Fresh, Bold End-of-Summer Cocktails from Diamond Reef

We visit the team at the Brooklyn venue for a selection of last hurrah recipes

A brainchild of the team behind the Lower East Side’s acclaimed cocktail bar Attaboy, Diamond Reef opened earlier this year in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood and was the ideal summertime spot. Even though the warmer months are fading from the city, this tropical venue won’t. Our taste in drink changes with the seasons and to understand this better we visited the bar’s managing partner Dan Greenbaum when he was working on the new season’s menu. He offered us some recipes for a few drinks currently available, and those that will be on the menu soon. As he says, “These three drinks kind of bridge the period between summer and fall, each within their own style.”

Booze + Juice

A super-simple recipe with just two ingredients, Booze + Juice is pretty self-explanatory. While it’s made with fresh juice and a spirit of your choice, Greenbaum suggests apple juice and mezcal. Specifically Sombra, for its round and rich flavor. “The Booze + Juice is looking toward the fall and apple season, but is still really refreshing and summery. Mezcal in there is nice since it’s higher alcohol and smokiness can stand up to tart Granny Smiths,” he explains.

2 ounces Sombra mezcal

1 Granny Smith apple, juiced

Pour the juice and mezcal into a collins glass at the same time, add rocks and sip soon—as the apple will oxidize over time.

Spicy Flamingo

Served frozen at Diamond Reef, this is an at-home version of the fruity but not-too-sweet Spicy Flamingo. “This one is holding on to summer hard,” he says. “The watermelon, lime and spice in that drink are made for a hot day. It’s up there alongside an ice cold beer in terms of refreshment.”

2 ounces Milagro Silver tequila

1 ounce fresh watermelon juice

1 ounce fresh lime juice

3/4 ounce agave syrup (one part water to three parts agave)

Shake and serve over rocks in a tumbler. Garnish with a sprinkle of chili salt.

Double Header

A spin on the classic Old Fashioned, the Double Header’s inclusion of bourbon and bitters is no surprise, but the sherry offers and an extra dry and nutty flavor. Greenbaum says, “I think of the Double Header as an Old Fashioned variation that has brighter flavors from the apricot liqueur. The amontillado sherry in there lowers the alcohol content in there slightly, making it easier to have a few—especially if the weather is still warm.”

2 bar spoons apricot liquor

2 dashes Angusturo Bitters

1.5 ounces Elijah Craig bourbon

.5 ounce Amontillado sherry

Serve over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Images by Cool Hunting