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The spirits of summer

Try these 10 Cape & Islands cocktails at home

The spirits of summer, Cape Cod HOME |

Summer is almost upon us, and the grills will be sizzling, the patio furniture will be placed and the speakers will be pouring out the sounds of Cape Cod’s most popular season. One important question remains: what cocktails will Cape and Islanders be enjoying this year?

The culture of cocktails has been booming across this coastal region for many years. Natives and visitors alike seek locally made concoctions that are recognized around the world, including the Goombay Smash of The Wellfleet Beachcomber, and the Mudslide prepared at The Gazebo on Nantucket. Naturally, some establishments do not divulge their secret elixirs and techniques, but for consumers at home, the creative process of mixology can be open for interpretation!

In recent years there has been an increase in the number and variety of cocktails featuring gin; whether it’s a London, Plymouth or botanical style, this juniper-based spirit is all the rage. One should attempt to erase any haunting memories of pine trees on the palate by sipping on a cocktail that features refreshing aromatics such as lemongrass, citrus, or elderflower. Those who have not enjoyed gin in a while should consider a re-visit, as it is the quintessential coastal spirit.

While some restaurants rely on traditional favorites that have been mainstays on the drink menu for years, others spend months sourcing ingredients to perfect specialty cocktail menus. Bar managers are also getting creative by heading to the walk-in to fill their fruit trays. Think pickled ginger, infused fruit, and edible flowers. Many refreshing drinks feature savory selections from the herb garden and the spice cabinet, giving mixologists a much broader range of flavor profiles to experiment with.

Not to go unnoticed is the resurgence of a few classic cocktails. Be on the lookout for Bee’s Knees, Aviations, Sidecars, Moscow Mules—and note that many of these traditional favorites are being served with a modern twist. Another trend on the rise is the availability of cocktails—wait for it—on draft.

Realizing that professionals won’t always be on hand to shake and stir creative beverages at the neighborhood barbecue, in this section Cape Cod HOME provides recipes for a number of beloved Cape Cod cocktails to tackle in one’s own backyard. Concocting unique drinks can be a fun way to spice up any gathering of family and friends.

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