Hot Days and Happy HoursAugust 10, 2010 By: Jack Robertiello
Getting New Yorkers to show up at your bar, thereby admitting that they don’t have a summer house or even a summer share, takes some work. At Artisanal in NYC, the end of the week gets a boost in the afternoon with Summer Fridays, during which Sangrias and Punch Cocktails are half off. Highlights on the Summer of Punch menu are the Cherry Bomb (rum, rye, Southern Comfort, cherry purée, cranberry juice and ginger ale), the Cider Cup (Calvados, ginger liqueur, hard cider and fresh citrus) and the Bergamot Breeze (gin, Earl Grey tea, cucumber and basil). John Tarleton, who leads the beverage program there, also menued melon balls soaked in eau de vie.
In NYC, Ofrenda pairs artisanal spirits with locally made Mexican paletas (popsicles) through the end of the summer. Flavors include paleta de coco (coconut) with Seven Tiki Rum, paleta de aguacate (avocado) with Monte Alban Mezcal, and paleta de jamaica (hibiscus) with Chinaco Blanco Tequila.
It’s peach season, and at Washington State’s Anthony’s Restaurants, that means fresh peach drinks – signature Peach Lemonade, Anthony’s Spiked Peach Lemonade with vodka, Fresh Peach Cosmo (fresh peaches shaken with vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice), a Peachy Drop (vodka, peach schnapps, triple sec and lemon shaken and served with a sugared rim) and a Fresh Peach Daiquiri (frozen blend of rum, peach schnapps, lime juice and sugared fresh peaches).
Happy hours have returned with a vengeance as the recession slogs along. In Washington, D.C., area Legal Sea Foods are doubling down with a selection of happy hour specials at the bar for three hours Monday through Friday. During happy hour at the Legal Sea Foods in Penn Quarter in downtown D.C., the seasonal Fresh Watermelon Crush (freshly diced watermelon, Rain Organic Vodka, splash of simple syrup) is discounted, as are select wines and beers. The “Tastes at the Bar” discount menu features light options — chilled snow crab legs with lemony Old Bay mustard and cocktail sauce, Thai popcorn shrimp with pineapple and peanuts and steamed edamame with seasoned salt. The unit out in McLean, Va., also offers $5 happy hour drinks including SKYY Vodka and Tanqueray Martinis, while the Bethesda, Md., shop offers customers drinks made with SKYY Vodka, Beefeater Gin, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey or Johnnie Walker Red Scotch at 50 percent off.
At Tidbit in Seattle, new digs means a new Happy Hour and a Half schedule, Sunday to Friday. Imported beers and select wines are discounted, as are select cocktails — the Negroni Sbagliato (Campari, sweet vermouth and Prosecco) and the Aperol Spritzer (Aperol, white wine and soda). Small plate stuzzichini include crostino with sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella, and Parmigiano, and Arancini, fried risotto cakes with tomato, saffron and mozzarella, with tomato salsa.
In Snoqualmie, Wash., happy hour hits Terra Vista Wednesday to Sunday with a $4 beverage menu including French 75s, Martinis and the Vista Tini, a mix of Ciroc Vodka, St-Germain, a splash of tonic and a lemon twist.