Standing Tall in Favor of Pink Drinks
It’s time we discuss the phenomenon of “the girly pink drink.” Every great bartender has their formula: a rosy shade of pink and, let’s face it, if they’re using quality ingredients and fresh-pressed citrus, it’s delicious. Perhaps you’ve sipped a mediocre Cosmopolitan (vodka, lemon juice, triple sec, cranberry) but chances are, you’ve had a really good one too. Remember, it was “the Cosmo” in the 1990s that changed it all for the craft cocktail scene in New York, when bartenders stopped reaching for the Apple Pucker and sour mix and started fresh-squeezing citrus before their shift. Hallelujah! A monumental day for mixology.
Jason Kindness mixes up A Boy Named Sue based on the flavor profile of a Cosmo made with Keel Vodka, sumac syrup instead of cranberry, fresh lemon juice and prosecco for a playful spritz. Keel Vodka is owned by native Rhode Islanders Tom McGowan and Bill Dessel with partner Matt Light, a former New England Patriot. They saw the need for a lighter spirit, (24% ABV versus your usual 40% ABV vodka) that’s perfect for a low-octane cocktail if you’re looking to stay “balanced” for a long night of festivities ahead.
Kindness serves it in a Collins glass over plenty of ice and a hearty swath of lemon peel for aromatics, a seriously delicious cocktail that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Sumac is the native shrub that grows 3 to 25 feet tall that you’ve most likely seen on the side of the road, in abandoned fields or tangled into the brambles along the beach. Sumac (not to be mistaken for poison sumac with white berries) can be foraged locally for its bright red torch-like drupes (seeds) in the early fall and dried for the coming months when fresh berries and reliable fruit are hard to come by. You can buy dried sumac berries online or at your local herb shop. It tastes like a cross between hibiscus and tart cherries and is traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking and seasonings like za’atar.