warm weather cocktails

Spring has spread it's glaze of pollen over just about everything in coastal Carolina, thickening the air, reminding me that there is a physical explanation as to why folks tend to take things a little slower in the humid South. And so begin the days when the Old Fashioned finds its way back to the shelf to make room for lighter, fresher fare. Here are three originals from the vault available at manna all summer long.

Lavender Citrus Blossom
photos: Leslie Koehn

Lavender Citrus Blossom

1.5 oz. vodka
1 oz. lemon sour
½ oz fresh orange juice
3 dashes orange bitters (Fee Bros West Indies works well!)
1 oz. lavender simple syrup*

Combine the above over ice.
Shake hard for twenty seconds and strain.
Garnish with dried lavender flowers and a twist of orange.

*To make lavender syrup, soak a generous amount of dried lavender buds while dissolving sugar in water on the stove at a 1:1 ratio. Strain when cool. 

Lemon sour, also in the Cat Smash featured below, is 1 part fresh lemon juice with 1 part simple syrup. Simple syrup is sugar dissolved in hot water at a 1:1 ratio.


3-4    thick slices of cucumber cut into quarters
¾ oz   Domaine de Canton (ginger-infused cognac)
1.5 oz  Hendrick's gin
dash rosewater
1 oz    seltzer

Pre-chill cocktail glass.  Muddle the cucumber in the Dom. Canton in a separate mixing glass.  Add Hendrick's, the dash of rosewater and ice. Shake for 20 seconds, add seltzer, and double strain. Garnish with berries, cucumber slices and/or rose petals.

The Lotus was born back in the Caffe Phoenix days when I stared out the large windows all afternoon at the sushi joint across the street. Jonas was nice enough to feature it some time ago as a Drink of the Week.

Cat Smash
Cat Smash

3-4 sprigs of mint 
1/2 oz. lemon sour
2 oz.  Catdaddy Moonshine
1 oz.  seltzer

Muddle the mint in lemon juice in a mixing glass.
Add ice and moonshine. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint, and/or lemon wheel.

Watch for Wm’s air guitar when someone orders one.  When I came to manna, my “Moonshine Smash” met local music promoter/enthusiast/proprietor extraordinaire who decided to up turn the amp to "Cat Smash (Fever)".  As long as he keeps composing beer haikus and finishes off the toughest nights with a celebratory rug cutting, I’m down with the name change.