Cheers to you, good-lookin’.
You don’t have to be an avid social media user to appreciate the value of good aesthetic presentation. From beach-club boozing to garden-to-glass craft cocktails, we’ve combed through the vast array of Hamptons drinking spots to select six drinks that are sure to please the eye as well as palate, whether you want to post them or not.
A Bucket of Beers at Montauk Brewing Company (62 S Erie Ave., Montauk)
In the early 2000s when the craft brewery wave was washing over America, three dudes in Montauk felt the pull and built out their passion project of home-brewing into a fledgling business, started— in true beach boy style—in an old woodworking shop. But the days of carting around kegs on bicycles to early supporting establishments like Ruschmeyer’s didn’t last long; Montauk Brewing Company quickly grew into a national success.
Now, its happy-hued cans found brightening restaurants and beer vendors around the country, reminding everyone to kick back and adopt their sun-dappled version of the American Dream: anything is possible with hard work and positive vibes. Now with seven beers to show for itself, the brewing company draws crowds of flip-flip and tee-clad Hamptonites to come sip its brews, especially on days when a picnic table in the sun fits the bill much more than a chichi bar. And besides, after you’ve posted six beach photos in a row, a snap of a bucket full of rainbow-colored cans in front of the woodworking shop provides a charming break.
A Camp Hero at Flagship (466 W. Lake Dr., Montauk)
Behind the bar at 2017-opened Flagship, Adam Miller could ostensibly be described as a Monet of mixology. The botanical ingredients infused, pressed, blended, and squeezed into his glasses render his menu as vibrantly colorful as flavored. There’s the bright pink of watermelon and strawberries in the cachaca-based Dance Fight; the refreshing green Garden Party with gin, cucumber, green pepper, lemon, and lime; and the brilliantly orange Booze Cleans, with carrots, ginger, lemon, and coconut offsetting the detrimental effects of the shots of the tequila hiding in there, too.
His oeuvre continues with a build-your-own sour section of the menu, as well as bottle-service cocktails for groups in which negronis, vespers, and Manhattans are delivered to tables en masse. But perhaps his best work is the soothing purple Camp Hero, a pisco sour of sorts made with lavender and antioxidant-rich butterfly pea flower, capped with the froth of egg-white foam. Essential oils, essential cocktail, essential photo.
A Salty Mary at Saltbox (99 S Edgemere St., Montauk)
Walls of driftwood, tee-clad staff, and relatively low prices are sure signs that Montauk’s Saltbox isn’t in the restaurant game to play and win but to play and have the best time—which it certainly does. This adorable eatery in is now in its fourth year of great business, drawing in sun- dazed diners throughout the day for beers and truffle-mayo fries and lively dinner crowds coming straight from the beach for lobster rolls, fish tacos, and live music from one of the local bands that often play here in the evenings.
And, in between meals or when you only want a light bite, Saltbox’s version of a liquid diet is one of the best—and most photogenic—things on the menu: the Salty Mary. If the vodka in the spicy Bloody Mary doesn’t make you crack a smile, the presentation certainly will, with a fried pickle and lobster slider stacked into a tower on top of the glass.
Frosé at Bedell Cellars (36225 Main Road, Cutchogue)
Another more recent trend to wash over the nation? Frosé. Why pink wine in particular has become a drink of choice to consume in frozen form remains a mystery. Linguists might say it’s simply due to the fact that its name lends itself well, but those willing to grant it a culinary chance just might find that rosé has the ideal balance of sweetness, tartness, and lightness that one longs for in in a cold summer drink. Either way, just as brunch and sushi ordered on Seamless have assumed unique identities of their own in the American diet, so too has frosé, and on some occasions—say, looking to do some tasteful day drinking in the Hamptons—it’s simply a requisite.
When this time arises, head to Bedell Cellars, the North Fork vineyard that has garnered a reputation for producing some of the best wines in New York, including a Wine Spectator-approved rosé. Summertime tours of the vineyards often conclude with a delicious glass of frosé enjoyed in front of its picturesque barn house. Or, buy a few bottles to make your own version the next time you host brunch.
Piña Coloada at Gurney’s Beach Club (290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk)
Whether it’s one of the yellow beach loungers shaded by white umbrellas or the expansive wooden deck that fills up with a chic crowd, Gurney’s Beach Club is the pot at the end of the rainbow when it comes to finding that summer photo gold. Tropical drinks—margaritas, sangria, the namesake rum punch— run like water, are made with premium ingredients, and color-code with the newest collections of beachwear parading all around. Better yet, if you manage to snag one of the glorious cabanas stationed in the sand, sit back, relax, and keep the rounds of frozen piña coladas coming. The creamy drink served with a slice of pineapple wedged on the side will match perfectly with the white-and- yellow curtains fluttering all around you in the breeze. When it’s winter again, you’ll be glad you gave yourself this gift of a reminder that life exists outside of a puffy down coat.
Aperol Spritz at Navy Beach (16 Navy Rd., Montauk)
For the perfect Hamptons evening, there’s no better locale than Navy Beach in Montauk. In fact, when it was first converted from a navy base to a restaurant in 2010, it was named Sunset Saloon for the very reason that there are few better places to take in the sunset colors than here, right on the shores of Fort Pond Bay.
With the sunlight pouring in through the wall- to-wall windows, a harbor of yachts just in front, and salty boaters shuttling in for a bottle of wine, there’s something about this spot that recalls the old harbor cafés of the Cote D’Azur, where meals start with an aperitif and end with an espresso under the stars. To that end, go for the Aperol Spritz, the classic French fizzy drink of Aperol, orange, and sparkling white wine. Take note that it’s hard to have only one of these delicious concoctions—but who cares? It’s summer.