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Summer craft cocktail recipes from celebrated local bartenders

Summer sipping

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If you read the subhead above, you already know everything you really need to about what follows: the ingredients, method and a little backstory on summer-timed drinks concocted by award-winning Springs mixologists. These bartenders should be familiar to Indy readers (because we’ve written about them all) and anyone tapped into the city’s craft food and drink scene. (Don’t know ’em? You should get out more!) They’re the smiling faces who get you liquored in style. And we invited them to submit cocktails either found at their bars this season or simply a favorite cocktail they like to drink when the heat’s up and we all crave something cool, light and refreshing. So invite some friends over and test these drinks out. Happy summer sipping!

Myers’ Lemon

MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
This season, our staple cocktail in the tasting room has been the Myers’ Lemon. Named after Distillery 291’s owner and founder, Michael Myers, the Myers’ Lemon is bittersweet, juicy and aromatic, a nod to his formative years in the South sipping on lemonade or iced tea. It features our summer sipping whiskey — 291 American Whiskey — steeped with Earl Grey tea. We then pair that with lavender simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and an alpine liqueur. It’s excellent for an afternoon pick-me-up, as a punch for your weekend barbecue, or in the 291 Tasting Room on a Saturday night.

1.5 oz. 291 American Whiskey steeped with Earl Grey tea (We steep 10 bags of Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey per bottle of whiskey for 30 minutes at room temperature; at home try one tea bag per 2.5 oz. whiskey and steep 15 minutes, longer if a stronger flavor is desired)

.75 oz. lavender simple syrup

.75 oz. fresh lemon juice

.25 oz. Yellow Chartreuse

Lemon for garnish

Shake all ingredients, then strain into a rocks glass over ice. Serve with a lemon spiral and enjoy.

— Courtney Caldwell, Distillery 291

Show and Tell

MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
The Show and Tell is the perfect summer cocktail for people who enjoy classic warm-weather drinks such as the daiquiri or margarita, but want something slightly more flavorful and imaginative. At its heart, the Show and Tell is a tequila twist on a sort of Hemingway Daiquiri, borrowing the grapefruit, lime and maraschino combination and pairing it with tequila and walnut liqueur. As you sip, the drink starts off with sweetened agave and citrus notes, building to a rich, tart maraschino cherry climax, finishing with lingering dark-roasty walnuts. The cocktail has equal parts citrus and sweet ingredients, lending balance, but if you prefer something like a margarita more or less sweet, alter accordingly. Also, extra tequila never hurts.

1.5 oz. blanco tequila of your choice (we prefer Exotico Blanco)

.75 oz. grapefruit juice

.5 oz. lime juice

.5 oz. maple simple syrup (2:1 ratio maple syrup to hot water)

.5 oz. Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur

.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Citrus garnish of choice

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a citrus twist of your choice (lemon, orange or grapefruit are all lovely).

— Jason Sweeney, Principal’s Office

Backyard Botanist

COURTESY STEPHEN WINCHELL
  • Courtesy Stephen Winchell
When it comes to summer, I love to make a cocktail that’s thirst-quenching and captures the spirit of the season without sacrificing complexity. This drink balances the vegetal nature of tequila and vermouth complemented with loads of citrus, fresh botanicals and a dash of bubbles. Sound like summer, anyone? That was rhetorical. But the best part is, the recipe is flexible to creativity and utilizing any and all the herbs you have on hand in your garden or kitchen. Cheers!

1 oz. Fortaleza Blanco Tequila

1 oz. Carpano Bianco Vermouth (make sure to use a Bianco, not dry)

.5 oz. fresh lime juice

.25 oz. agave nectar

3 slices cucumber

1 sprig fresh basil

2 oz. Fever-Tree or Q Tonic

Shake all ingredients except the tonic and fine-strain the liquid into a tall glass. Top with fresh ice and tonic water. Garnish with a cucumber ribbon and fresh herbs to your liking. Serve and enjoy!

— Stephen Winchell, The Warehouse and The Burrowing Owl

Dew Drop

MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
I created the Dew Drop for my business, through which I teach people the art of craft cocktailing. The Dew Drop’s a refreshing twist on a summertime libation called the daiquiri. Due to daily challenges that local Colorado Springs bars often face (i.e., storage, cost, high volume, prep challenges) it was wisely not picked up by any local bar for their menu. So I kept the recipe in my back pocket, to teach to home bartenders and share at private events. Honeydew melon is a great additive for a juice. Blend some and see what you can create at the home-bar level. Also, try it as a punch for your parties on the porch. Summer is here!

.5 oz. lime juice (double-strained to remove pulp)

.5 oz. simple syrup (1:1 ratio hot water to white granulated sugar)

1 oz. honeydew melon juice (juice about half a honeydew melon, double-strain the juice, and save the other half for garnish)

2 oz. white rum (Plantation 3 Stars is my favorite)

Mint garnish

Pinch of salt

Shake all ingredients in a shaker-tin with ice and strain into a martini or coupe glass. Put a melon ball on a pick. Slap mint and stick into melon ball. Place on glass and sip away!

— Montana Horsfall, Craft Cocktail Inc.

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