Match-Point Cocktails

Long Island City Iced Tea - Gin Cocktail

The crowd at the US Open—which starts today—loves aces, overhead smashes, long rallies and five-setters, but its real favorite (move over John McEnroe) is the Honey Deuce. It’s the tournament’s wildly popular signature cocktail and was created in 2007 by New York mixologist Nick Mautone. It combines Grey Goose Vodka, fresh lemonade and Chambord. Last year alone, 60,000 of them were consumed by thirsty spectators.

But the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center isn’t the only place to get a drink. Its home borough of Queens actually boasts one of the best watering holes in the city: Dutch Kills. Just a few stops away on the 7 train, it offers a large list of delicious and methodically made concoctions.

We asked the establishment’s head bartender, Jan Warren, for two recipes to savor while watching the matches. He suggested the lime-grapefruit-cinnamon-and-rhum-agricole Donga Punch, which is on Dutch Kills’ menu currently. “It’s light, refreshing and has a cheeky name,” he says. Plus, tennis fans can rename it the “Tsonga Punch” after top-10 singles player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Or fix Warren’s Long Island City Iced Tea, which calls for gin, Averna, lemon juice and soda water. “When I think late-summer drinking,” he says, “my mind goes straight to gin.” He’s quick to point out that “tennis is a long game,” and this tipple has a lower alcohol content, making it a great sipper you can enjoy all afternoon.

Now back to the action at Flushing Meadows.

Donga Punch

Contributed by Jan Warren
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 oz Rhum agricole
  • .5 oz Lime juice
  • 1 oz Grapefruit juice
  • .5 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup*
  • Garnish: Cherry and lime wheel
  • Glass: Collins

PREPARATION:
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and pour (unstrained) into a Collins glass. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a cherry and a lime wheel.
This drink is adapted from a Don The Beachcomber.

 

Cinnamon Bark Syrup*
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 16 oz Water
  • 4 cups Raw sugar

PREPARATION:
In a small saucepan, bring the cinnamon stick and water to a boil over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, remove from the heat and strain into a bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Let cool and store in the refrigerator.

Long Island City Iced Tea

Contributed by Jan Warren
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 oz Averna
  • 1 oz Gin
  • .75 oz  Fresh lemon juice
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: Lemon wedge
  • Glass: Collins

PREPARATION:
Add all the ingredients, plus a small piece of cracked ice, to a shaker. Shake, and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge.

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