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Summer Sippin’ – Bartenders Share Their Secrets
compiled and edited by Angie Kay Dilmore
In the heat of summer, sometimes we just want to sit on the patio and sip a chilled cocktail. Thrive caught up with a few local bartenders who wanted to share their favorite summer cocktail recipes. Shake, pour, savor!
Ember Grille & Wine Bar
Kelly Huddle, Lead Bartender at Ember Grille
Kelly Huddle, lead bartender at Ember, calls this drink the Alebrije. “When my son was little, he loved the movie Coco, especially the “spirit animals” that were in the movie, the alibrijes. When I created this drink, it reminded me so much of those characters and it also features mezcal, which is native to Mexico. This cocktail is refreshing, lightly smoky with a pop of sweetness and heat. I love how well the cucumber and jalapenos play with the mezcal.”
- 1 ½ oz. Del Maguey Vida
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- ¾ oz. simple syrup
- Small handful of diced English cucumbers
- 3 jalapeno slices
Muddle cucumbers and jalapenos with simple syrup. Add rest of ingredients and ice and shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice that has been rimmed with candied violet sugar.
Jace Wallace, Bartender art Crust Pizza
Jace Wallace, bartender at Crust Pizza in Lake Charles, infuses Altos Tequila with bold, flavorful watermelon Jolly Ranchers and adds Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, agave, and cold-pressed Sugartown watermelon juice to create his Watermelon Rita. “Combining all of these ingredients leaves the drink with a bright red color and a sweet, fresh taste that will remind you of Louisiana summer!”
- 1 1/2 oz. Jolly Rancher Watermelon Altos Tequila
- 1 oz. Triple Sec
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz. Sugartown watermelon juice
- 1/4 oz. agave syrup
Combine tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, and agave into a mixing tin. Shake vigorously and pour into glass. Then top with watermelon juice.
Jordan Hastings, Bartender at Villa Harlequin
Bartender Jordan Hastings created Villa Harlequin’s Blueberry Gin Sour, which consists of Gray Whale gin, fresh blueberries, house-made Sweet & Sour, egg white and orange zest. Jordan started mixing drinks at age 21 with a local catering company, Raising the Bar, owned by Jacob Trevino. She attributes much of her knowledge of spirits and her mixologist skills to Jacob. Prior to joining The Villa Harlequin team, Jordan tended bar in Jackson Square, NOLA. “Living in New Orleans, Jordan enjoyed experiencing the NOLA restaurant and bar culture, where she acquired the pallet and inspiration for many of her craft cocktail creations,” says Villa Harlequin co-owner Michael Sperandeo.
Blueberry Gin Sour
- 2 oz. Gray Whale Gin
- handful of fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp simple syrup
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- splash of Amarena cherry juice
Muddle fresh blueberries in cocktail shaker with simple syrup and lemon juice. Add gin, egg white and cherry juice, dry shake for at least a minute to get it nice and foamy. Add ice and shake again; strain into coupe glass or brandy snifter; and garnish with orange zest. Cheers!