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