Each month, we pull together a selection of drinking-related items that have, for one reason or another, grabbed the attention of PUNCH’s editors, who spend pretty much all day, every day surrounded by booze. Here’s what we’re into right now.
The Pimm’s Cup | Robert Simonson, Contributing Editor
Sometime in mid-July, I realized that half the summer had gone by without my having had a Pimm’s Cup. I quickly corrected that, fishing out my bottle of Pimm’s and drinking them every night for about a week until the bottle was empty. I am flexible in my mixers when it comes to Pimm’s Cups. I’ll do ginger ale when lazy; homemade lemonade when I am more industrious; and British lemon soda when I can find it. Always a cucumber garnish, though. If I don’t have cucumbers, no Pimm’s Cups. You wouldn’t think such a subtly flavored garnish would make a difference in the drink, but it unmistakably does.
EUVS Collection of Digitized Cocktail Books | Lizzie Munro, Senior Editor
Among the things that brought me to the world of drinks—and to PUNCH, specifically—was the fact that we’re all a bunch of nerds at heart. So it’s pretty fitting that one of my more recent obsessions would be an online library devoted to old cocktail books, which allows for easy deep-dives into the more obscure corners of the drinks world. The EUVS Digital Collection is part of a three-year collaboration between historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller and the Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux, a wine and spirits museum founded in 1958 in the south of France. The online library contains more than 1,000 completely digitized (and free) books dating from the 1820s to the mid-20th century and runs the gamut from the classic (Jerry Thomas and Harry Johnson) to the obscure. You’ll find the likes of the non-alcoholic Prohibition Punches (published in 1930, with contributions from Andrew Volstead’s daughter, Laura), plus historic collections—a 1939 selection of Cuban cocktails straight out of La Floridita, for example, Daiquiris included.
The Espresso Martini | Bianca Prum, Managing Editor
A confession: I am very late to the Espresso Martini party. I just had my first one a few weeks ago, at London’s lovely little Bar Termini. But now I’m hooked. A little bitter, a little sweet, that delicious, frothy texture—it drinks like dessert, and goes down just as easy. Do avoid the temptation to have another, though, and make note that this is no nightcap: That first encounter ended with a late-night dance party in a tequila bar. If you want to make your own at home, try this recipe from New York’s Suffolk Arms, or the variation LCD Soundsystem shakes up on tour.
2013 Mossik JouJou Napa Valley Cabernet Franc | Jon Bonné, Senior Contributing Editor
There’s been a bump lately of people beating up on Napa Valley. And it’s rarely undeserved: Napa’s blender drink of ego and cash often makes it its own worst enemy. But if you can strip away the pretense, Napa has always been a special place, and I always try to see it for the best version of what it could be. So I was glad to finally buy a bottle of Mossik, Julia Weinberg’s micro-production side project using grapes from the White Rock vineyard in eastern Napa. This is all the things that franc lovers love: that dried-sachet side of floral, a bit somber, with a fruity, chile spice and ample ripeness, but also the freshness this grape needs. I remember a Very Important Napa Winemaker once telling me that franc needed to be grown almost to raisins to burn out its bell-pepper aspects. This wine is further proof that he and his theory can get bent—and that, when you strip away the excess, Napa’s beauty is still there.
Loverboy | Allison Hamlin, Social Media Editor
T.J. Lynch’s newest outpost, Loverboy, hews closely to the tried-and-true formula of his OG bar, Mother’s Ruin—the slushie machine’s inventive offerings have carried over, and so has the drinker-friendly food (see: chicken parm sandwich). It’s the perfect summer spot for a meet-up with friends, and the imminent promise of pizza is only likely to improve these prospects. Just a short walk away from the cadre of classic late-night East Village establishments, Loverboy is high on my list as a go-to spot for kicking off the night right.
The 25¢ Martini | Chloe Frechette, Assistant Editor
If the Martini is, as Bernard DeVoto declared in 1948, “the supreme American gift to world culture,” then the 25¢ Martini is the ultimate gift to yourself. An uncommon phenomenon, the bargain price can be found as part of lunchtime offers at a small number of New Orleans restaurants, such as Antoine’s and Commander’s Palace. (A slightly steeper 99¢ Martini is available at the classic Bourbon Street eatery, Galatoire’s.) Capable of transforming an inherently indulgent drink into a no-brainer, there really is no better dining companion than this type of deal.
Humble Sea Brewing | Talia Baiocchi, Editor in Chief
I am incredibly lucky that one of the best breweries in the country—Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, affectionately known as SARA—is just down the street from my parents’ house in Aptos, CA. I’ve made a habit of posting up at the bar to drink through whatever is on tap every time I come, often at the expense of exploring the other breweries in and around the north side of the Monterey Bay. But on this last visit, I made a point to check out Humble Sea, a new brewery in Santa Cruz making a hit list of cool-hunted styles: a “soft” pale ale brewed with lactose, NE-style IPAs, Mexican-style lagers, barrel-aged saisons and so on. All of the beers are served out of a bright, minimalist tasting room located just up the street from one of Santa Cruz’s best surf spots (Steamer Lane) with ample outdoor space and a small menu of excellent sandwiches and salads. It’s the perfect new-school California brewery. For now, to taste the beers you’ll have to go see for yourself—but there are worse pilgrimages to make.
2016 Ànima Negra Quíbia Falanis | Megan Krigbaum, Contributing Editor
A few weeks back, I sat down at the bar at Zadie’s Oyster Room on a god-awful hot and humid day and saw a white wine from Mallorca on the by-the-glass list. Turns out the wine, 2016 Quíbia, is from the Ànima Negra project, which is currently working with more than 100 different sites, sourcing dry-farmed, biodynamic fruit from mostly 50+-year-old vines. Quíbia is a blend of native varieties callet and premsal, with a dash of muscat, which makes for this beautiful, juicy, orange blossom-scented white. I wrote to a friend at Ànima Negra’s importer to find out what was up with the wine, and she told me that Miquelàngel Cerdà, one of the winemakers, likes to say “Quíbia is an imaginary place, a beautiful place without borders where no passports are needed.” I think I’ll go there next.