The Best 21-and-Up Versions of Summer’s Favorite Drink
Perhaps the simplest warm-weather cocktail that will never go out of style is the good old-fashioned spiked lemonade. From being infused with garden herbs to those made in 30 seconds in a plastic glass, we’ve rounded up our favorite versions of this timeless drink at bars and restaurants all around the Hamptons. Think of them as your new favorite lemonade stands.
Bourbonade at The Beacon (8 Water St., Sag Harbor)For something more upscale but still without pretense, Sag Harbor’s Beacon bar and restaurant is a hip yet entirely down-to-earth watering hole that is something of the Hamptons version of a Williamsburg watering hole. Focused on New American fare, the restaurant accordingly gave equal attention to its drinks menu as to its food—because what is a gourmet burger or lobster pasta without a craft cocktail these days?
There’s a proper Aperol spritz for the snazzy, a spicy margarita for the jazzy, and a $35 pour of Don Julio 1942 over ice for those too serious about their drinking to try and make rhyming games of it. Also on the list is the
bourbonade—a simple mix of lemonade and Bulliet bourbon. Take it at the popular round bar if you’re looking to mingle, or come with friends and post up on the deck outside overlooking the water.
Blueberry Lemonade at Bostwick’s Chowder House (277 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton)
Bostwick’s is proud to be the sort of establishment that still clings onto the Hamptons’ past. It’s the type of place that knows the value of kids’ and dessert menus (fresh soft serve, anyone?) as much as it does a straight-off-the-boat filet of yellowfin; the type of place where you can waltz in with sand still stuck to your legs and salt in your hair and trust that whatever catch-of-the-day is scrawled on the chalkboard is just what you want. Portions are generous in that freewheeling way—just how much crab can be stuffed into a piece of flounder, or fried clams piled on a sandwich?—as are the pours in the cocktails, because Bostwick’s also knows that nothing goes better with a day at the beach than something strong and cold.
If there were ever such a thing as a comfort drink, it would certainly be defined by the menu here, composed of 16-ounce glasses of no-fuss classics: dark n’stormies, painkillers, blood orange margaritas, white sangria. Our vote? Go for the blueberry lemonade. The base choice of Brockmans gin—which is made in part from blueberries—pairs perfectly with the Napa Valley blueberry puree and tart fresh lemonade.
Vodka Thyme Lemonade at Topping Rose House (1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton)
Just because the Topping Rose House is one of the most elegant five-star hotels in the Hamptons doesn’t mean it doesn’t still like to get its drink on. Originally built in 1842, this stately white Greek Revival manse now boasts interiors by Alexandra Champalimaud, one of the best spas on Long Island, and a Jean-Georges restaurant that alone is a reason to visit. Even if you don’t hold a key to one of the multi-award-winning 22 rooms, the farm-to-table restaurant is open for three meals a day, seven days a week, with a luxurious brunch on weekends.
Fish and meat is sourced from local farmers and fishermen and fashioned into those distinctly Vongerichten-designed symphonies: caramelized scallops swimming in a soy-yuzu broth, calamari lightly breaded with pretzel and dipped in mustard aioli, or roasted bass left untouched so that it can speak for itself. Herbs and produce, meanwhile, come primarily from the one-acre garden on site, and also feed into the bar menu, which boasts a small selection of fine cocktails. For the most high-brow versions of a spiked lemonade, find it here, made with the freshest lemons and aromatic thyme.
Lemonade Fizz at LT Burger (62 Main St., Sag Harbor)
There are times in just about every American’s life when nothing can satisfy except a burger. Even vegans
and vegetarians can attest that sometimes, nothing tastes as great as wrapping both hands around a bun to squeeze its stack of contents down into a bite-able size, and if it makes a mess, who cares? Celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel opened LT Burger in Sag Harbor as a shrine to this American dining routine, with its menu of burgers warranting multiple visits to try them all.
And just because the environs are sophisticated and the clientele chic, don’t think this sophisticated hamburger joint is above a combo meal—throw down a couple more bucks, and you can get your burger paired with fries and a soda, milkshake, or draft beer. However, if you want something less heavy to go with your big meal, look to the short- but-sweet cocktail list and find the Lemonade Fizz. With citrus vodka and lemonade mixed with ginger-lemongrass—a tincture decidedly good for the stomach— consider it a digestif.