Each week The Times seeks out unique drinks, one with alcohol and one without, made on Martha’s Vineyard, and a bit about the people who make them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Sidecar from Sidecar Cafe & Bar
It turns out naming Sidecar Cafe & Bar, the popular bistro at 16 Kennebec Avenue in Oak Bluffs, didn’t have much to do with the classic cocktail of the same name. But it turns out, lots of patrons figure ordering a Sidecar at Sidecar is a good bet for a sweet summer kick.
Bartender Lianna Loughman starts hers by pouring brandy, a regal distillation of grapes with origins in the 16th century, over ice. She adds a tip or two of Cointreau, an orange liqueur, and tops it off with fresh lime juice, an interesting departure from the classic recipe, which calls for lemon. It gets strained into a chilled martini class rimmed with sugar and garnished with a wedge of lime.
The result is an intensely tasty concoction with a sweet start and fruity citrus finish.
A Sidecar would compliment the ginger-dusted scallops, one of the restaurant’s most popular entrées, or the warm goat cheese salad, very nicely.
Sidecar, now in its fifth summer, has a growing reputation for farm-to-table dining, capitalizing on local produce and seafood for distinctive dishes from the eatery’s tiny kitchen.
Once the dining crowd clears out in the evening, a funky late night cocktail scene develops around the bar.
The brief lull between diners and imbibers, at about 9 pm, is a great time to get a seat at the bar. Neither Sidecar the restaurant, nor Sidecar the cocktail, are rolling along under the radar any longer.
Sidecar Cafe & Bar, 508-693-6261; sidecarcafeandbar.com.
Menemsha Mud from the Chilmark Coffee Company
Cold brew coffees have been popping up all over the country this summer, and now, thanks to Chilmark Coffee Company’s newest addition, they have a home on Martha’s Vineyard too.
The cold brew, also called cold press, refers to coarsely ground coffee steeped in water at room temperature or colder for 12 or more hours. Called “Menemsha Mud,” Chilmark Coffee Co.’s flip-top, beer bottle-esque vessels contain the result of roasted coffee beans ground to a medium coarse grind, steeped in 48-degree Chilmark water for 24 hours, and filtered twice.
The product is the tasty result of winter-long experimentations by Chilmark Coffee Co. owner and avid coffee roaster Todd Christy and his team of local chefs and brewers. “I was looking for something that was less acidic and lacked bitterness,” Mr. Christy said. “And because it’s steeped cold, it doesn’t get warm.”
Menemsha Mud comes in three varieties: Regular (Sulawesi Seasonal Estate coffee), which has a citrusy dark cherry taste; Decaf (organic/fairtrade from Honduras); and Espresso (also organic/fair trade), a dark roast with a burnt taste.
As stated on the Chilmark Coffee Co. website, a bottle of Menemsha Mud is the perfect on-the-go coffee for the summer, and easy to store for picnics and day trips. Originally black, it can be lightened and sweetened in a cup with milk and sugar.
Menemsha Mud is sold only on the Island, at around $7 per bottle (each bottle can fill about 2.5 cups). The drink can be found at Jim’s package store, Saltwater Café, Morning Glory, 7a Foods, Fiddlehead Farm, Beetlebung Farm, The Chilmark Store, and the Chilmark Coffee Company.
For more information, visit chilmarkcoffeeco.com.