On a steamy summer day, there is simply nothing more soothing than sitting on one’s sunporch or deck while sipping on a cool, well-crafted concoction. We visited some of our favorite mixologists for their suggestions of delicious libations that are easily made at home. We’ve provided recipes from Tipsy McSway’s, The TreeBar at Bennie’s Red Barn, Marshside Grill, Griffin Bufkin, Georgia Sea Grill and Village Inn and Pub. With a little adjusting, many of these single-serving sips can be easily converted into pitcher-size batches to last an evening with a friend or significant other.
Georgia Sea Grill
What’s more refreshing than lemonade? Alex Burroughs, bartender at Georgia Sea Grill, on St. Simons Island, may have come up with the answer with his Summer Honey Lemonade, which uses grapefruit vodka and fresh honey juice in concert with a fresh lemon wedge to mix this appealing treat.
Summer Honey Lemonade
• 1.5 oz. Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka
• 2 oz. honey juice
• Splash of soda water
• Mix ingredients, give a hard shake, and pour into a glass with ice.
• Squeeze 1/8 of a lemon into the drink and drop the lemon on top.
• To make the honey juice, take equal parts Potlikker Farms honey and water, and bring to a boil. Squeeze in fresh lemon and stir.
Village Inn and Pub
Rod “RB” Brown tends bar at the Village Inn and Pub, on St. Simons Island. This versatile martini can be served straight up or on the rocks, and with its refreshing combination of flavors, is the ideal nightcap after a long day of work.
RB’s French Vanilla Martini
• 2 oz. vanilla vodka
• 2 oz. pineapple juice
• 1 oz. Chambord
• Muddle 1 or 2 raspberries to shaker and add ice vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord.
• Shake, strain and pour into a chilled martini glass, or add ice to a rocks glass and pour strained beverage over ice.
Mallory Hanak has become well-known for the inventive cocktails she serves at Tipsy McSway’s, in Brunswick, and her Charred Pineapple Cilantro Margarita is no exception. The bonus is this drink is easy to make, and would impress even the most discerning guest. This thirst-quenching beverage is a mix of smoky and sweet with a little bit of a kick, thanks to the chile-lime sugar salt rim.
Charred Pineapple Cilantro Margarita
• 1-1/2 oz. Herradura reposado tequila
• 1/2 oz. agave
• 3/4 oz. lime juice
• 1 oz. pineapple juice
• 1 slice charred pineapple
• 1 small bunch cilantro
• Combine all ingredients in shaker, blend and pour over ice in glass rimmed with chile-lime sugar-salt. Garnish with pineapple and cilantro.
the Tree Bar at
Bennie’S Red Barn
Jessica Searles, bartender at The TreeBar at Bennie’s Red Barn, on St. Simons Island, recommends the South Harrington Slammer, a summertime thirst quencher, for sure. Made of ingredients most people have on hand, it’s easy to make and super satisfying, with its cool, fruity flavor profile.
South Harrington Slammer
• 1 shot vodka
•1 shot peach schnapps
• Pineapple juice and cranberry juice, to taste.
• In a shaker add ice, vodka, schnapps, pineapple juice and cranberry juice.
• Shake well to mix and chill.
• Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.
When St. Simons Island resident and co-owner of Southern Soul Barbeque and Frosty’s Griffin Bufkin escapes to the Bahamas, Sky Juice, also known as “Gully Wash” is one of the first things to greet him. “Sky Juice is my go-to first cocktail upon arrival to Harbour Island, in the Bahamas,” he said. “We’ll usually grab one first thing from Ms. Terri at TJ’s, a local conch and Kalik shack right on the pink sands of the Atlantic side of Briland.” Bufkin explained that Sky Juice is a “tru, tru” authentic taste of local culture. “The gin-forward recipe adds a cool herbal note that’s so very different than what rums lend to creamy frozen concoctions,” he said. “The name Sky Juice is a reference to the tall coconut palm trees you need to scale to obtain the milky water-filled coconuts, and/or the feeling you get after tipping back one or two.”
Sky Juice (“Gully Wash”)
• 2 parts Old Tom gin or your favorite London dry gin
• 6 parts real coconut water (Harris Teeter sells Amy’s whole organic green coconuts in the produce section) or Harmless Harvest brand in a pinch
• A bar spoon of sweetened condensed milk
• Lime wedge and nutmeg pod
• Crushed ice
• Collins glass
• Add the gin, coconut water and condensed milk to a mixing glass and stir. Pour over crushed ice in a Collins glass and garnish with fresh ground nutmeg and a lime wedge. These can be batched in pitchers for a party or served frozen from the blender too.
Marc Mercer has the perfect recipe for a summer cooler, and it was inspired by none other than the recently departed singer and songwriter, John Prine. The name Handsome Mookie is derived from Mercer’s old baseball nickname. But it was Prine, who favored a drink called the Handsome Johnny, that led to the naming of Mercer’s drink. Prine’s Handsome Johnny was Smirnoff Red mixed with ginger ale. Mercer’s namesake is elevated from that, but retains the same simplicity.
• 2 oz. Don Julio reposado tequila
•Topo Chico (a Mexican soda) grapefruit to taste
• Pour the tequila and top with Topo Chico and mix.
• Strain, pour over ice, squeeze an orange slice and garnish with cucumber slices. Enjoy.