September marks the transition of seasons. The green aspen leaves slowly fade into an amber hue, sweaters start to replace t-shirts on neighborhood evening walks and we trade in our peach and cherry pies for the apple and pumpkin variety. These two drinks showcase the best of both seasons.
The first is an original I created as a celebration and homage to a bountiful summer, to harvesting tasty homegrown produce or harvesting fond warm-weather memories of BBQs, cornhole and all other manner of sunny recreation.
In this ruby elixir, earthy vegetables — beets and celery — combine with the cucumber and rose petal forward Hendrick’s gin to make a veritable cornucopia of summer garden flavors. Fresh lemon, rhubarb and cilantro continue the theme and add bold acidity and herbal spiciness to add a little sweetness and keep the drink refreshing.
No juicer? You can easily process the beets, rhubarb, and celery in a blender and strain out the juice. And, if you’re out of rhubarb liqueur, make rhubarb simple syrup — it’s easy! I used rhubarb amaro and rhubarb bitters, but any amaro liqueur or bitters will work.
Harvest one for yourself — it’s anything but garden-variety!
Next is the signature drink from the Diamondback Lounge within the Lord Baltimore Hotel (built in 1928). First printed in Ted Saucier’s 1951 “Bottoms Up!,” the drink has a fierce bite, not unlike its namesake: the diamondback terrapin (that’s a turtle, not a snake).
Vanilla, caramel and baking spice notes from the barrel-aged rye combine with the apple brandy as a harbinger of the long-awaited fall flavors now on the horizon. The yellow chartreuse is herbal and floral, more subtle and delicate than its green cousin. Its presence here offers a faint lingering reminder of summer’s fresh, homegrown offerings. With the Diamondback, the transition of seasons is nearly complete.
The burden of proof is now yours. Go make a good summer or fall or somewhere in-between drink for a good friend.
A very spirited thanks to Urban Bottle and Platte River Law Firm for helping to make this column possible.
A Wyoming native, Jeremy Hugus is an injury lawyer and the owner of Platte River Law Firm by day, a gourmand by night, and a humorist in his dreams. He is passionate about good food and drink and good people and treasures the robust community that blossoms around the table blessed with both. If you have questions or comments, or would like to see a particular spirit or topic featured, please email Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org.