At the start of 2020, our in-house cocktail connoisseur Robby Nelson made his bold predictions for the drink trends that would dominate the bar scene this year. That was, of course, before COVID flipped the bar and restaurant industry on its head, where it would stay in a metaphorical headstand for the foreseeable future.
In retrospect, there was a lot Robby got right about this year: we’ve seen the rise of pre-batched drinks and classic cocktails, along with a newfound appreciation for thoughtful consumption and low-to-no ABV. The only differences? Our cocktails have been confined to to-go cups, our sipping relegated to the couch, and our once dusty bar carts nearly entirely diminished. We’re drinking at home, and we’re drinking better than ever.
As we savor these last dog days of summer, we’re craving refreshing, easy-to-make cocktails that rival those sipped on the packed rooftop bars and beachside bungalows of summers past. Here’s what we’re shaking up to stay safe and cool now through Labor Day, as told to you by Robby himself.
You may not have to worry about scurvy anymore, but you should still drink gimlets.
2 oz AMASS Dry Gin
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz Simple Syrup
Lime Wheel, for garnish (optional)
Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
Take it up a notch with a Cucumber Gimlet, made with cucumber-infused AMASS Dry Gin:
• Cut up one medium cucumber.
• Put cucumber into a large pot or pitcher.
• Pour a bottle of AMASS into the container and stir.
• Let sit for an 1 hr +, tasting periodically after 30 minutes to see how intense the cucumber flavor is.
Or spice up your life with a Spicy Gimlet, made with red pepper simple syrup:
• Pour one cup sugar, one cup water, and one tablespoon of crushed red pepper into a pot.
• Turn on low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved, then turn off heat and cover.
• Let sit for 1hr+, tasting periodically to see how spicy it is. The longer you let it steep with the red pepper flakes, the spicier it will get.
• When it has reached your desired level of spice, you can strain out the red pepper flake using a fine mesh strainer (Note: it should be pretty spicy; remember, you’re only using less than an ounce per cocktail, so if you want the cocktail to be spicy the simple syrup will have to be spicy!)
• If it’s TOO spicy, use the red pepper simple syrup along with regular simple syrup or mix the two together.
Tall, bubbly, gin-based cocktails like the Tom Collins should be everyone’s go-to for summer. After all, they are incredibly refreshing, much like that other effervescent, quintessential summer drink: the gin and tonic.
2 oz AMASS Dry Gin
0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
0.75 oz Simple Syrup
3 oz Club Soda
Lemon Wheel, for garnish
Do a quick shake with a couple ice cubes or just put all ingredients directly into a Collins glass, add soda and ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
The Rickey is the original “healthy/skinny/low-sugar” cocktail. For your friend who can’t order a cup of black coffee without saying “not too sweet.”
2 oz AMASS Dry Gin or Botanic Vodka
0.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
0.25 oz Simple Syrup, optional
4 oz Club Soda
Build in Collins glass, add soda and ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Note: Traditionally a Gin Rickey doesn’t have any sugar, but I find a little bit of simple syrup helps add body and take just a bit of the edge off the tartness. This drink should still be tart and refreshing!
Much like how you can never be overdressed or overeducated, you can also never go wrong drinking a martini. But sometimes you don’t want to wear a pantsuit, no matter how fierce you look. It’s summer, it’s hot. Put on something to keep you cool and sip on this to keep you fashionable.
1.5 oz Cucumber-Infused AMASS Dry Gin (remember that?!)
1.5 oz Cocchi Americano
Cucumber Wheel, for garnish
Stir and serve on the rocks for poolside sitting, or up for an evening patio dinner; just don’t forget to garnish with a cucumber wheel.
When I go to parties, I always bring a batched cocktail. People always get excited and say, “Oh, you’re making cocktails?!” And I say, “No, you’re pouring cocktails.” Batched cocktails are even more in-style right now, because you can stay safely distanced while drinking a delicious self-pour drink.
10 oz AMASS Dry Gin
7 oz Campari
7 oz Sweet Vermouth
Orange Twist, for garnish
In an empty wine bottle (in the times of COVID, I know you have an empty wine bottle nearby, or you’re working on one), add the ingredients.Turn it upside down a few times to make sure it’s mixed. Don’t forget to seal it first! Use an old cork or a screw top bottle. Pour over the rocks and garnish with an orange twist, half orange wheel, or nothing. We’re in a pandemic, so drink.
Not feeling a negroni? Maybe batch that Summer Martini we just talked about!
12 oz Cucumber-Infused AMASS Dry Gin
12 oz Cocchi Americano
Seal, turn upside down, and shake to make sure it’s mixed. Serve on the rocks with a cucumber wheel.