Some of these are admittedly way better than others, but either way, your endless summer starts now
Pumpkin spice has a stranglehold on this country. Each and every autumn, its saccharine orange claws tighten around the tongues of sugar-lusting Americans, forcing us to buy into whatever new product has sprung up. This year, I decided to forget all about it and desperately hold onto summer à la the people on Instagram who post photos of smoothie bowls with the caption “vibes.”
So, I did what any normal person would do and turned my kitchen into a makeshift laboratory and made some truly interesting concoctions that smash together winter’s warm, fuzzy feeling with summer’s lazy vibe. With the help of some experts, I’ve discovered four new drinks that will soon take the place of the PSL in your heart—plus one drink that surely won’t.
The Hot G&T
Let’s start with a raging failure: the warm gin and tonic. As you could imagine, this drink was extremely easy to make, but also hard to stomach. Foolishly thinking all tastes can be winter-fied if heated up, I took a normal g&t, threw it into a pot, and boiled it on high for a few minutes. The result? A very, very, very, unsettlingly bad drink. Don't do this.
“There are much better hot drinks than a Hot Gin & Tonic,” says Myriam Hendrickx, Master Distiller at Rutte Gin. “Tonic is about freshness and that would retracted if warmed up. Some classic cocktails can’t stand the heat and this would be one of them. As a rule, carbonated drinks should not be heated.”
Good thing I consulted with a master distiller after I ran this experiment. Sigh. With gin’s stronghold over the poolside cocktail scene, I asked Hendrickx for some help on a recipe that mishmashes the two seasons and flavors together.
“Although Americans like to claim it as their own national dessert, apple pie is something very Dutch,” Hendrickx says. “Visitors to Amsterdam haven't truly experienced the city if they don't try a real Apple Tart. Rutte is reproducing this tradition in liquid form with the ‘Hot Dutch Apple Pie' cocktail."
The Hot & Chill Apple Pie
2 ounces Rutte Old Simon Genever
2.75 ounces apple juice
1/3 ounce vanilla syrup
Garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon stick, and apple slices.
Now that’s how you turn a summer drink into a winter wonderland.
Whiskey is one of those versatile liquors that can change identities through various seasons and work as a fall, summer, spring, or winter drink. In the summer? Bourbon. Winter? Also bourbon… but in a Negroni—yup, that’s right.
“Oh, I love a Boulevardier in the winter,” says Kenneth McCoy, Chief Creative Officer of Public House Collective. “It’s a darker version of its cousin, the negroni, except you switch out the gin for whiskey. I like mine with rye whiskey.”
The Boulevardier was invented by an American writer named Erskine Gwynne, who founded a monthly magazine in Paris called—what else—Boulevardier. Here’s how you make it.
The Mr. Boulevardier
1 ounce to 1.5 ounces bourbon
1 ounce sweet red vermouth
1 ounce Campari
Picture this: You’re sitting by the beach, sipping on a delicious tiki drink with a grocery store’s worth of fruit on the rim. But then suddenly it miraculously beomces freezing cold out. The ocean has iced over. You’re in a parka. Normally reserved for this hot, humid days where you don’t give an F about anything, the Tiki drink is a summer drink. Until now.
“Personally, I often think of a Painkiller in this context,” says Jim Kearns, Managing Partner at The Happiest Hour and Slowly Shirley. “It’s a tiki cocktail, consisting of pineapple, orange, coconut, aged rum, and a little cinnamon. The combination of orange and baking spice notes make it a cold weather variation on a piña colada.”
The Pipin’ Hot Painkiller
3 ounces rum
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 part cream of coconut
2 ounces pineapple juice
Warm up, sip, and enjoy.
It almost tastes like mulled wine, but I assure you… this version of the Painkiller will kill any creeping desire you have to move to a part of the country where it never gets cold.
As for other traditionally summer drinks that work in a winter setting? Kearns points back to the always-versatile whiskey. Sorta.
“As counterintuitive as it may seem, I think a Manhattan can make a nice room temperature serve. I don’t know about warm, per se, but it’s definitely a rare cocktail that doesn’t do too badly as it warms up in a glass.”
If you wanna try a warm Manhattan, be my guest.
Conor Myers, Creative Director at Underdog, follows suit with the traditionally “island cocktail” route when asked about tasty summer-winter-hybrid drinks.
“I love a nice Aged Rum Daiquiri in the winter,” Myers says, “There’s never a bad time to have a daiquiri, so I just like to change up the rum to suit the climate. With an aged rum, you’re getting more flavors and complexities from the aged spirit that is taken on from its longer resting time. It’s great to experience a classic with an enhanced twist.”
As for warm drinks, Myers instantly heads into whiskey territory.
“Penicillin Cocktail. It sounds strange, but on paper it has all the components of an amazing hot drink. I personally like to use Irish whiskey, because, why the hell not? The Lemon Ginger and Honey are a classic hot drink combo. Another all time favorite of mine is the Madam Mim cocktail; a fruity, rum twist on a hot toddy (classically made with whiskey, honey, lemon and cloves). This cocktail is made with oolong tea and Jamaican rum as a base, and added upon with some housemade raspberry syrup, and lemon juice. It is the perfect warm drink to ease you into the season.”
Easy to make and easy to drink, the Warm Penicillin is the perfect amalgamation of winter and summer and shows—once again—that whiskey is one of the versatile liquors out there. Here’s the recipe.
The Warm Penicillin
1.5 ounces Teeling Small Batch whiskey
1/2 ounce Connemara whiskey
1/2 ounce ginger syrup
1/4 ounce honey syrup
1/4 ounce lemon juice
2 ounces hot water
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine together in a rocks glass, top with hot water, stir, and garnish with lemon oils and a ginger slice