Quarantine may still be in full effect in the Hudson Valley, but that doesn’t change the fact that the unofficial start of summer is officially here. As the amuse bouche of the upcoming season, Memorial Day weekend brings with it all the sweet signs of the warm weather to come.
From barbecues and baseball games with the kids to dripping ice cream cones and lazy afternoons outdoors, there are so many excuses to celebrate over the (much needed) long weekend. While you relax over the next few days, make sure to include a few celebratory sips as well.
Embrace the arrival of warm weather with Graft’s Spring Sake Cider. The delightfully gluten-free drink draws inspiration from exotic teas that balance sweet and spicy, making it the perfect companion on lazy summer days. It’s made from New York apples, with notes of plum, acai, cinnamon, and cardamon in the mix, too. Taste-wise, it has lush sherbet notes reminiscent of mixed berry chai or plum sake.
Available for a limited time only, Black Razz is a lovely black sour ale that feels like a treat to drink. With a dark berry hue that leans into the flavor of juicy raspberries and malt, the ale is a must while barbecuing. Plus, with an indulgent harmony of berry and toasty chocolate from start to finish, this one will make you think you’re on vacation…even at home, in your backyard.
“Memorial Day is where we pay homage to all the servicemen and women who put their lives on the line,” says Brandon Walker, chef and owner at Essie’s Restaurant in Poughkeepsie. To honor the occasion, he recommends an Italian 75, made with “navy strength” gin, aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and prosecco.
Italian 75 Recipe
Courtesy of Essie’s Restaurant
1oz Gustaf Navy Strength gin
¼ oz aperol
¼ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Prosecco to top it off
Put all ingredients in a shaker, except for the prosecco. Shake and double strain into a flute. Top it off with prosecco and garnish with an orange peel.