There’s never a bad day to be part of our magazine’s food team, but it’s a particularly good day when you can kick back, relax and have one of the country’s best bartenders make you a cocktail. A few weeks ago, Ryan Magarian — the Portland, Oregon-based cocktail guru and co-founder of Aviation American Gin, — visited the Every Day with Rachael Ray test kitchen and whipped up some of his favorite warm-weather cocktails. We loved all the drinks, but the Beers Knees, a gin and wheat beer concoction, is the one we’ll be sipping all summer. Lucky for us, Ryan shared the recipe, so you can make this bubbly, citrusy drink for your next backyard cookout, concert in the park, beach barbecue– or wherever summer takes you.
1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz Honey syrup*
3 oz Hefeweizen (Ryan is partial to Widmer Hefeweizen, a local brew)
Pour gin, lemon juice and honey syrup in a pint glass, fill with ice & shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Collins glass (with or without ice). Top with Hefeweizen. Garnish with a lemon wedge
*To make honey syrup; stir equal parts honey and heated water and stir until the honey dissolves; let cool
In our May issue, we explore tequila’s rival sibling, mezcal, a smoky, slow-roasted, double-distilled liquor also made from the agave plant. We tasted tons of mezcal cocktails from the country’s best bartenders and adapted two favorites–plus created one of our own! Go behind the scenes and explore our mezcal cocktail-making process. Then, get our fabulous cocktail recipe that was the result of one tasty testing session. ¡Salud!
Test Kitchen Associate, Charles Grayauskie and Test Kitchen Director, Janet McCracken doing some delicious research.
Lots of different ingredients go into making the perfect cocktail! The green Vida bottle (left) is actually many bartenders’ go-to mezcal: easy to find across the country and very easy to drink.
Pouring up Old Major’s La Rosa Bonita
From our test kitchen, The Smokin’ Dog–our own riff on the Greyhound!
6 oz. fresh grapefruit juice (pink or yellow)
1 oz. mezcal
Splash of club soda
1 grapefruit twist
Fill a rocks glass with ice, then add grapefruit juice and mezcal. Stir to blend; top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with the grapefruit twist. Makes 1.