne.

IMG_5594

But while watermelon juice is sweet in theory, it often ends up being watery and bland, and the cocktails designed around it end up watery and bland too. They are called water-melons, after all.

These ‘Montauk’ Mules are a summer-in-the-Hamptons inspired riff on the Moscow Mule, and there is nothing bland about them. Ginger beer enhances watermelon’s natural sweetness without overpowering it and gives the drinks a little kick. Throw in some lime juice and mint – and of course, vodka- and you’ve got a perfect drink for the dog days of summer.

IMG_5607

If you’re lucky enough to have a store near you that sells fresh watermelon juice, you’ll save yourself a lot of time. But for more bang for your buck, puree the watermelon yourself in a blender. Just don’t forget to strain it after. One watermelon will give you a lot more juice than you need, the perfect excuse to make a giant pitcher of Mules.

Montauk Mules

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups fresh watermelon juice (see note)
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle ginger beer
  • ¾ cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
  • sprigs of mint and lime wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Fill four tumblers with ice.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, combine the watermelon juice, ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. Pour over ice, garnish with a sprig of mint and lime wedge, and serve immediately.
  3. Note: If you are pureeing chunks of fresh watermelon to make the juice, pour the puree through a mesh strainer before measuring the juice in a glass measuring cup.