Food & Wine // 5 min Read

The Spirits of Summer

Written by Anna Jones

May 17, 2016

Nothing beats the swelter of a Lowcountry summer like a cool cocktail sipped on a porch overlooking the May River. It’s even better when someone else makes the drink for you.

Belly on up to the River House bar at Montage Palmetto Bluff for some of the summer’s most refreshing libations made from a variety of spirits and tonics. Here’s our picks of this season’s cocktails crafted just for you. Just remember, a cocktail always tastes better with a date and a view.

Bonjour L'été’

A bright and aromatic libation, Bonjour L’été’ combines three different versions of wine – vermouth, sherry, and blanc – to compose a deliciously easy (or perhaps dangerous) day drinking cocktail. Reward yourself after a long bike ride through the Bluff’s bike trails with this refreshing drink and take in a sunset from the porch on the May.

1.5 oz. Oloroso Sherry (El Maestro Sierra or Bodegas Dios Baco are both inexpensive and work well; needs to be an off-dry or medium-sweet sherry)

1 oz. Dolin Vermooth Blanc

1 oz. Lillet Blanc

3 Strawberries

Muddle two of the strawberries. Add sherry, vermouth and Lillet. Shake well, strain and serve on the rocks in a Collins or Belgian beer glass. Garnish with Strawberry fan.

Spring Awakening

This herbal drink is complex yet balanced with a delicate recipe of bitter and fruity components to create a cool cocktail that won’t overwhelm the palate. Throw in a few fresh local blackberries to complete the botanical taste, then take your cocktail on a stroll down to Wilson Village.

1.5 oz. Hendricks Gin

1 oz. Giffard, Crème de Pamplemousse Rose

¼ oz. Fernet Branca

½ oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 slices cucumber

Muddle two of the cucumber slices. Add gin, Giffard, Fernet and lemon juice. Shake well, strain and serve straight up in a martini glass. Garnish with a cucumber wheel.

The Heat Wave

Spicy yet hydrating, The Heat Wave uses coconut water, tequila, homemade jalepeno simple syrup and fresh lime juice to elevate your everyday margarita. Philip recommends using Herradura Silver Tequila because of its reasonable price point yet high quality taste – it is made with 100% agave juice and on par with other top shelf tequilas. And did you know? Tequila is one of the only liquors not made from grain – it is plant-based and therefore will not metabolize into sugar, so you can sip on this by the pool with no regrets.

1.5 oz. Herradura Silver Tequila

3 oz. Coconut Water

½ oz. Jalapeno Simple Syrup (See recipe below)*

½ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Shake well, serve on the rocks in a Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh jalapeno slice.

Jalapeno Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 jalapeno pepper

Slice jalapeno in large strips, removing seeds. Add water, sugar and jalapeno slices in to small saucepan; simmer for 15 minutes, stirring periodically. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before using and/or storing. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Photography by Krisztian Lonyai