Trust us, you’ll want all three.
If you’ve spent the summer going a bit too hard on frozen, sugary cocktails, well, same. While we’ve had loads of fun drinking every sweet, brightly colored drink in sight, we’re reeling ourselves in with some recipes that are just as delicious, sans the sugar overload.
Our friends at Ilegal Mezcal and The Spaniard in NYC’s West Village let us in on a few of their secret weapons. (Psst: Only one is actually listed on their regular menu.) While they’re known for housing more than 100 varieties of whiskey, the restaurant made us mezcal, vermouth, and ilegal joven-based cocktails; whiskey is great, but it doesn’t necessarily scream summer. Tropical without veering into piña colada territory, these drinks had us feeling refreshed but not overly saccharine—a balance that can be hard for mixologists to strike.
The three recipes below rely on spare but essential ingredients to add a kick—think bitters and coconut soda—with seasonal garnishes doing most of the visual talking. And the best news? Ilegal's mezcal expert, Gilbert Marquez, told us they each require only two steps to make at home—very on-par with the simplicity we’re all striving for this summer.
1 oz. Ilegal Mezcal
1 oz. Campari
¾ oz. fresh ginger juice
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
orange slice, for garnish
1. Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
2. Shake, and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with orange slice.
2 oz Ilegal joven
1 oz black tea and mango syrup
1 oz lime
1 oz Coconut Soda
1. Add all ingredients to shaker and shake until cold.
2. Strain into Collins glass and top off with soda. Garnish with a citrus twist.
1.5 oz Ilegal joven
1.5 oz dry vermouth
1. Add ingredients to a mixing glass and stir until chilled.
2. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.
The Spaniard is located at 190 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014