Beat the Heat with Otero’s Favorite Summer Cocktail Recipes

Beat the Heat with Otero’s Favorite Summer Cocktail Recipes

As far as we’re concerned, the skyrocketing summer temperatures are the perfect excuse to refine the perfect icy summer drink. This week, we’re presenting some personal favorites, and we hope that you enjoy them as much as we have!

Steve Villanueva, Otero CEO: The Perfect Italian Spritzer

Steve Villanueva, Otero CEO: The Perfect Italian Spritzer

I like to experiment a bit, and the Italian-style spritzer is one of my go-to favorites. It’s fresh, cool, clean, and easy to tweak with whatever you happen to have on hand.

I usually start with Campari (for a slightly bitter edge) or Amperol (for a smoother base), add in the vermouth and white wine, then finish it off with an Italian sparking fruit beverage.

  • 2 oz. Campari or Amperol
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth (I recommend Dolin)
  • 2 oz. white wine (more sweet than dry)
  • Sparkling fruit juice to finish (I prefer Galvanina’s blood orange juice)
  • Ice

Fill a shaker with ice, add all of the ingredients, shake, and strain into a martini glass.

The best thing about this cocktail is that you can experiment with it endlessly. Sometimes I substitute gin or vodka for the white wine, which alters the flavor profile a bit; but that vermouth and Campari base tempered by the sweetness of the juice makes this a perfect, refreshing salute to summer.

Cheers!

Brett Lawrence, Otero Chief Operating Officer: Vodka on the Rocks with Lime & Captain Cran-O

Brett Lawrence, Otero Chief Operating Officer: Vodka on the Rocks with Lime & Captain Cran-O

I'm a booze on the rocks guy, usually. In the fall and winter, I like a good bourbon, but when I’m outside grilling in the Texas heat, I prefer a simple, clean vodka on the rocks, with just a twist of lime (which is about as close to a mixed drink as I get, barring the occasional Manhattan). I prefer Western Son, and not just because it’s a Texan distillery. The flavor is smooth and well-balanced, with just enough kick to be refreshing. (Several of their vodkas have placed in international competitions.) Lately, I’ve also been experimenting with Reyka Vodka, which is an Icelandic brand filtered through lava rocks; it’s also very smooth, with a distinctive flavor profile.

But in the spirit of sharing recipes…my wife and guests enjoy some Texas-friendly mixed drinks, including a home-grown favorite with a summery rum.

Captain Cran-O:

  • 1 measure of Captain Morgan rum
  • 1 measure Ocean Spray Cranberry
  • 1 measure fresh-squeezed orange juice (or Nature’s Best, if you’re feeling lazy)

You can substitute Kraken for the Captain Morgan if you want a stronger rum flavor, but then you’d have to change the name…

Pat Nicholson, Otero Marketing: Classic Daiquiri & The Last Word

Pat Nicholson, Otero Marketing: Classic Daiquiri & The Last Word

I have many favorite cocktails, but for the summer my favorite light and refreshing drinks are both classics.

Classic Daiquiri: A classic Daiquiri is a simple drink that packs a reasonable punch and is beautifully well-balanced when made in the right proportions. (In other words, not a punch-bowl-sized frozen daiquiri out of a machine served with an upended Corona. That can be fun, but it isn’t really a daiquiri.)

2 oz. light rum (I prefer a Flor de Cana extra seco, but any white rum will work)
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup (or agave nectar)
Ice

Fill a shaker with ice, pour in all of the ingredients, cover, shake vigorously, and then strain into a Coupe or Martini glass.

The Last Word: My favorite drink, which is nice in the summer and year round, is the Last Word. Four ingredients, equal proportions, combine for a flavor that is both easily pleasing and subtly complex. A person not paying attention could quaff these down, but that’s not advised for two reasons. First, there is a lot of booze in this drink. Second, you will miss the many layers of flavor. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts in this case.

  • 3/4 oz. gin (I prefer Tanqueray or an assertive craft gin, like St. George)
  • 3/4 oz. maraschino liqueur (Not maraschino cherry juice! This is a white liqueur made from cherry pits, and it adds a lot of character to many drinks)
  • 3/4 oz. green Chartreuse (the only spirit that changes with age in the bottle)
  • 3/4 oz. freshly-squeezed lime juice

Fill a shaker with ice, pour in all of the ingredients, cover, shake vigorously, and then strain into a Coupe or Martini glass.

Sean Bryant, Otero Computer Guru: Moscow Mule & Reposada Margarita

Sean Bryant, Otero Computer Guru: Moscow Mule & Reposada Margarita

I was trained as a bartender, so I have a lot of favorite cocktails, but my summer favorites are simple and refreshing options that rely on the complexity of a high-quality alcohol.

Moscow Mule: My first choice would be a classic Moscow Mule. It’s lively and light, perfect after a long work day.

  • 6 oz. Ginger Beer (I recommend…)
  • 2 oz. Vodka (I prefer…)
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Muddled ginger
  • Ice

The Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a chilled copper mug (although it might be a good idea to spring for the nickel-lined version, since there’s some debate about how the copper interacts with the acid in lime.) Squeeze the juice out of the lime and toss the spent shell into your mug. Add the ginger beer, vodka, and ice. Serve with a swizzle stick.

Reposado Margarita: My other summer favorite is a variation of the Silver Coin Margarita, but I actually prefer the Reposado tequila, which is aged in oak for several months, because it adds a smoky undertone to the margarita profile. Contrasted with the splash of OJ, it’s surprisingly complex.

  • 1.5 oz. Reposado tequila
  • .5 oz. Fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • .5 oz. Simple syrup (I prefer this to triple sec, because it doesn’t add too many new flavors)
  • Splash of OJ

Fill a shaker with ice, add the ingredients, shake, and strain into a rocks glass with a salted rim.

The best part about a simple margarita is that it draws out the full flavor of the tequila, and Reposado is excellent enough to stand on its own.

Jacqui Weeks, Otero Marketing: Champagne Margaritas

Jacqui Weeks, Otero Marketing: Champagne Margaritas

I’m sorry to say that my favorite summer cocktail is a grad school invention. It’s neither refined, nor designed to be served in quantities smaller than “pitcher,” but it is amazingly delicious, and your friends will never guess the actual ingredients. You have to try it to believe it…but don’t try too many, because they really pack a punch.

  • 1 bottle chilled champagne
  • 1 can limeade
  • 1 can chilled tequila (Just refill the limeade can with tequila.)
  • 1 can chilled cheap beer (It has to be something like Bud or Miller that will add an earthy note, but not overwhelm the other flavors. Seriously. Don’t overthink it. No IPAs.)

In a large pitcher, start with the limeade and tequila, mixing them together until the limeade is slushy rather than solid. Add the champagne and beer, stirring just enough to mix thoroughly. Serve while the bubbles are still fresh in any stemware that can take a salted rim.

Let’s raise a glass to summer!

Otero Menswear: Anything But Average


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