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Nine hot and cool cocktail recipes

Nine hot and cool cocktail recipes

Restaurants and bars around the country are catering to patrons' hot-weather tastes with cocktails that cool and refresh, or offer a spicy kick. • See more beverage recipes

Summer is a season that naturally calls for cool, refreshing cocktails. Some drinks even offer a little heat of their own. For instance, at Maya Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria Maya in New York City, The Pepino is a spicy cocktail that features jalapeño-infused tequila. At Legal Harborside in Boston, the Margarita From Hell gets its kick from jalapeño-habanero syrup.

Lexington Social House in Los Angeles serves The Polynesian, a spicy drink inspired by the flavors of a Hawaiian pizza. Check out the recipe. It’s garnished with cayenne peppers, a crispy piece of prosciutto and a basil leaf.

Two cool flower-inspired cocktail ideas featuring pisco include the Portón Lavender Pisco Sour — the creation of mixologist Yuval Soffer of Comme Ça restaurant in Los Angeles — and the Rose Sour, garnished with rose petals.

To celebrate National Watermelon Day on Aug. 3, consider the Watermelon Fizz, a skinny cocktail served at Haru in Boston. The drink is an infusion of muddled watermelon and cilantro, with Inocente Tequila. It’s finished with a splash of lime and soda water. Legal Sea Foods locations serve the Fresh Watermelon Crush, a summery mix of Rain Organic Vodka, fresh watermelon and simple syrup.

Meanwhile, at Gather Bar in the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel in Illinois, the handcrafted Razmopolitan taps into the popularity of raspberries. The drink complements small plates offerings such as Crispy Rock Shrimp and Mushroom Ravioli.

The Smokey Pablo is a creation of The Tippling Brothers beverage consultants. Served at Mercadito in Chicago, the cocktail offers a winning combination of sweet, heat and smoke, with the flavors of mango, blueberry and morita chiles.

Check out all nine of these cocktail recipes.

Spicy renditions of cocktails

The Pepino
From: Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria Maya
Yield: 1 serving

1 ½ oz. jalapeño infused tequila (recipe follows)
2 oz. organic cucumber puree (fresh organic cucumbers pureed with the skin on)
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. agave nectar

Jalapeño-infused tequila:
2 medium-sized jalapeño peppers
1 liter blanco tequila

For jalapeño-infused tequila: Macerate the two jalapeños (sliced in half) in the 1 liter of blanco tequila at room temperature for 10 to 15 days. Shake the infused spirit three times per day for flavor distribution. Strain, bottle and store at room temperature.

For The Pepino: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake 30 times. Strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with a Tajin seasoning rim and a cucumber wheel.

Photo: Noah Fecks/Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen

Smokey Pablo
From: Mercadito, Chicago
Yield: 1 serving

2 fl. oz. tequila reposado
1 ¼ fl. oz. mango purée
¾ fl. oz. morita chile syrup (recipe follows)
¾ oz. lime juice
¼ fl. oz. blueberry purée float

Morita Chile Syrup:
1 qt. simple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
4 morita chiles

For morita chile syrup: Bring simple syrup to medium heat. Break up chiles and add to heated syrup. Simmer for 10 minutes, check heat level and let simmer for another 10 minutes if needed. When desired heat level  is achieved, strain and refrigerate.

For cocktail: In a shaker, shake all ingredients except blueberry purée float and strain over ice. Place blueberry float purée on top of drink, as if it were floating. If desired, dust with chipotle powder. This recipe’s amount can be increased to yield more portions.

Photo: Mercadito

Margarita From Hell
From: Legal Harborside, Boston
Yield: 1 serving

6 watermelon cubes
2 oz. Corazon Anejo Tequila
1 oz. jalapeño and habanero syrup
1 oz. lime juice
dash of Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, float
for garnish, lime wheel

Muddle the watermelon and add tequila, syrup and lime; lightly shake.  Double strain and add the Mezcal float. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wheel (salt optional).

Photo: Legal Harborside

Cooling, fruit-based beverages

The Polynesian
From: Lexington Social House, Los Angeles
Yield: 1 serving

2 oz. Peligroso Silver tequila
1 oz. pineapple gum syrup
½ oz. lime juice
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
small handful of basil, muddled

Build the drink in a pint glass. Shake and strain over a single large ice cube. Garnish with cayenne pepper, a fresh basil leaf and a piece of crispy prosciutto.

Photo: Lexington Social House

Watermelon Fizz
From: Haru, Boston and New York City
Yield: 1 serving

1 oz. Inocente Tequila
3 oz. fresh watermelon
1 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. soda water
5 pieces of cilantro
1 squeeze of lime

Muddle watermelon along with cilantro leaves split into halves. Add ice, simple syrup and tequila. Shake vigorously and pour all contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with a piece of watermelon on a bamboo spike.

Photo: Haru

Fresh Watermelon Crush
From: Legal Sea Foods (32 locations)
Yield: 1 serving

2 oz. Rain Organic Vodka
1 oz. simple syrup
as needed, diced watermelon pieces

Combine vodka, simple syrup and fresh watermelon and vigorously shake. Add to a martini glass and garnish with a speared watermelon piece.

Photo: Legal Sea Foods

Pisco-based drinks

Rose Sour
Yield: 1 serving

1½ parts Pisco Portón
½  part fresh lime juice
½  part simple syrup
¼  part egg white
3 dashes rose water

First, dry shake the egg white and then add the Pisco Portón, lime and simple syrup to the shaker with ice. Pour into cocktail glass, then garnish with three dashes of rose water and rose petals.

Photo: Pisco Portón

Portón Lavender Pisco Sour
Created by mixologist Yuval Soffer, Comme Ça, Los Angeles
Yield: 1 serving

2 parts Pisco Portón
¾ parts lemon juice
¾ parts lavender extract
½ part simple syrup
as needed, lavender-infused egg white
for garnish, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
for garnish, lavender leaf

Dry shake and whip all first five ingredients, then shake with ice. Strain into a coup and garnish with chocolate bitters and a lavender leaf.

For infused egg whites: In a sealed jar, place egg whites alongside some potent lavender flowers. Keep jar refrigerated for two to four days, testing eggs whites regularly. The interaction changes the consistency of egg whites and can make them harder to work with after an extended time.

For lavender extract: Fill half a container with dry lavender flowers and top container with boiling water. Let flowers sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until color turns very dark purple. Strain out flowers and add a bit of simple syrup to smooth out bitterness in the finish. Avoid adding too much simple syrup; the extraction should not be sweet.

Photo: Pisco Portón

The Razmopolitan
From: Gather Bar in Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, IL
Yield: 1 serving

2 oz. Effen Raspberry Vodka
1 oz. Chambord
splash of cranberry juice
splash of simple syrup

Combine all ingredients. Shake and serve in a martini glass.

Photo: Elena Bazzini/Renaissance Schaumberg


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