Good Taste: Savor the last sips of summer flavor

The Startini cocktail from l'etoile. — Nicole Jackson

The Vineyard has a different flavor after Labor Day. We all know there’s a change of pace once school starts up, the college kids ship out, and the out-of-state plates take off on the last of the full ferries.

Before long, vineripe tomatoes will be vine-ripe pumpkins, and fall flavors will be in full swing in our bars and restaurants. For many, this Labor Day weekend will be the last chance to grab a drink on the waterfront, and sip up the last drops of summer. Strawberries…watermelon…lemonade…an icy glass dewey with condensation — these drinks simply won’t be the same come September. Thirsty yet? There’s a lot of great summer drinks on the Island, so to ease your decision-making process, we surveyed a sample of bartenders for their favorite recipes.

The Island Girl: Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit vodka with watermelon and basil from Atria.
The Island Girl: Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit vodka with watermelon and basil from Atria.

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Jay Bergantim of 20byNine

Whiskey is a great way to warm up in winter or fall, but our friends at 20byNine, which opened up on Kennebec Avenue in Oak Bluffs earlier this summer, understand the importance of a cool summer cocktail. Their in-house whiskey guru invented this unique cocktail as a lighter addition to their menu of old-fashioneds and other traditional whiskey cocktails.

The Number Four

  • Peach Moonshine
  • Pineapple
  • Lemon
  • Shake and strain over ice into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with a lemon twist

Goes best with: 20byNine’s quinoa salad. “They are both light; they balance each other nicely,” Bergantim said.

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Lawrence Labounty of Copper Wok

Sale of hard alcohol is prohibited in Vineyard Haven, but Lawrence Labounty doesn’t let that stop him from mixing up a great cocktail. He recommends this White Peach Sake Sangria for a summer’s day.

White Peach Sake Sangria

  • 1 1/2 ounces white peach sake
  • 1 1/2 ounces pre-mixed juice of equal parts lemon juice and orange juice, half part sweet agave, and a splash of pomegranate juice
  • Shake over ice, strain, and top off the rest of the glass with prosecco
  • Garnish with blueberries and orange slices, or “get really fancy” and use raspberry and mint

Goes best with: “Any kind of spicy or ethnic cuisine,” Labounty said. Coconut green curry chicken anyone?

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Harbor View Prosecco cocktail with lemon and St. Germaine.

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Mike Brown of The Wharf Pub and Restaurant

Anyone with a garden is probably drowning in cucumbers right now. If you’re tired of salad, slice them into some water with lemon for a refreshing blast of hydration. Better yet, use them to garnish this cocktail that they serve at The Wharf in Edgartown.

Cucumber Lemon Martini

  • Pearl Cucumber Vodka
  • Splash of St. Germain Elderberry Flower liqueur
  • Splash of sour mix

Goes best with: The Wharf’s Pan Roasted Cod entrée with littlenecks, linguica, onion, tomato, garlic, and herbs over mashed potatoes.

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Brad Tolbert of Park Corner Bistro

What says summer like a tangy-sweet lemonade? Make a grown-up lemonade stand at your home bar with this recipe from Park Corner, located in Oak Bluffs.

Strawberry Lemonade

  • Fresh muddled strawberries
  • Limoncello
  • Ginger purée
  • Tito’s vodka
  • Club soda

Goes best with: Park Corner’s crispy pig wings.

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The Trade Secret margarita from Beetlebung in Oak Bluffs.

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Kate Shea of The Seafood Shanty

The Shanty, on Edgartown harbor, is known for their mojitos (also a great summer drink), but their namesake is this Shan-tea, a tasty take on a vodka John Daly.

The Shan-Tea

  • Fresh muddled lemon
  • Firefly Sweet Tea vodka
  • Water
  • Shake and pour over ice

Goes best with: The Shanty’s lobster rolls and vinegar fries.

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