The days keep getting longer and those dog days of summer are getting closer and closer — which means we’ll happily drink anything involving a refreshing squeeze of lime. And yet, somewhere between our gazillionth Dark and Stormy and umpteenth Negroni, we realized we could use a break from the usual parade of summer cocktails.
So, to inject some much-needed spring into our sipping routine, we turned to L.A.’s cocktail impresario, Pharmacie founder Talmadge Lowe. After years of hosting a private speakeasy, he now brings his act to various functions and events around the city. But, if you aren’t lucky enough to sashay into one of these enviable affairs, breathe easy: Lowe agreed to cut our cocktail doldrums and give us a private tasting by expertly whipping together three concoctions guaranteed to keep us all cool this summer. Click through for his easy, DIY recipes and get to shakin'.
Photographed by Phoebe Chuason
Three sunset-hued cocktails that are almost too pretty to drink!
The Bee's Pajamas
“This is the gin cocktail for the skeptical gin drinker,” Lowe says, “Fresh and sharp, it goes down easy at an early evening cocktail party. The mint and Chartreuse give it refreshing herbal notes, while the lemon and gin combination gives it the zing of citrus.”
1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Chartreuse
1/2 oz Mint Simple Syrup*
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters
Mint Leaf Garnish
*Simple Syrup is just equal parts water and sugar (I cup of each) heated together until the sugar dissolves. Always let it cool to room temperature before using. Refrigerating over night is preferred. For mint/rosemary simple syrup, add 4-5 bunches of mint or rosemary to the syrup while hot and let steep for 2-3 hours.
Step 1: Combine all ingredients, including the bitters, in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
Step 2: Strain into a champagne coupe.
Step 3: Add a mint leaf garnish.
“As the name implies, this is the ideal cocktail for winding down the weekend. The tart grapefruit and musty, savory notes from the rosemary compliment each perfectly...just like a Sunday afternoon and a mellow vodka cocktail.”
1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Rosemary Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
Rosemary Sprig Garnish
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake vigorously.
Step 2: Strain (over new ice) into an old fashioned glass.
Step 3: Add a rosemary sprig as garnish.
Perfectly refreshing. And, as far as color palettes go, this drink is winning.
The Italian Swizzle
“This cocktail has a rustic and elegant feel to it,” says Lowe, “Punt e Mes is spicy and botanical and gives a pop to the rum/lime/sugar combination. A sophisticated, European poolside sipper.”
1 oz Rum
1/2 oz Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Orange Peel Garnish
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
Step 2: Strain (over new ice) into a high ball glass.
Step 3: Add 2 dashes of the bitters and the orange peel.
Party perfect! We love the saturated hue of this one.