The spirits of summer
Try these 10 Cape & Islands cocktails at 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.
The Mad Minnow Bar & Kitchen
554 Main Street, Harwich Port
508-259-1189 • madminnow.com
1 1/2 ounces Tito’s Homemade Vodka
1 cranberry ice “sphere”
Cranberry ice “sphere” is a round ice cube made with cranberry juice.
2 ounces local cranberry juice
Dash fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a highball glass.
Garnish with salted lime peel.
Salted lime peel
Place 1/2 inch Wellfleet Sea Salt in a jar and add a layer of lime peel. Layers may be
repeated ending with a layer of salt.
Place lid on jar and let cure for a few weeks.
Classic Gin & Tonic
237 Commercial Street, Provincetown
508-487-8878 • rossgrillptown.com
2 ounces gin
4 ounces tonic water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Pour ingredients over ice. Stir well with a
long-necked spoon. Garnish with lime wedge.
The Chatham Bars Inn
297 Shore Road, Chatham
508-945-0096 • chathambarsinn.com
2-1/2 ounces of Sippewisset Gin*
1/2 ounce of beach plum jam
Juice of a fresh lemon
1 ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Place all ingredients, except mint leaf, in a cocktail shaker with ice and agitate vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass and float mint leaf.
*Crafted by AstraLuna Brands and available locally.
Blueberry Lemon Drop
Ocean House Restaurant
425 Old Wharf Road, Dennisport
508-394-0700 • oceanhouserestaurant.com
2 ounces Stoli Blueberi Vodka
1 ounce blueberry puree
1 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Splash of Sprite
Place all ingredients with ice in a tall glass and shake vigorously to blend ingredients. Garnish with fresh blueberries, mint, and a lime wedge.
The Pilot House
Restaurant and Lounge
14 Gallo Road, Sandwich
508-888-8889 • pilothousecapecod.com
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
4 to 6 ounces Farmer Willie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer*
Enjoy all ingredients over ice and garnish with a lime.
*Crafted in a Cape Cod kitchen and locally available.
Lemon Ginger Martini*
Wellfleet Bookstore & Restaurant
50 Kendrick Ave, Wellfleet
508-349-3154 • wellfleetoyster.com
Peel from a lemon
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh ginger with peel, about 8 ounces
1 cup lemongrass
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
Finely chop the lemon peel, lemongrass and ginger in a food processor. Transfer the lemon-ginger mixture to a medium saucepan, add the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer. Strain the mixture and cool. Makes two cups.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, equal parts ginger syrup and your favorite vodka and top with a splash of sour mix. *Exact measurements have been recreated by the author, as the Bookstore mixologist must keep some things secret!
Fresh Raspberry Mojito Crush
Beetlebung Restaurant & Bar
53 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs
508-696-0053 • beetlebung.com
2 ounces Privateer Rum
(a local craft rum out of Ipswich)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce demerara syrup
5 fresh raspberries
8-10 fresh mint leaves
Q orange soda
Slap mint leaves in the palm of your hands and throw into a shaker. Add rum, lime juice, syrup, and raspberries with ice. Shake well. Strain into highball glass. Add crushed ice to very top of glass. Top with orange soda. Garnish with mint and raspberries.
Skinny Blood Orange Margarita
Anejo Mexican Bistro & Tequilla Bar
188 Main Street, Falmouth
508-388-7631 • anejomexicanbistro.com
1-1/2 ounces jalapeño infused tequila
1/2 ounce Torres Orange Liquer
Dash of blood orange puree
Combine all ingredients, shake,
pour over ice, and top with soda water.
(A hot-sauce michelada with some serious kick.)
Crisp Flatbread Inc.
791 Main Street, Osterville
508-681-0922 • crispflatbread.com
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Chili pepper salt (kosher salt/cayenne pepper)
Salt the rim of a tall glass with chili pepper salt. Fill glass with ice and add remaining ingredients. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Do Not Try This At Home
Molecular gastronomy has made its way from the kitchen to the bar and the Cape has some very interesting scientists curating cocktails from their lab. Cape Codder Bursts are exploding spheres of refreshing flavor and are a far cry from the Jell-O shots of yesteryear. Although, I applaud anyone who attempts to get their beakers ready for this cocktail, I highly suggest going to the source.
Cape Codder Bursts
2 parts Triple 888 Cranberry Vodka
8 parts Bluewater Farms cranberry juice
Calcium Lactate Gluconate and a sphere magic bath
Garnish with lime zest.
Clean Slate Eatery
702 Route 28
A Cape Cod native and resident of Cotuit, Stefanie Celata is a local mixologist as well as a fine wine and spirits representative for Baystate Wine & Spirits.