features on StarChefs.com
summer drinks vol.III

By Betsy Feinberg

One of the greatest gifts of summer is
the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables
that ripen to juicy perfection under the nurturing rays of the sun.
Chefs take full advantage of the season’s bounty
by incorporating summer produce into every aspect
of their restaurants menu’s, both celebrating and enhancing
the crisp purity of newly-harvested beans, cucumbers,
onions, berries, and melons.


Chef Brian Massie of Fix at the Bellagio-Las Vegas, NV
~ Lobster Tacos
~ Smoked Salmon Poppers

Mixologist Jose Zepeda of Fix at the Bellagio-Las Vegas, NV

~ Seasonal Martini
~ Cucumber Martini

Chef Vincent Chirico of Frederick’s-New York, NY

~ King Salmon and Avocado Sushi Roll
~ Alaskan King Crab, Spicy Avocado, and Preserved Tomatoes

Bar Manager Jorge Mendoza of Frederick’s-New York, NY

~ French Cherry Mojito
~ Flirtini Martini

Chef Luis Maubecin of Azafran-San Miguel, Mexico

~ San Miguel Sangria

Mixologist Jason Kosmas of Employees Only-New York, NY

~ Fraise Sauvage
~ Wild Berry Sangaree

Chef Suvir Saran of Devi-New York, NY
~ Devi Lemonade


Bar managers and mixologists are catching on to the incomparable flavors of seasonal fruits and vegetables, foregoing frozen ingredients for fresh twists on summer cocktails. Strawberries are handy for both garnishing and muddling, while raspberries and blackberries can be left to marinate in sweet liqueurs like Cointreau and Cassis, and then used for serving. The savory cucumber, one of summer’s most visible and varied seasonal offerings, is celebrated with its own refreshing martini. Don’t leave the designated driver out of the festivities. Offer a non-alcoholic concoction on your drinks list, such as the Devi lemonade, a combination of freshly squeezed lemon and club soda, lychee puree and elderflower cordial.

Your patrons will need something to nibble on while they’re sipping; cool salmon and shellfish partner well with any of these fresh cocktails, and can be made into amusing little morsels, say Lobster Tacos or King Salmon and Avocado Sushi Rolls. The combination of sunny cocktails and seafood bites is a sexy, stylish way to take advantage of summer’s harvest.



   Published: July 2005