There’s a brand-new cocktail menu at Polite Provisions, and it’s a beauty. Designed by CH Projects’ designer Dane Danner, the coloring book-style creation is complete with cocktail line drawings, a crossword puzzle, word search, and labyrinth maze.
Within the playful pages, guests will find an enticing selection of new drinks crafted by bartender Erick Castro that are the result of 12 months of research and development—part of which took place on a 3,000-mile journey across the U.S. for his documentary film, “Bartender at Large.” For ease of ordering, the cocktails are organized into 13 categories (including Lost Classics, Cocktails from Around the World, and Hometown Heroes). To help whittle down the 80-plus options, DiningOut tapped Castro for his top picks to sip this summer.
Ingredients: Genever, lemon, raspberries, and Benedictine
Flavor profile: Fresh summer berries with an herbal background (courtesy of the Benedictine). Genever lends a nice, malty structure to the cocktail, while the lemon provides a refreshing finish.
Why it’s perfect for summer: The Electric Relaxation is the perfect vehicle to showcase freshly picked berries from the local farmers’ market during the summer months.
Ingredients: Apple brandy, London Dry gin, lime, and grenadine
Flavor profile: Juniper and pomegranate followed by tart citrus and orchard apples. Served on crushed ice with a bracing acidity that drinks like air conditioning in a glass.
Why it’s perfect for summer: The ultimate crowd-pleaser—the split base (gin and brandy) provides a wonderful structure while maintaining a light, tropical finish that’s perfect on a hot day.
ROAD TO MOROCCO
Ingredients: Cognac, passionfruit, orange, lemon, and cupcake sprinkles
Flavor profile: Crisp acidity layered with exotic fruit and a suggestion of honey.
Why it’s perfect for summer: Nothing says summertime like exotic fruit and citrus. This drink has juicy flavors everyone can get on board with—even folks who are not typically into spirits. Don’t forget the sprinkles!
Ingredients: Cachaça, lime, peach liqueur, pineapple, orgeat syrup, and absinthe
Flavor profile: A light, yet complex tiki-style cocktail with a finish of peach and tarragon.
Why it’s perfect for summer: Pineapple is the ideal tropical refreshment during hot days and it provides the perfect acidity to balance out the orgeat, while also adding some volume to the drink.
Cocktail photo by Arlene Ibarra