Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Season's sippings: Summer 2010

Le Gaston 76
$10, Ten Tables
597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain 
In the mix:
- 1 bottle Lillet infused with 10 sprigs of tarragon for 24 hours
- 1 English cucumber chopped into ¼ inch cubes
- 1 slice lemon
Layer a 9 ounce rocks glass with cucumbers, top with lemon wheel, then fill with 1 serving of Lillet.

“The idea behind the Gaston 76 is to bring you to Provence,” says wine director Stanislas Hilbert. “The tarragon has that nice anise flavor reminiscent of Pastis, the French national aperitif. I also wanted to a savory note to the drink to contrast the sweetness of the Lillet, so sliced fresh cucumber finishes the drink.” 

Bottom line: The most subtly refreshing of the group, with hints of tarragon mingling with a clean vegetal profile, this one is most remarkable for its tiered construction in the glass. 

Or try: The JP Jam ($10). This daiquiri variation made with key lime-infused rum, wild strawberry liqueur, and spiced with black pepper, also has a balsamic reduction coating the glass that compliments the strawberry flavor nicely. 


The Coney Island Strong Man
$9, Coppa
253 Shawmut Ave., Boston
In the mix:
- 1 ounce yellow chartreuse
- 1 ounce green chartreuse
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- 1 Miller High Life pony
Served on the rocks in a tall novelty mug.

“It's something that people haven't seen before,” says general manager Courtney Bissonnette. “We saw a little bit of a surge with Micheladas, another version of it. A lot of people squeeze lime or lemon into their beer anyway. This does all of that for you, but we mixed a little extra booze in there to get the job done.” 

Bottom line: Chartreuse makes everything better, and the lager here explodes with sweetly herbaceous goodness. 

Or try: Juventus' Cup ($9). Made with Pimm's No. 1, cucumber lemonade, and lemon-lime soda, it's a brilliantly crisp, bright, and lightly spiced variation on a Pimm's Cup. 

 
Cantaloupe Mojito
$9, Pops
560 Tremont St., Boston
In the mix:
- 1 ripe whole cantaloupe infused in a bottle of Bacardi rum over night
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- ½ a lime
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Soda water
Muddle mint leaves, lime juice, and simple syrup. Fill rocks glass with ice and pour infused rum over ice. Shake and top with soda water, then garnish with a cantaloupe slice.

“The flavor of juicy cantaloupe with the freshness of mint and underlying fragrant citrus of lime, for me, is a perfect hot summer thirst quencher,” says chef/owner Felino Samson. 

Bottom line: As if you needed another excuse to have a cocktail during brunch, this one brings the crisp fruity musk of cantaloupe out of the fruit cup realm and into a reliably solid mojito. 

Or try: Pear and Ginger Sparkler ($9). Canton ginger liqueur adds teeth to the effervescence of Cava, and it's rounded out by a lightly sweet pear liqueur and garnished with candied ginger chips. 


Guava  Guanabana
$12, Sushi-Teq
510 Atlantic Ave., Boston 
In the mix:
- 1 ounce Corzo Reposado tequila
- 2 ounces guava nectar
- 2 ounces guanabana juice
- 1 ounce agave nectar

“Guava Guanabana is a very light, fruity and super refreshing cocktail on the sweeter side,” says bar manager Christina Altieri. “The guava gives it a real tropical feel and you don’t even realize you’re drinking Tequila.” 

Bottom line: No dispute here. The sweetness of the fruits almost mask the tequila too well. This one is gone in a flash. 

Or try: Agave Negro ($12). Made with Milagro silver tequila, lime juice, Crème de Cassis, and fresh blackberries, it's a darker fruit margarita with a thick berry sweetness. 

Boston Globe

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