WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Summer Libations

When the mercury is rising, few things go down as deliciously as the perfect cold summer cocktail. Whether your taste leans toward virgin pina coladas, summer-fresh tomato margaritas, or slightly-spiked sweet iced tea, we're talking with local craft bartenders about the art and science of mixing chilled drinks for young and old alike.

Katie Nelson's Recipes

Katie Nelson, lead bartender at Columbia Room in the Passenger Bar, shares her favorite cocktail recipes.


2 oz cachaça (I like Leblon)
1 oz simple syrup (Can be made by mixing equal parts boiling water and sugar together, stir to dissolve)
Half a lime, quartered
Optional: Additional sliced fruit of your choice, such as berries, peach, mango, melon, etc.

Fill a glass (rocks or highball) with cracked ice. Add lime quarters, additional fruit (if using) and simple syrup to shaker, muddle. Add cachaca, then fill with the cracked ice from your glass, cap the shaker and shake vigorously. Uncap shaker, pour all contents back into glass. No garnish necessary, or garnish with a fresh piece of fruit, if using additional fruit in the drink.

Bloody Mary

1 1/2 oz vodka (I like Boyd & Blair)
1/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 dashes Worcester sauce
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 - 4 oz fresh-squeezed tomato juice
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of salt

Add all ingredients except tomato juice to shaker with ice, shake lightly to mix, strain into highball glass over fresh ice. Top with tomato juice, stir, add metal drinking straw. Garnish with lime wheel and lemon wheel.

Sherry Cobbler

4 oz Amontillado sherry
1/2 - 3/4 oz Pedro Ximenez sherry
Mint sprig
Seasonal fruit (berries, etc.)
Orange slice

Combine sherries in julep cup or wine goblet, add crushed ice, stir gently. Add metal drinking straw. Garnish with mint sprig, orange slice, 2-3 pieces of seasonal fruit.

Adam Bernbach's Recipes

Adam Bernbach, bar manager at Estadio and Proof, suggests these summertime drinks.

Baguio Skin

2 oz. Santa Teresa Solera rum
0.5 oz. Cane syrup
2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters

Stir with ice, lime wheel, in a double Old Fashioned glass, add orange zest, add nutmeg garnish.

Plum Soda

1 oz. Plum syrup*
0.25 oz. Lemon juice
Top with 5 oz. Sparkling water

Add all ingredients into a Collins glass, stir, add ice, garnish with a mint sprig.

*Plum syrup instructions:
Dice four plums, cover in sugar (approximately 16 oz.). Toss every 15 minutes for two hours. The sugar will seep out the juice. Put all of the mixture into a blender with 4 oz. water, blend on high for 15 seconds or until consistent. Strain.

Devil's Grin

1.5 oz. High West Silver Oat Whiskey
0.75 oz. Lime juice
0.5 oz Amaretto
0.5 oz. Cane syrup
0.5 oz. Campari

Shake, strain into a cocktail glass. Lime wheel garnish.

Find more cocktail recipes, including cold weather drinks and how to mix the perfect bloody mary.

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Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

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