Even though we’d really love it to stay hot, hot, hot year round here in Saratoga, there’ll be that inevitable day when you begrudgingly dust off that light jacket and stow away your jorts. But hey, if one good thing came out of the pandemic, it was that we all realized that a good al fresco cocktail is worth imbibing deep into the fall months, as long as a few friendly heat lamps are nearby. Alex Straus, owner of one of Saratoga’s bumpingest bars and nightclubs, The Night Owl, knows all about that, having hosted some of the best chilly-night hangs on his Maple Avenue patio last year. So we asked him to help you wring out the final drops of summer—and look forward to a booze-i-ful fall with three rum-infused cocktails.
This is a play on a classic Puka Punch, using a beautiful reposado tequila and some prickly pear. It’s perfect for a wild, late-summer night and dancing on the furniture. (Luckily, no Adirondack chairs were harmed in the making of this drink.)
¼ oz Hamilton 151 Rum
11/2 oz El Tequileño Reposado Tequila
1 oz prickly pear puree
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz orange juice
1/2 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz Agave Nectar
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled tiki mug. Garnish with an umbrella, and serve with love!
I like to think of this drink as an any-season return to the tropics. It’s definitely rich enough to be drunk on the darkest of winter nights. The smell, the taste and the experience of those flavors always brings you right back, even if it’s freezing outside.
1 oz coconut cream (blend 1 part unsweetened Thai coconut milk, 1 part Coco Lopez cream of coconut and 2 parts simple syrup in an immersion blender)
¾ oz passion fruit puree
1½ oz Coruba Black Rum
½ oz fresh lime juice
3 dashes Angostura bitters (to top off)
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled tiki mug. Garnish with a tropical decoration of your choosing.
Summer Old Fashioned
Another late-summer staple. It’s the perfect drink to sip on a hot summer day. It’s rum, which is always a party, but with a respectable twist. Bonus: You can throw it in a thermos with ice, and serve it all day long, as the dilution just lengthens this powerful cocktail’s life.
10 oz Cadenhead’s Rum
10 oz Appleton Reserve Rum
1 1/2 oz Licor 43
1 whole orange peel
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 fresh pineapple topped and cut into chunks with rind (washed)
Put all ingredients into an airtight container and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove cinnamon. Stir, reseal and refrigerate for another 24 hours. Mix and strain before serving. Makes 10 servings. Pour into glass over ice, and stir thoroughly. Add expressed orange peel over the glass, and drop into the drink.