Impress Guests at Your Next Lawn Party With These Three Summer Cocktails

LyAnna Sanabria of Pacifico in Saco, Sarah Jackson of Portland Hunt and Alpine Club, and Crispy Gai’s Arvid Brown offer their go-to recipes for upping your imbibing game.

If you want to be more thoughtful with your imbibing or impress guests at your next lawn party, try diving into the world of cocktails. For ideas and inspiration, we asked some of our favorite Maine bartenders what they’ll be mixing up this summer. Sure, grabbing a cold beer from a cooler or walking around with a rosé-filled Yeti tumbler is easier, but this isn’t about convenience. This is about making the most of every moment—and every drink.

Old Orchard Peach

LyAnna Sanabria has worked behind the bar at Via Vecchia in Portland and Round Turn Distilling in Biddeford and runs the beverage program at Pacifico in Saco. Her cocktail is an orchard sling that uses a Bimini gin that is finished in bourbon, brandy, and rum barrels.

2 ounces Bimini BR1 Gin
½ ounce Rothman and Winter Orchard Peach Liqueur ½ ounce coconut water
½ ounce Bully Boy Rum Cooperative Volume 1
½ ounce dry vermouth
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Angostura bitters

Combine all the ingredients but the bitters in a cocktail shaker. Whip and shake, then strain into a Collins glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add a float of bitters. Garnish with a cocktail umbrella, of course.

Midnight Sun

Sarah Jackson, bar manager at the cocktail bar Portland Hunt and Alpine Club, created this drink that utilizes gin, an Italian bitter aperitif called Cynar, and homemade strawberry syrup.

1 ounce Beefeater gin
1 ounce Cynar
1 ounce strawberry syrup (see recipe below) ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce 2:1 simple syrup
2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
3 cucumber slices
Soda water

Strawberry syrup:
16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
16 ounces sugar

Combine hulled strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Let sit over-night, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Strain the syrup into a jar and refrigerate. (You can save the strained strawberries for topping ice cream.)

Combine all the ingredients but the soda water, cucumber, and strawberry in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add 2 cucumber slices, shake, and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a strawberry and the remaining slice of cucumber.

Fever Reliever

Crispy Gai bar manager Arvid Brown is known for his unique tropical drinks, and this cocktail with coco-nut–infused mezcal, various rums, pineapple, cinnamon, lime, and nutmeg epitomizes his creations at the Portland restaurant.

1 ounce toasted coconut–infused Banhez mezcal ¾ ounce Bully Boy Rum Cooperative Volume 2 ½ ounce Leblon Cachaça
1 ounce pineapple juice
¾ ounce lime juice
½ ounce cinnamon syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
Pineapple fronds

Combine all the ingredients but the nutmeg and pineapple fronds in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a glass of your choice. Garnish with grated nutmeg and some pineapple fronds.

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