As summer draws to an end, it’s time to make the most of New Jersey’s incredible produce while it’s still in season. Our favorite way to do so is by combining them with our favorite spirits to make refreshing summer cocktails. There’s nothing better on a hot day than having a cold drink in hand. Here’s what we’re shaking up for September.
A time-tested and simple cocktail, a Bourbon Rickey is the perfect way to bring out the best in your bourbon of choice. This cocktail gained popularity around the 1890s, but was created long before that. It provides refreshment without an overpowering sweetness, and there’s a good chance you have everything on hand to make it now.
How to Make a Bourbon Rickey
- 1.5 oz Independent Bourbon
- 1/2 lime
- Sparkling water
- Fill a highball with ice. Squeeze your lime over top and drop it into the glass.
- Add bourbon, finish with sparkling water. Give it a gentle stir and serve.
Watermelon Vodka Cocktail
Sweet, simple, and tangy. This cocktail makes the most of this year’s vibrant watermelon yield. This hydrating drink pairs perfectly with salty summer foods, such as a burger and fries or kebabs on the grill. Learn how to make your own below.
How to Make a Watermelon Vodka Cocktail
- 2 oz watermelon juice
- 1.5 oz Pine Tavern’s Muddy Run Jersey Style Vodka
- 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp honey
- Fresh lime & watermelon wedges to serve
- If you don’t have purchased watermelon juice, blend around 2 cups of cubed watermelon thoroughly and strain it through a sieve. This will give you around 2 cups of watermelon juice to work with.
- Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add your watermelon juice, vodka, lime, and honey, and shake vigorously.
- Pour and garnish with a watermelon wedge and a slice of lime.
Garden State of Mind
Not for the faint of heart, “Garden State of Mind” is a complex but rewarding craft cocktail. Layered flavors of fresh tomato, jalapeno, and white rum come together to create a garden symphony. Here’s how to make yours:
How to Make a Garden State of Mind
- 1.5 oz Mission Spirits White Rum
- 1.5 oz Spicy Celery Syrup
- 3.5 oz Tomato Coulis
- Salt, chilli, and lime for rim
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- 3 slices heirloom tomato
- 3 slices beefsteak tomato
Spicy Celery Syrup
- 8-12 celery hearts
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 slices jalapeno
- To create Celery Syrup, combine celery and water in a blender. Blend thoroughly. Add that mixture to a pot with the sugar and jalapeno. Bring to a simmer until thickened.
- To create Tomato Coulis, add all tomatoes to a blender and cover with water. Blend thoroughly. Strain mixture through cheesecloth.
- Rim glass with salt, chili, and lime mixture. Then fill glass with ice.
- Add white rum and celery syrup into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into glass.
- Slowly pour tomato coulis into the glass to layer the cocktail.
A Painkiller is the perfect drink for an evening on the back porch. The flagship drink of the Virgin Islands, this cocktail is the epitome of fruity and refreshing. Here’s how to make your own:
How to Make a Painkiller Cocktail
- 2 oz Striped Lion’s Rum Collectors’ Reserve 2020
- 4 oz pineapple juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1 oz Coco Lopez (or cream of coconut)
- Nutmeg for finishing
- Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add in rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and Coco Lopez. Shake vigorously.
- Pour into a glass over ice. Finish with a light dusting of nutmeg.