Food + Drinks


Photo by Levi Brown

In the dog days of summer, measuring, muddling, and shaking a cocktail is a daunting proposition. Skip the old-fashioned and make one of these five low-maintenance refreshments instead. You won't even break a sweat. Rob Willey

Blended Scotch + ginger ale
Pour two fingers of mellow whisky, drop in a few ice cubes, and top with chilled ginger ale to taste. A little lime juice turns the drink into a century-old cooler called a Mamie Taylor. (Compass Box Asyla: $35; Fever-Tree Ginger Ale: $6 for four bottles)

Death in the Afternoon
Absinthe + champagne
Mix one part absinthe with five parts bubbly and proceed with caution—this drink comes with the Ernest Hemingway seal of approval. (St. George Spirits Absinthe Vert: $75; Moët & Chandon White Star Extra Dry: $36)

Dry white wine + Campari
Combine equal parts Pinot Grigio or another dry white and Campari with ice in a glass; add a lemon twist and you've got a crisp Italian aperitif. (Bandit 2006 Pinot Grigio: $10; Campari: $26)

Ti' Punch
Rhum agricole + cane syrup
Pour as much pungent rhum agricole as you feel like drinking into a small glass. Add cane syrup, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir in a handful of crushed ice, and drink. (Rhum Clément Première Canne: $34; Steen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup: $5)

Moscow Mule
Vodka + ginger beer
To make this drink—which took vodka mainstream some 70 years ago—squeeze half a lime into a glass, pour in a shot of vodka, add ice, and fill with ginger beer. (Stolichnaya: $20; Regatta Ginger Beer: $6 for six bottles)

THE ESSENTIAL: The Spoon-Straw


It's okay to give the complicated bar equipment a rest, but there's one tool you should keep in heavy rotation. In a feat of engineering comparable to the creation of the spork, some genius attached a spoon to the end of a stainless-steel straw. The result is a sleek implement that mixes a caipirinha much better than a rainbow-colored piece of plastic ever could. ($10 for four;

Bottle and spoon-straw photos by Tim Hout

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