Behind the daiquiri is an American man who found himself at a bar in Cuba. Behind the mojito is Ernest Hemingway’s love for rum. Behind the mint julep is a Kentuckian’s appreciation for bourbon. For about as long as we can remember, boys were behind the bar — and the cocktails they served. But times they are a-changin’ (well, actually, they’ve changed). The only thing behind these three summer cocktails are three great bar programs with ladies who call the shots and sling the cocktails. Thanks to their innovation and passion for shaking, stirring and mixing flavors, we can sip on something special this summer and even attempt to make the drinks ourselves. Here are three fabulous summer cocktail recipes!
Summer Cocktail: Yet-To-Be-Named Cocktail
Creator: Shannon Wright, bar manager at Two Ten Jack
Two Ten Jack‘s newest seasonal cocktail menu was thoughtfully crafted by bar manager Shannon Wright. Each offering combines ingredients that manage to complement each other in the most unexpected ways. Just as Two Ten Jack’s food menu is inspired by Japanese techniques and flavors with the infusion of Southern ingredients, the cocktail menu also offers a unique take on adult beverages. The options range from a yuzu sour with Four Roses bourbon, luna amaro, yuzu syrup and bergamot to a spin on a colada, with coconut sake, Suze, a housemade tepache (a fermented beverage made of pineapple rinds) and Jamaican jerk bitters. They are also bringing back an old favorite and putting it on tap: the Hattori Hanzo (Reposado tequila, jalapeño agave, celery bitters, cilantro, lime, pomegranate and housemade celery salt). If many of these ingredients seem foreign to you, you are not alone. Two Ten Jack is no stranger to incorporating new flavors, which is why we consider them the experts.
One standout on the updated cocktail menu is the Yet-To-Be-Named Cocktail. (Really, it doesn’t have a name yet.) With undertones of cumin, caraway and fennel, which comes from the Duppelt Kummel Extra Liqueur, it’s sure to enliven your palate. The addition of spice is welcomed, as it cuts the tartness of the green apple purée. Try your hand at this cocktail, or head to East Nashville and settle in to slowly savor (good luck, we nearly chugged it down) the Yet-To-Be-Named Cocktail.
- 2 ounces Los Altos silver tequila
- 0.5 ounces Combier Kümmel
- 0.25 ounces Los Siete Misterios mezcal
- 0.25 ounces agave syrup (1:1 agave nectar & water)
- 0.25 ounces lime water (10 drops Doterra lime essential oil in 300ml of water)
- 0.75 ounces green apple purée
- Lime wedge
- Ground, freeze-dried apples mixed with tajin
- Green apple round
- Mix the first six ingredients in a shaker tin with cold draft ice and shake well.
- Rim a double old-fashioned glass with a lime wedge and dip in a premixed bowl of ground, freeze-dried apples mixed with tajin.
- Pour the drink into the glass and garnish with a thin slice of green apple round.
Summer Cocktail: St. Ginger
Creator: Victoria Fillmore, head bartender at Fifty First Kitchen & Bar
Located in the growing Nations neighborhood, Fifty First Kitchen & Bar opened about 18 months ago, but just recently saw a turnover in personnel. Former chef and general manager, husband-and-wife team Tony and Caroline Galzin, bid Fifty First Kitchen & Bar farewell as Francesco Vito stepped in as head chef. With Vito’s promotion to executive chef, the restaurant continues to thrive. The dinner menu features an artisan selection of charcuterie and cheese to be enjoyed before shareable dishes, such as warm olives, black truffle rigatelli, pork meatballs, stuffed quail or pork chops. On Sundays, the brunch menu features delectable items such as cinnamon rolls with rum caramel, smoked salmon flatbread, biscuits with cured bacon, sage gravy and eggs, and housemade meats.
Behind the bar, head bartender Victoria Fillmore is pouring wines and crafting cocktails that accompany the seasonally focused food menu. Diners and drinkers can take their pick from cocktails featuring everything from blood orange vodka and fresh lime to gin (shaken or stirred) with blue cheese-stuffed olives. We landed somewhere in the middle with a St. Ginger (only available on the dinner menu), a refreshing warm-weather cocktail.
- 1.5 ounces Tanqueray Rangpur
- 0.5 ounces St. Germain
- 0.5 ounces fresh lime juice
- Ginger beer
- 1 Luxardo maraschino cherry
- Mix the Tanqueray Rangpur, St. Germain and lime juice with ice in a shaker.
- Strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass.
- Top with ginger beer and one maraschino cherry.
Summer Cocktail: Rudolph’s Vacation
Creator: Megan Dillon, assistant general manager at Embers Ski Lodge
Embers Ski Lodge serves as a place that brings après-ski and the culture of mountain towns right here to Music City. The restaurant and bar’s décor is reminiscent of a mountain lodge or mountainside, and this neighborhood gathering spot pays homage to afternoons enjoyed after a long day on the slopes. Although ski season has come to an end and skiers have packed up their jackets and boots for the summer, Embers Ski Lodge is not shutting down for the off season. Instead, they are trading in their ski gear for springtime fare and cocktails.
New lunch, dinner and brunch menus shift focus to shared plates and appetizers, such as Berry Buratta, King Kamehameha’s Poke and Coconut Shrimp. While we are eager to enjoy the new dining options, we’re most interested in the light, flavorful cocktails. Thankfully, our desires are met with Embers’ updated cocktail menu that reflects the current season. Think summer Old Fashioneds, spring sippers, beachy boozers and coconuts. We caught up with Embers Ski Lodge’s assistant general manager, Megan Dillon, to get the inside scoop on Rudolph’s Vacation, a summer old fashioned that can be found on their newest cocktail menu, and learn how to make it at home.
- Orange zest
- 0.25 ounces blackberry/strawberry honey
- 2 ounces Old Forester Bourbon
- 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 strawberry
- 1 blackberry
- Muddle the orange zest in the bottom of a rocks glass with the blackberry/strawberry honey (Insider tip: muddle the zest skin side up to better release the oils of the citrus skin).
- Stir the bourbon in a stirring glass with ice for 30 seconds.
- Place a large bourbon cube on top of the muddled orange zest and honey and strain the bourbon over the cube.
- Add 2 to 3 dashes of bitters
- Express the orange zest over the cocktail, rub around the rim of the glass and discard.
- Garnish with a blackberry-stuffed strawberry.
Whether you try them on your own or let the experts take care of the heavy lifting, make these your go-to cocktails for summer. If you do decide to leave it to the experts behind the bar, head to Embers Ski Lodge, Fifty First Kitchen & Bar or Two Ten Jack and tell them StyleBlueprint sent you!
A special thank you to these bar talents for sharing the steps of making delicious cocktails.
Looking for more spots to grab a drink? Check out the SB App (it’s free), and find the best of the best restaurants, all tested, tried and true! Looking for spots to grab a drink and sit outside? Check out our list of 140+ patios in Nashville.