The Perfect Picnic Drink Is a Refreshing Tequila-Watermelon Cooler


Picnics call for clean, unfussy lengthy liquids—Arnold Palmers, mojitos—liquids that don’t take too much prep and offer ample hydration. But furthermore, ones that hold up properly to move and long, languorous days within the sun. The Sandia Fairy, something of an accelerated watermelon margarita, exceeds on each count. It will also pique the curiosity of any cocktail nerds in your institution with a surprising combination of flavors.


“I like mixing the pepper and soil flavors of the tequila with the sweet, herbal taste of absinthe,” says Victor Lopez, an agave-spirit enthusiast and longtime bartender at PDT (Please Don’t Tell), the famous neo-speakeasy in New York’s East Village. And for the base, the most iconic of the summer result: watermelon.

Watermelon has an exceptional ability to guide and mix nicely with a wide form of flavors—salty factors like feta cheese or candy accompaniments, including berries and stone fruit. Here the juice bounces off the savoriness of El Tesoro and tempers the wealthy, woody notes from the bourbon-barrel aging. The tequila’s natural notes are added using the fennel, mint, and tarragon of the St. George Absinthe. “They’re like outstanding friends that come together,” says Lopez—which is exactly how a picnic needs to be.

Using the mint most effective as a garnish gives a clear-eyed hit of aromatics without dialing up the herbaceousness an excessive amount. If you may find the particular bottles indexed, ask your liquor save for a reposado that asserts “a hundred% de Agave” on the label, so you realize it’s the real deal; any absinthe might do in a pinch, even a pastis, if pickings are slim.

For approach, the trick is to pre-batch, i.E., mix it beforehand to finish within the glass, instead of lugging the whole thing to the park. If you don’t have a juicer, you could purée watermelon in a blender and strain out the solids to get fresh juice. And you might find yourself needing to add a touch greater simple syrup depending on the ripeness of your watermelon.

Sandia Fairy

Serves 4-6

2 cups clean watermelon juice
1½ cups El Tesoro Reposado Tequila
2 oz Lemon juice
2 ounces. St. George Absinthe
2 oz Agave syrup or simple syrup
Mint, for garnish
Watermelon slices, for garnish

At your picnic, pour directly into collins glasses with ice or serve in an ice-stuffed pitcher to permit visitors to serve themselves. Combine all ingredients in a container and stir, chilling for up to two to three hours earlier than serving; watermelon juice is very fragile, so anything past 5 hours is pushing it. (Be aware, the greater time it sits over ice within the pitcher, the extra dilution you’ll get from melting.) Take a sprig of mint and clap it among your palms to release the oils, and garnish in conjunction with a small slice of watermelon.

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Time Out Market New York (Dumbo; opened May 31)

Food halls in NYC have become almost as ubiquitous as nail salons. The newest is Time Out Market New York, directly off Brooklyn Bridge Park and inside Empire Stores. The bilevel hall will have 21 food and drink vendors, from familiar brands like Pat La Frieda Meat Purveyors to original concepts such as Breads Bagelry. Of course, there’s a steakhouse—Center Cut, an offshoot of Reserve Cut on Wall Street—as well as three bars with drinks from places like Ghost Donkey and Angel Share. On the upstairs level is the money view of the Manhattan skyline from the deck, a stage for Time Out magazine-approved DJs, and even more restaurants, including an outpost of the crowded Israeli spot Nur.