Cocktails Made for Many
The COVID-19 pandemic is seeing just about every restaurant in the Hamptons offer their menus to- go as well as served on site (at safe distances, of course). One welcome outcome of this, though, is that many places have also been fashioning parts of their cocktail menus to fit the takeaway model – i.e., poured in bottles or pitchers large enough to fill more than just one glass. Negating the need to order multiple rounds, and aiding the ability to drink in your preferred setting and on your own timeline, it raises the question: Why didn’t this happen sooner?
(341 Pantigo Rd.,East Hampton)
A liter of top shelf cocktails? Moby’s seems to have an advanced understanding of what its clientele wants on all fronts – from a lifestyle boutique to peruse while waiting for a table, to made-to-share light Italian fare, to, yes, rum punch that can easily satiate a table of eight. Also on offer – to stay, taken at the picnic tables arranged in the wonderfully pleasant backyard, or to go – is a Negroni, classic as well as habanero-spiced passionfruit margaritas, and a gin-and-juice concoction called the ‘Gansett Sunset. All are boozy, fruity, and made with liquor of the caliber that minimizes the chances of hangovers (nothing at Moby’s is low-quality), as well as available in single and 375-milliliter sizes for dates and smaller groups.
Fresno (8 Fresno Pl., East Hampton)
Fresno’s bar-to-go concept is further proof that this Hampton’s mainstay since 2004 will never go out of fashion. The convivial bar and its imaginative menu has always been a draw at this modern bistro, which is now preparing 16-ounce bottles of straight cocktails that can serve three when poured over ice. Choices include a grapefruit margarita, a Meyer lemon cosmopolitan, and a Quarantini: a vodka martini with lemon, honey, and rosemary. And if you’re only interested in a cocktail to start, consider taking a bottle of wine from here rather than your local shop; the list has been awarded by Wine Spectator many times over, and a choice selection of bottles are available to go.
Nick & Toni’s (136 N. Main St., East Hampton)
At Nick & Toni’s, the high and mighty of see-and-be-seen establishments, appearances are now coming and going more quickly, dropping in for its “dinner at home” menu, which retains all the dine-in menu’s most elegant options. Adding in wine or beer to a to-go order affords a discount of 25 percent, but let this diverge your attention from the bottled cocktails, which come in 10- and 16-ounce options. There’s a tropical version of a Negroni, throwing in spiced pineapple to the classic Italian tipple, as well as a lemon martini doused with small- batch cranberry liqueur from New Hampshire’s Flag Hill distillery. The most enticing of the options is the Gardening at Night, an aromatic concoction of tequila infused with shishito peppers, lime, cherry liqueur, and chili salt.
Dante NYC at Moby’s (341 Pantingo Rd., East Hampton)
What do you get when you artfully collide cocktails of the classic Aperitivo style and tropical tiki genre? The new APERItiki drink menu from Dante NYC that has popped up in East Hampton at Moby’s. We’re talking Mai Tai Italianos, 50/50 Mart(ik)is and, keeping in the big batched cocktail theme, a Piña Colada for two. To keep the drinks flowing, imbibers can take home four packs of Dante’s classic Negroni Sessions or Martini Hour cocktails.
Montauk Beach House (55 S. Elmwood Ave., Montauk)
Be it a sunbathing day that turns into a night out or simply a fun few hours of dinner and drinks and then seeing where the night goes, The Montauk Beach House is one of the top spots for groups in the Hamptons. Some of the best mixologists in the U.S. spend time here in the summer, mixing up an ever-changing menu of cocktails, flush with herbs, top-shelf liquors, unusual bitters and juices, and unique combinations of all of the above that entice drinking for the sake of culinary exploration as much as anything else. And this summer, all cocktails are available by the liter as well as by the glass – from the classic bloody mary and espresso martini to the vodka-based Botanical Spritz and the pinnacle Viva La Corazon, with tequila mixed with hibiscus and lavender tea, lime, agave to sweeten, and a dash of almond liquor.
Rumba (43 Canoe Place Rd., Hampton Bays)
To end, let’s go back to where sized-up drinks first began: brunch. Rumba on Shinnecock Bay is a Caribbean restaurant and rum bar that has been peppering the Hamptons with jerk chicken, reggae beats, and strong drinks since 2010. On weekends, it has an extra draw with its Rum Punch Brunch, serving up island-style versions of egg dishes and other early-day delicacies alongside its namesake drink, poured by the gallon. With a back patio overlooking the water, casual clientele, and some of the friendliest service around, it’s the perfect spot to start a day with that slight, pleasant bit of a brunch buzz.