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.
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
- 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.
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?
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.
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.
- Fresh muddled strawberries
- Ginger purée
- Tito’s vodka
- Club soda
Goes best with: Park Corner’s crispy pig wings.
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.
- Fresh muddled lemon
- Firefly Sweet Tea vodka
- Shake and pour over ice
Goes best with: The Shanty’s lobster rolls and vinegar fries.