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.
Left Bank Martini from Chesca’s
It’s not Chesca’s most popular drink, but bartender Kate Conde is keen to tell you about the Left Bank Martini.
“It’s my favorite cocktail we serve. It’s light and refreshing for summer,” said Ms. Conde, who starts by pouring equal parts Bombay Gin and St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur, into a mixing glass. In go splashes of grapefruit and Sauvignon Blanc, which are shaken with ice then poured, ice free, straight up as a martini.
St. Germain has a story unto itself. It is made from wild elderflower blossoms that are hand-picked from the foothills of the French Alps. There is only a two-week window to take in the year’s harvest, and the result is a handmade, limited-quantity liqueur. Because I tasted the liqueur as a synergistic part of the cocktail and not on its lonesome, I’ll quote from F. Paul Pacult’s review of the liqueur in “Spirit Journal,” which is decorated with professional discussion of “palate entry” and “mid-palate point.”
“A totally seductive bouquet of the first rank…the flavor profile offers an ideal taste experience…A perfect liqueur,” said Mr. Pacult.
The liqueur and other aspects of the cocktail certainly succeed in curbing the edge off the gin, and the drink is as smooth as it is tasty.
“There are a lot of people who think they don’t like gin,” said Ms. Conde. “But it’s a drink that becomes popular when tried. People find that it’s a pleasant surprise.” The Left Bank Martini costs $12.
Chesca’s, on North Water Street in Edgartown, has both a bar area and a restaurant. They are open seven days a week from 5:30 until 12 midnight from now until Columbus Day, and they let you take your drinks out to the rocking chairs on their sheltered porch.
For more information, visit chescasmv.com or call 508-627-1234.
Iced Chai Bomb from Mocha Mott’s
Mocha Mott’s is the Island’s go-to place for tasty food, a friendly laid-back atmosphere, and, according to their slogan, “the best damn coffee.” In the heat of the summer months the staff suggests the season’s specialties, among which is the Iced Chai Bomb.
“Chai,” the word for tea in some European and Asian languages, refers to an Indian subcontinental tea brewed with spices and herbs. In the Western hemisphere it is popularly taken with milk and sometimes sugar, in the form of a chai tea latte.
The latte alone is creamy and sweet, and the “bomb” is an espresso explosion for added flavor — and caffeine. The drink is one part Oregon chai tea latte concentrate and another part milk (Mott’s can substitute whole milk with soy, skim, or 2%), and to top it off, a shot of espresso. Such a combo may not exist in the tea’s Southeast Asian origin, but it is a delicious hybrid that will satisfy coffee and tea lovers alike.
Said Mott’s employee Katie Johnson, “They’re good for waking you up, and they’re just yummy.” The iced chai bomb costs $4.20 with tax.
Mocha Mott’s, located at 15 Main Street, Vineyard Haven and 10 Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, is open in the summer from 6 am to 9 pm.