The American Summer Spritz served at Montauk's Navy Beach is a perfect warm-weather aperitif.
Drawing inspiration from the aperitif/aperitivo culture of the French and Italian Riviera, a growing number of Hamptons restaurants are offering lower-alcohol libations designed to be paired with lunchtime dishes. Consider, for example, the American Summer Spritz served at Montauk’s Navy Beach. Modeled on the AperolSpritz, an Italian classic, Navy Beach’s variation also includes citrus-tinged Aperol, but gets its bubble from sparkling Chandon wine from California.
Lighter alcohol content in sangrias, spritzes, and more means they are food-friendly, says Martin Cabrera, beverage director/partner at Navy Beach. “These drinks pair very well with raw bar and ceviche,” says Cabrera, who suggests pairing the American Summer Spritz with the popular Tuna Nikkei (tuna sashimi, tobiko, avocado, wasabi tobiko, and yuzu soy).
Meanwhile, at Almond in Bridgehampton, cocktails draw on the food itself. The same compressed watermelon and cilantro that grace the Citrus-Cured Sardine salad during weekend brunch also appear in the Gallagher cocktail (Hendricks gin, fresh watermelon, cilantro and lime, garnished with compressed watermelon).
A key reason for the uptick in lunchtime cocktails: The summer influx of young families who may not be able to head out to the bars at night, but still enjoy a cocktail. “The Hamptons is becoming a more family oriented place,” says Cabrera. “We want people to come during the day and dine and have a drink while they can, watching their kids on the beach.” Navy Beach, 16 Navy Road, Montauk, 668-6868; Almond, 1 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton, 537-5665