SUM­MER RE­FRESH

SOME DRINKS ARE CLAS­SICS FOR A REA­SON—BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T KICK THEM UP A NOTCH.

Ocean Drive - - Savor Stylish Sips - BY OUSSAMA ZAHR

Daiquiris and piña co­ladas are the per­fect va­ca­tion in­dul­gences—bev­er­ages to be con­sumed en­thu­si­as­ti­cally, for sev­eral days in a row, once a year—but they don’t ex­actly scream “thirst-quench­ing,” “waist­line-friendly,” or any other eu­phemisms we as­so­ciate with a sig­na­ture sip whose ap­peal lasts all sum­mer long. Nicole A. Port­wood, a vice pres­i­dent at Tito’s Hand­made Vodka and a self-de­scribed “20-year barfly” (in­clud­ing five years be­hind the bar), shares how she dresses up a clas­sic: the vodka lemon­ade.

How to do it: “I love it as sim­ple as it gets—with about a half fresh lemon squeezed on the rocks. That’s it. If I’m look­ing for a longer, more ses­sion­able cock­tail, I’ll top it with sparkling min­eral wa­ter.”

Sea­sonal touch: “We love to mud­dle a hand­ful of fresh berries. Blue­ber­ries and straw­ber­ries are gor­geous this time of year. Even a sprig of mint brings the cock­tail to life in a new way.”

The per­fect pair: Mir­ror the cit­rusy fla­vor of the cock­tail with a shaved fen­nel salad with lemon zest.

Some assem­bly re­quired: Fruit- or herb-in­fused ice cubes add a pro touch. Sim­ply drop a few berries or basil leaves into the wells of an ice cube tray, add wa­ter, freeze, and then show off your skills in a high­ball.

Make a time­less cock­tail your own with sprin­kles of berries and mint leaves.

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