In Search of the Perfect Summer Cocktail
It is Five-O’Clock Somewhere
We embarked on a search for the post-modern 2010 prized summertime cocktail throughout the San Francisco Peninsula.
Each of the tavern bartenders were challenged to create something new. Barkeeps were requested either to use a specific type of liquor or mixer.
Based on the taste buds and lush stomach of the judge, use of tequila and rum were prohibited. Vodka use was discouraged because it has little taste, sometimes a big burn finish, and seems to go with any mixer and other alcohols. These guidelines and competition rules kept them “on their toes” and four spots rate at the top of the list:
- Christina and Greg at the Dutch Goose in West Menlo Park
- Jeff Lauer at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
- Harvey at Marche’ Restaurant in Menlo Park
- Captain Rick of the Ketch Joanne at Princeton-by-the-Sea
At Princeton-by-the-Sea, three bartenders collaborated on concocting the “Irish Rose” featuring Jack Daniels. Shaken and not stirred, this red refreshing cocktail was so good (or I was already too blitzed to drive) I lost this secret recipe on the way back to the taxi.
At Menlo Park Marche’, they used a tall Collins glass to make a remarkable drink with cucumber garnish. Pimms (the original) English liquor was combined with ¾ oz. lemon juice, ½ oz. simple sugar, 1 oz ginger ale, and ½ oz. club soda.
The Dutch Goose has recently opened up their Duck Blind with three talented bartenders. My favorite cocktail to date is the “Capri 7” with Romana Sambuca Classica, orange pineapple juice and lemon-lime soda and garnish. Sambuca is particularly gentle to an ulcerated stomach as I learned the hard way last winter.
A “Bourbon Crusta” variation was shaken by the day-tender at the Ritz. Woodford’s was paired with Luxardo Lemon Chello liquor, peach schnapps, fresh lemon juice, with a brown sugar crusted martini glass rim, and a lemon twist.
So now, I have four more cooling summer happy hour ideas to add to my old favorites: Very cold bottle beer, non-alcoholic lemon juice and soda, and tall gin and tonics.