By Sophia Hsu
Beat the summer heat and cool off by making some of these Asian-inspired pitcher cocktails for your next get-together or mix them by the glass for your own refreshment.
I first tried Pink Jade at a now defunct Asian fusion restaurant; it both quenched my thirst and promoted a little anti-oxidant assistance. The ingredients are few, but very refreshing, and has a spicy sweet tartness. Pink Jade: 1 part vodka, 3 parts spicy ginger ale (the more pulp the better), A splash of pure pomegranate juice. Mix all ingredients in a pitcher, or shake and pour over ice in a martini glass garnished with fruit.
The first Lychee Martini I ever had was at a bar in the East Village. The music was good and the drinks kept you cool while you danced. It was a great way to spend a late night in early summer!
Lychee Martini: 2 parts vodka, 1 part dry vermouth, 1 pitted lychee fruit per person, A splash of lychee juice
Mix in a pitcher or shake with ice and pour into a martini glass with the pitted lychee fruit at the bottom. Variation: Soak the lychees in the vodka in the fridge for at least one week. The lychee infused vodka can replace the splash of lychee juice or enhance its flavor.
Another favorite summer cocktail is the Green Tea Saketini. Though a bit more complex to make, the results are well worth it.
Green Tea Saketini: 1 part decent cold sake, 2 parts brewed green tea(unsweetened; instant Japanese green tea does the trick as well) Honey or simple syrup to the bartender’s preference 1 slice of orange, loquat, or kumquat per person
Mix in a pitcher or shake and pour over ice in a martini glass and garnish with an orange slice.
It seems that all of my favorite summer cocktails come from the East Village or Lower East Side. This fresh Pineapple Soju seemed endless, and that was perfectly fine for my group of friends. The more Korean food we ate, the more we enjoyed our bottomless pineapple on ice.
Pineapple Soju: 1 part soju, 2 parts fresh pineapple juice with some pulp
The restaurant served this cocktail in a hollowed out pineapple sitting in a bowl full of ice. You can make it in a pitcher or to order in a martini glass garnished with a wedge of pineapple.
Starfruit is not something you normally see on a cocktail menu, but something about a drink called a Carambola Kiss makes you want to taste it. Sweet and tangy, this cocktail just gives you a kiss of starfruit.
Carambola Kiss: 1 part white rum, 2 parts carambola (aka starfruit) juice drink, 2 parts seltzer, 1 slice of starfruit per person
Mix in a pitcher or shake and pour over ice in a martini glass and garnish with a slice of starfruit. You can find carambola juice drinks at most Asian grocers.