I stopped in at PS7’s last night to find that head mixologist Gina Chersevani has freshened up her menu for summer. The big winner is the Pimpin’ Pimms, a refined and refreshed version of the classic Pimms Cup. In addition to Pimms and Oxley -- an English dry gin -- bartenders muddle fresh strawberries in the glass and add a housemade rhubarb syrup and tarragon for a rich, summery picnic flavor in lieu of the otherwise ubiquitous cucumber and mint. That stalk of tarragon has another purpose: It’s supposed to make the drink look “like an aquarium,” which, as you can see from the photo above, it rather does.
(If you’re not imbibing in the heat, try the non-alcoholic version, made with housemade lemonade instead of the gin and Pimms.)
Similarly clever substitutions are found in other exotic elixirs. “Topic: The Margarita?” uses Chersevani’s “Tropical Tea”-- a sweet, fruity blend of papaya, banana and other ingredients -- with Milagro silver tequila, lime and sea salt. Then there’s the Experimental Orange Soda, which pairs Chersevani’s frothy orange soda, which tastes like the base of an Orange Julius, with sweet, aged Brugal rum.
So cold it’s frozen
Of course, when it gets really hot, people turn to frozen drinks. The frozen swirled lemon-and-strawberry margaritas at Lauriol Plaza and Cactus Cantina are probably the most popular in town, but if you’re looking for something different, try the “Awesomeness” slushee at Little Miss Whiskey’s: a jungle juice-esque concoction made with sweet tea vodka. And though Estadio may have one of those endlessly swirling margarita machines behind the bar, its classy “Slushitos” are a cut above. The current star mixes gin, star anise, cranberries and sparkling cava in a funky, earthy-tasting potion. If you’re seeking something light and crisp, this isn’t it -- you’ll want a glass of the non-frozen rosemary, apple and tequila sangria -- but a Slushito is cool in all senses of the word.
Beat the heat at an outdoor cooling station.
Last week, the Argonaut installed misting machines in the flower beds on its patio. The main purpose was to water the plants, of course, but the spraying water has proved popular with customers at nearby tables. The most recent addition: A misting spray over the patio bar, which has no purpose other than to help crowds fight the blistering temperatures. One piece of advice: If you’re going to the bathroom, put a coaster over your glass to keep it from getting “watered down.”