Portions of this article were adpated for the August 2012 issue of N Magazine.
Entertain guests with ease by batching up sophisticated but simple cocktails – the perfect prelude to dinner on the grill or a night on the town. Pitchers make mixing a breeze and are a fun way to serve; everyone can help themselves and you’re free to enjoy the sunset.
It’s no surprise the inspiration for the LTD cocktail comes from Clinton Terry’s first few days on the island. As soon as he stepped off the boat, he headed to Cisco Brewery and Triple Eight Distillery for research. After years in the DC area managing one of the top ten cocktail bars in the country, opening the bar at the newly named Fog Island Grille is a welcome breath of fresh air for Terry. This Culinary Institute of America grad loves to use locally sourced, unique ingredients, making his own sodas, syrups, bitters and other intoxicating infusions. He says the LTD illustrates how he feels about his new home: “I call it my cocktail crescendo, it starts out a little sweet and fruity, but the lemon cuts through to balance it out, then you get that beautiful warming rum finish.”
LTD (Living the Dream)
16 oz 888 Hurricane Rum
32 oz Sweet Tea*
16 oz Lemonade (fresh-squeezed or Newman’s Own Lemonade)
Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters (available on amazon.com)
Combine the rum, tea, lemonade and bitters together in your pitcher. Add ice, stir and pour in to glasses filled with ice. Garnish each glass with a lemon peel.
*Bring 32 oz of water and 2-4 oz of sugar to a simmer. Add 5-6 tea bags or loose tea of your choosing (passion fruit, hibiscus, green, black, etc.) Steep for 2 minutes and remove bags (or strain). Chill and refrigerate.
The New Classic
St-Germain’s presence in a drink makes a statement without being the center of attention, though it should be. Known for playing well with others at the bar, this light and lovely elderflower liqueur pairs with anything from gin to tequila to bubbles. It has the ability to round out any cocktail with an almost elusive quality that comes from the not-too-sweet floral notes. Their signature St-Germain Cocktail was named one of the most important cocktails of the decade by the New York Times for its ability to bring us all back to a time of elegant imbibing with minimal fuss. This French-inspired aperitif is perfect for welcoming guests before a meal with a crisp, refreshing blend of champagne, St-Germain, club soda and twist of lemon. À la vôtre!
The St-Germain Cocktail
1 bottle (25.4 oz) Veuve Cliquot Brut Champagne (or other dry sparkling wine)
24 oz sparkling water
18 oz St-Germain
Pour all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well until mixed. Add ice to individual glasses and fill with cocktail. Garnish each glass with a lemon twist.
The Sophisticated Sipper
The cozy bar at Pi Pizzeria fills up fast – and for good reason. With a neighborly Italian ambiance and creative cocktails, it’s a welcome respite from town during season. Bartender Jim Agnew says regulars have made the Blueberry Pi the signature (and award-winning) drink that has been a staple menu item for the past two years. Originally created by former bartender Stu Boissonnault, the sweet-tart blend of local favorite 888 Blueberry vodka, citrus and crisp ginger ale make a crowd-pleasing summer sipper. Agnew himself is a familiar face behind the bar, having worked around the island for the past 10 years. He’s come to appreciate the Italian twist to cocktails, especially the Negroni, another favorite he’s known for executing perfectly alongside Pi’s Neapolitan pizzas.
24 oz 888 Blueberry Vodka
8 oz Cointreau
48 oz ginger ale
Cut lemons and limes in to wedges and squeeze in large pitcher. Add blueberry vodka, Cointreau and ice and stir well. Fill remainder of pitcher with ginger ale to taste. Pour in to glasses and garnish with lime wedge. (For a fun twist, add fresh blueberries to pitcher.)