Hamptons’ top mixologists provide ample reason to hit the bar before sundown
Montauk Beach House (55 South Elmwood Ave., Montauk)
The Euro-style beats bursting from the poolside DJ booth set the tone to the young, ritzy scene at the Montauk Beach House in downtown Montauk. Most of the action takes place around the two central pools, where guests splay out in sunny tranquility on 60 cabana beds for most of the day before prepping for an evening of moving and grooving. Helping to ease the transition is the range of classic summery cocktails at the bar, including three types of Bacardi-soaked mojitos, mai tais (sweetened with homemade orgeat syrup), and Stoli-based mules. For a bit more stimulation to the taste buds, order a “Felix Lopez,” which takes Herradura Blanco Tequila and blends it with passion fruit purée, fresh lime juice, sliced jalapeño, and a pinch of cilantro. Champagne is never in short supply either, but the owners ask you to pop your corks outside the rooms, not only to keep the spray o the curtains, but to keep the vibe behind closed doors tranquil enough for retreats.
Navy Beach (60 Navy Rd., Montauk)
The signs inside the nautically themed Navy Beach restaurant and bar may remind that “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” but that doesn’t stop the bartenders from sliding cool summer cocktails between them. Take yours onto the 200-foot pebbly beach of Fort Pond Bay, and enjoy it with sand between your toes and umbrella shade above. The ever popular Aperol spritz, given an American twist with citrus-tinged Aperol and the bubble from sparkling California Chandon, goes especially well with the kitchen’s clams, mussels, and chilled shrimp. Fans of the bubbly can look forward this summer to new spritzes including Blood Orange Piscine (vodka, Champagne rosé, fresh blood orange, sparkling water), tequila-based Cucumber Frizz (with a smoked celery salt rim), and Rosemary Citrus Spritz. To reach the sublime, time your second or third drink with the sunset, perhaps the most spectacular of the area.
Solé East (90 Second House Rd., Montauk)
After transforming a desolate barrier island into the now famous Miami Beach, 1920s developer Carl Fisher looked north, buying 10,000 acres in Montauk and building the American Tudor-style property now home to Solé East. Those who stay overnight get to enjoy white-washed bungalow-like rooms with oversized San Tropez beds alongside lush lawns and gardens and a heated pool, around which live musical acts propel dance parties during the high season. You don’t need to be a guest, however, to enjoy the view of it from white canvas director chairs in the Backyard at Solé East restaurant, which blends Mediterranean and South American in uences with farm-to-table sourcing from Montauk waters, local farms, and herbs from an on-site garden. Cocktails like the Jalisco Watermelon follow a similar philosophy with a combination of Herradura tequila, watermelon, lime, and a spicy rim. The Fort Pond Butter y mixes jalapeño-infused Finlandia vodka with pineapple, while the Western Trade pairs El Dorado white rum and ginger.
Zum Schneider (4 South Elmwood Ave., Montauk)
Closer to the beach, between the Atlantic and Fort Pond, the beachy beerhall Zum Schneider adds Bavarian cheer to the Hamptons spirit. Long tables with benches encourage communing with new faces while the stage at one end of the room provides the entertainment, energy, and brass oom-pah beats. The menu is mostly geared to complement hops and barley, with boiled Bavarian white sausages, beery oyster shooters, and spätzle topped with bacon pieces. The cocktail menu also embraces a beer base, with drinks like Edelweiss, made with Kölsch, dry vermouth, and smoked beer syrup; and Sturm und Drang, with Aventinus Schnapps, Asbach Uralt, and Erdinger Hefeweizen Syrup. Prefer your cocktails and beer separate? Order the Drunken Jasmine with Ketel One vodka, jasmine green tea, elder flower syrup, and mint; or the Acai Margarita with Veev acai spirit, triple sec, and pineapple juice. It only takes a few to start flirting with “Rosi,” the nude “Galleon Figurehead” mounted next to the bar.
Gurney’s Montauk (290 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk)
If distance from Montauk’s downtown vibe is a virtue, head west to Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa, which looks south to the ocean and north to the Hither Woods Preserve. Home to the only Olympic- sized seawater pool in the U.S. (with water pumped in from o shore), a huge 1,000 ft. private sand beach, and rooms with mostly unobstructed views of the water, Gurney’s makes the most of its surroundings. No place on the resort does this better than the Beach Club at Gurney’s, where amid golden sand, canary yellow daybeds, pillowed chairs, and parasols, guests slurp down signature lobster rolls blackened grouper sandwiches, and uke tacos along with summery cocktails like Tommy’s Margarita with Milagro silver, agave, lime; Montauk Sunset with Malibu coconut rum, pineapple juice, and red bull yellow; not to mention plenty of frozen daiquiris and piña coladas.