Wednesday, April 15, 2009

M&S summer drink menu

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 12:45 PM

I stopped by M&S Grill's wonderful happy hour last week (more on that Friday) and got to talking to the bartender. It's one of my favorite bars in the city not only because of the food specials and the atmosphere but because the mixed drinks are so damn good. As I've noted before, M&S is a true scratch bar -- everything from the juice to the simple syrup is made to order.

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The bartender (mixologist?), Scott Beskow, was just putting the finishing touches on a summer drink menu to be released around May 1 and was kind enough to give me a glance.

M&S's new drink menu is a lesson in how to design to around a season. When it comes to late spring and summer drinks, it's a time of white liquors, citrus and champagne, really anything light and refreshing.

To help customers relax and enjoy the season, M&S has devoted an entire section to what it calls "long drinks."

Served in tall Tom Collins style glasses, these long drinks "are for sipping outside on a beautiful or hot

day," Beskow said. Two that stood out

are Kansas City Ice Water, made of vodka, gin, soda, tonic and lime

juice, and the Wimbledon, a combination of Pimm's Cup, lemon and ginger

ale with a cucumber-and-lemon-wheel garnish.

The only one I've yet to actually try is Porch Swing Punch, a variation on Lynchburg Lemonade with the addition of apple butter and a small amount of cranberry juice. The apple butter is blended in and adds a slight creaminess that quickly gives way to the refreshing punch of the lemon. All the while, it stays

sweet without being overly sweet. It's the kind of drink I imagine Tennessee Williams or William Faulkner characters would have on a sultry summer night when company arrived.

There's also a regular cocktail menu with more traditional

offerings like the Elderflower, a combination of champagne and

elderflower liquor. But really it's the eight creations on the long-drink menu that I'm trying to perfect at my home bar. Bring on those hot summer nights!

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