Rosie Schaap's Tips for Summertime Drinking

Rosie Schaap, writer of the monthly "Drink" column in "The New York Times Magazine," and author of the memoir, "Drinking with Men," shares thoughts on refreshing summertime drinks, bartending at home, and why women should go to bars alone.

Kara Rota
8-minute read
Episode #12

Our guest today is Rosie Schaap, writer of the monthly "Drink" column in "The New York Times Magazine," a contributor to "This American Life" and NPR.org, and writer of the memoir, "Drinking with Men." And she still finds time to bartend regularly, is that right?

RS: That’s correct!

CC: Rosie’s here today to share some tips and tricks for what you should be drinking right now. It's pretty hot outside! What do you like to drink during the hottest days of the summer?

RS: Oh, there are so many good things to drink in the summer. Lately, I’ve been on a real aperitif kick, and my next column is actually about aperitifs. So I’ve been trying a lot, in the name of research, obviously!

I feel like it’s not a bad impulse to avoid anything too super-strong during the summer. So highballs are great. I like a little bit of Campari, a little bit of lillet, especially the rosé lillet, a whole lot of soda and ice, and then just finish it off with some fresh herbs and maybe a drop or two of bitters. Super simple. Who wants to be working too hard on anything during the summer, anyway?

CC: Absolutely. And how about some things that are refreshing, without necessarily being effervescent or bubbly or sweet. What are some surprising options?

RS: I think all kinds of wines are refreshing in the summer. I’m a big fan of what some people consider a very trashy drink called the calimocho, which is red wine and Coca Cola. I know people feel very strong seasonal tendencies when it comes to beer, and some people would relegate stout or porter to winter and fall, but I think a pint of Guinness is very refreshing on a summer afternoon. It’s also pretty low alcohol, and it’s something that you can sit with for a long time. So, you’re probably not going to get too hammered if you’re lingering over a good pint of Guinness at a bar in the afternoon.

CC: And how about seasonal ingredients? Is there produce that you like to use in drinks you make during the summer?

RS: I love to use produce in drinks, and there are certain things we can get year-round. But the truth is, we have a much greater abundance of fresh herbs in the summer, and I love a super-herbaceous drink. I’ll muddle just about anything in the bottom of a highball glass!

People use mint a lot, and mint is great, but I have a teeny bit of mint fatigue. I think there are a lot more herbs we can use. I love basil. I love lemon balm. Any herbs that have a citrusy cast I think are great in the summer time, and all kinds of fruits and muddling berries. I’m getting great blueberries from my CSA right now, so cocktails with berries. People might not believe it, but I think blueberries and gin go together fantastically. So, lots of blueberry drinks with more fresh herbs. Why not, when it’s summertime, use what we’ve got?


About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.