Three of This Summer’s Coolest Berry Cocktail Recipes

Berries are turning up in all sorts of delicious drinks this summer


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black currant bourbon lemonade

Summer is in full swing, and the Valley’s many fruits are ripe for the picking. But before you grab your basket and head out for the usual blueberries, you may want to think about mixing it up a bit. While apricots and blackberries are often overlooked, these little gems are in season throughout the summer, and savvy chefs and barkeeps in the Valley know that even a handful of these berries can enhance everything from entrées to desserts to the most chichi cocktails. A few local establishments shared some of their favorite fruity recipes with us.

Black Currant Bourbon Lemonade

“It’s a pretty popular drink here,” says owner Laura Pensiero. “Most summer cocktails go to vodka or gin, but it’s nice to have the more substantial brown liquor but on the lighter side, more like a lemonade.”

  • 2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 oz CurrantC currant purée
  • ½ oz cardamom syrup
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Splash of cava
  1. Fill a Collins glass with ice, add currant purée (Gigi stays local and uses currants from CurrantC in Staatsburg), cardamom syrup, fresh lemon juice, and bourbon.
  2. Stir and top with cava or Prosecco.
  3. Garnish with fresh Hudson Valley blackberries and a lemon slice. This ain’t your grandma’s lemonade, folks!

Gigi Hudson Valley
6422 Montgomery St., Rhinebeck
845-876-1007; www.gigihudsonvalley.com


Related: Where to Pick Your Own Apricots


Blackberry Garrison Herb Mojito

This seasonal cocktail uses ingredients from various local growers. “Turn up some Calypso or Reggae music, and let the good times be,” says James Brown, manager of the Garrison restaurant. “Our local-garden-based cocktails are very popular.”

  • 1½-2 oz light/medium rum
  • 2 oz honey syrup
  • Lime wedges
  • Blackberries
  • Spearmint
  • Basil
  1. Muddle lime wedges, blackberries, spearmint, and basil.
  2. Fill shaker glass with ice and add the light/medium rum.
  3. Add honey syrup and muddle mixture.
  4. Shake well and strain into tall Collins or highball glass.
  5. Garnish with mint leaves and lime wheel.

The Garrison
2015 Rte. 9, Garrison
845-424-36604; www.thegarrison.com


Related: Two Restaurants With Standout Blackberry Dishes and Cocktails


The Nyack Gentleman

“Out of our whole cocktail menu, this is probably the most popular,” says manager Oliver Cullen. This blackberry must-have is an easy-to-make cocktail that doesn’t stick to the rules. Add a little or a lot, but don’t skimp on the blackberries; those little guys bring out all the flavor.

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • Sprigs of mint
  • Blackberries
  • Lemon juice
  1. Mix a few splashes of lemon juice and bourbon, then throw in the mint and blackberries.
  2. Shake and pour over fresh ice.
  3. Add mint garnish.

Prohibition River
82 Main St., Nyack
845-727-7900; www.prohibitionriver.com


Related: Our Favorite Locally Made Blackberry and Apricot Jams


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