One of the season’s finest pleasures is its ripe, bursting-with-juices fruit. You’ve enjoyed fruit raw, cut up into salads, topping your cereal, baked into pies, and blended into smoothies. What else? Try adding fruit to a stiff drink. Head to these restaurants to find the finest fruit-infused cocktails.
Port Chester (914) 939-2727; arrostorestaurant.com
Ron Brown, the manager at Arrosto, designs and develops monthly fruit infusions. Arrosto’s house-made “cellos” are infused with organic fruits and juices and simple syrup. The latest is a pear cello, and previous infusions include blood orange, kumquat, espresso, peach, jalapeño, cherry, lemon, lime, and orange. Sip a homemade cello as an after-dinner digestif.
Bridge View Tavern
Sleepy Hollow (914) 332-0078; bridgeviewtavern.com
Bridge View Tavern’s most popular summer cocktail is the Huckleberry Lemonade, for which fresh blueberries and raspberries are muddled in a mason jar with 44° North Huckleberry Vodka, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and a touch of homemade simple syrup. The mixture is shaken and served on the rocks, then garnished with a blueberry, a raspberry, and a lemon slice.
Armonk (914) 273-8686; restaurantnorth.com
North’s Almalfi Fizz includes house-made limoncello, sparkling wine, and a Meyer lemon wedge. The peels of 20 lemons are tossed into a large glass jar and topped with vodka and the juice of a Meyer lemon. The jar is then sealed and refrigerated and, every two days, shaken vigorously. After two weeks, one cup of simple syrup is added. The mixture sits another three days. The limoncello is perfect when it has a strong acidity and just a hint of sweetness with no bitter aftertaste.
Danbury, CT (203) 748-0875; mezonct.com
Mezon has its own take on the piña colada. In this version, the bartender lets rum sit inside a coconut in order to get a fresh coconut-water taste—a far cry from the cloying sweetness of Malibu. Add a frozen cube of pineapple juice and—voilà!—a refreshing piña colada.