Raise a glass to summer with these Hamptons-inspired cocktails
Toasting the town is being given new meaning by these six Hamptons watering holes, which channel their surrounds into distinctly location-based cocktails. From Long Island liquor to ingredients that reflect the colors of the sunset, the following drinks are the best way to lap up the flavors of summer.
Muse in the Harbor (16 Main St., Sag Harbor)
Picture-perfect inside and out with an interior mix of wood and white- tiled walls plus a charming patio lit in the evenings by strings of bulbs, Muse in the Harbor is the perfect place to unwind with cocktails and a chat. And, with a brand new bar to boot, Muse is putting its best foot forward on the drink scene this summer. The cocktail menu is an exercise in concision, with each of the just five drinks offering something unique: there’s the Chai Lebowski, a coconut margarita, and, most notably, the Muse Rum Punch, based with the aromatic Sag Harbor Rum—a handcrafted spirit from eastern Long Island that’s aged in former coffee and spice barrels and infused with a blend of fruits and spices. Coupled with coconut rum and pineapple and citrus juices, the Sag Harbor specialty gives Muse’s punch its, well, punch.
Moby’s (341 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton)
Two years ago, Moby’s opened on Amagansett’s (very limited) restaurant scene and was an instant hot spot—a reputation that hasn’t faded one bit since. The restaurant’s bright white design is the perfect backdrop for chic summer photos, and the wood- red pizzas are the best in town. It’s also got a bar scene that’s rambunctious to just the right degree, getting going in the early evenings and carrying on into the night with a sun-kissed crowd gathering in the tiki torch–lit back area, sipping on by-the- glass rosé, craft beers, and cocktails. Of the latter category, the one to try is the Amagansett Old Fashioned, a creative take on the classic that mixes Elijah Craig Kentucky whiskey and El Dorado 15-year rum with Giffard Banane liqueur for a smooth and subtle sweetness.
Ruschmeyer’s (161 2nd House Rd., Montauk)
Despite its outward appearance that resembles a Wes Anderson version of summer camp—wooden cabins, rows of outdoor picnic tables, bicycles and lawn games and even teepees scattered around under shady old trees—Ruschmeyer’s is in fact a luxury hotel. Owned and operated by the same group that runs Manhattan’s famed Hotel Chelsea, Ruschmeyer’s is a quirkily glamorous hideout, and its restaurant is a favorite among guests and non-guests alike, who gather under wood-beamed ceilings hung with paper lanterns for garden- fresh fare. There’s a great selection of biodynamic wines, but for nights that are planned to end at Electric Eel (the hotel’s on-site dance bar), try instead the Spritz Plains, a vodka- based aperol spritz with grapefruit and lemon. It’s as strong as the waves at Ditch Plains beach.
Saltbox (99 Edgemere St., Montauk)
For a place where it’s kosher to come straight from the ocean and sit down to a nice meal, Saltbox is just the spot. In a beach town known for a fancy dining scene, Saltbox styles itself with all the cheerful insouciance of a surfer, priding itself on being the ultra-casual spot that still delivers great food. Everyone knows that the best way to prolong that happy sun daze is with the help of a drink or two, and the Montauk 33 here is an easy choice to do just that. A rendition of a French 75, it bubbles with Voveti Prosecco, mixed with gin, blood orange liqueur, and lemon juice—does anything sound more refreshing? Paired with some Baja sh tacos or the irresistible basket of onion rings, it’s the best way to ease a perfect beach day into an evening.
Navy Beach (16 Navy Rd., Montauk)
Set on a former navy base overlooking Fort Pond Bay, it goes without saying that Navy Beach’s oceanfront locale has some of the best panoramic views of any restaurant and bar in the Hamptons. With a 200-foot-long private beach, it’s repeatedly hailed as one of the top watering holes around, and take our advice: if you’re looking to do a bit of day drinking, this is the place. There’s a gorgeous dining room that’s equal parts nautical-rustic and yacht club–chic, but the tables set up outside in the sand are the ones to reserve, especially around sunset time. Boaters anchor down in the fronting harbor to stop in for indulgent seafood meals and the impressive wine selection, but last year, the stars of the drink menu came from the new “lo-cal” section of low-calorie cocktails inspired by local destinations. The Fort Pond Bay combines rosé, orange vodka, raspberry, and cucumber into a concoction that can happily be written o as a healthy choice.
Southampton Social Club (256 Elm St., Southampton)Anyone who’s explored either Hamptons fine-dining, nightlife, or a combination of the two has probably wound up at Southampton Social Club at one point or another. There are inspired prix-fixe menus during dinner hours, top DJs spinning tracks here into the wee hours, and a special late-night menu offered on weekends that serves the kitchen’s gourmet fare like ahi tuna with wasabi caviar until 1 a.m. And in addition to all of that, the hydrangea- filled back terrace is a gorgeous setting for sitting and sipping cocktails worthy of appreciation. The Southampton Sunset reinterprets the sky’s evening colors with its ingredients: pomegranate, blood orange, and passion fruit juices with Bacardi rum and St. Germain. Meanwhile, the Roaring Twenties of Grey Goose, St. Germain, grapefruit, and fresh lime is a potent concoction with which to begin nights of Gatsby-esque partying.