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6 Tasty Strawberry Cocktails to Make This Summer

We were so taken with Paul McGee’s fresh strawberry cobbler that we harvested five more seasonal sips from a crop of creative barmeisters around town. Get out your muddlers, shakers, strainers, and ice makers and throw a strawberry cocktail tasting party.

Paul McGee’s Strawberry Cobbler Cocktail

Choose the biggest, darkest-red strawberries you can find, because that’s what’s needed to stand up to the spirits in  McGee’s nifty cocktail. McGee recommends Tequila Ocho and Lustau for the booze and local farmers’ markets for the berries.

Yield: 1 serving
Prep time: 10 minutes

3 Fresh strawberries
1 Lime wedge
1 Orange wedge
1 tsp. Sugar
2 oz. Blanco tequila
½ oz. Amontillado sherry
1 Bouquet fresh mint leaves

1. Muddle 2 of the berries with the citrus wedges and the sugar in a julep cup or double rocks glass.

2. Discard the citrus rinds.

3. Pour in the tequila and sherry, quickly stir, and top with plenty of crushed ice.

4. Garnish with mint bouquet and a strawberry.

Tip: Taking a big whiff of the mint before each sip will accentuate the herbaceousness of the sherry.

 

Tulsa Queen

Laurent Lebec, bar director (Big Star)

1 Large ripe strawberry, stem removed, cut in half
4 Mint leaves
1 Heavy dash Angostura bitters
1½ oz. Woodford Reserve rye
½ oz. Laird’s Applejack brandy
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. Honey syrup (dilute two parts honey to one part water)
1 Lemon peel, expressed

1. Muddle the strawberry halves in a shaker tin.

2. Add the mint and bitters. Quickly muddle again.

3. Add the rye, brandy, lemon juice and honey syrup to the shaker.

4. Vigorously shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

5. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Tip: How to express and twist a lemon peel.

 
Aged Rhum Strawberry Mojito
Diane Corcoran’s Aged Rhum Strawberry Mojito Photo: Laura DePalma Isabella

Aged Rhum Strawberry Mojito

Diane Corcoran, beverage director (Bub City, RPM Italian, Three Dots and a Dash)

3 Ripe strawberries (2 cut in quarters)
8 Fresh mint leaves, slapped (see Tip below)
1 oz. Fresh lime juice
¾ oz. Demerara syrup
2 oz. Duquesne aged rhum agricole (or other aged rum)
  Crushed ice
1½ oz. Club soda
1 Bouquet of mint leaves

1. In a pint glass, muddle the strawberry quarters.

2. Add the mint leaves, lime juice, syrup, and rum.

3. Pour ingredients into a shaker tin and back into the pint glass. Do this twice.

4. Fill a hurricane or other tall glass with crushed ice. Pour in the drink; top with more crushed ice.

5. Splash in the club soda.

6. Garnish with a bouquet of mint and a whole strawberry.

Tip: Clapping (or “slapping”) the mint leaves between your hands releases their aromatic oils. Be gentle: no crushing or tearing.

 

Queen’s Club Strawberry Smash

Erin Hayes, bar manager (Lost Lake)

2 Ripe strawberries
6–8 Mint leaves
1 oz. Aviation American gin
1 oz. Cocchi Americano
½ oz. Campari
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Demerara syrup
  Ice cubes
  Crushed ice
1 Bouquet of mint leaves

1. Muddle the strawberries in a tin shaker.

2. Add mint and lightly press in the tin.

3. Add the gin, Cocchi Americano, Campari, lemon juice, and syrup.

4. Add ice cubes and shake well.

5. Double strain into a goblet filled with crushed ice.

6. Garnish with mint bouquet.

 
Fresa Cerveza
Kyle Davidson’s Fresa Cerveza Photo: Chloe List

Fresa Cerveza (strawberry whiskey sour)

Kyle Davidson, chief mixologist (Blackbird)

Hop oleo saccharum (enough hops for four cocktails)

1 cup Granulated sugar
½ oz. Whole dried hops
1 cup Hot water

Cocktail

¾ oz. Hop oleo saccharum
1 Ripe strawberry, halved
2 oz. Medley Brothers bourbon
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
¼ oz. Dolin dry vermouth
  Ice cubes

1. Muddle hops into the sugar, making sure to break up the aromatic oils, and let sit for half an hour. (If you are in a hurry, 10 minutes is fine, but the quality and the quantity of the extraction improves with more time).

2. Add hot water and stir until clear (all the sugar should be dissolved), about 10–15 min.

3. Strain out all the hop particles.

4. In a tin shaker, muddle the strawberry.

5. Pour the hop oleo saccharum, bourbon, lemon juice, and vermouth over the strawberry.

6. Add ice cubes and shake.

7. Strain into a chilled stemmed glass.

Tip: Davidson likes Amarillo or Simcoe hops.

FYI: “Hop oleo saccharum” is just a fancy term for hop syrup, but also refers to how the flavor is extracted.

 
Strawberry-Ginger Margarita
Madeleine Suter’s Strawberry-Ginger Margarita Photo: Nathan Michael

Strawberry-Ginger Margarita

Madeleine Suter, manager (Antique Taco)

Ginger syrup (enough for four 10-oz. cocktails)

1 Large piece of fresh ginger
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar

Cocktail

2 oz. Homemade ginger syrup
2–3 Ripe strawberries (enough for 1 oz strawberry purée)
2 oz. Fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz. Orange juice
2½ oz. Tequila blanco
1 dash Sea salt

1. Peel the ginger and cut into small pieces.

2. Bring water and sugar to a boil. Add the chopped-up ginger.

3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Depending on the season of ginger and other external factors, the time factor of making the syrup can vary, so give the syrup plenty of special attention. You want it to be sweet and spicy. Not too watery.

4. Transfer the syrup to a temperature-proof container and nest in an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice and cold water) till cool. Store any unused syrup in the refrigerator.

5. Purée and strain the strawberries.

6. Add the strawberry purée, ginger syrup, lime juice, orange juice, tequila, and salt to a tin shaker, then shake.

7. Pour the mixture over crushed ice in a 10 oz. glass—or in a 10 oz. Mason jar (as Suter does at Antique Taco).

Tip: How to peel ginger with a spoon.

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