It’s always nice to sit down at a bar and have your cocktail prepared by a familiar face. Such is the case at Southampton’s Red Bar Brasserie, where bartender Patrick O'Donoghue is celebrating his ninth summer in the Hamptons. Though O'Donoghue often winters in the Caribbean, he was born and bred Southampton.
When you sit down at his bar, you will receive a basket of homemade chips, hear French music, and be offered a cocktail. Don’t ask for flavored vodkas or newfangled concoctions, though, because that’s not what Red Bar specializes in. The focus here is on classic cocktails done right.
O’Donoghue recommends a Venetian Spritzer, an effervescent Italian staple with a slight bitterness, for this warm weather. Served over ice and made with prosecco, a bit of aperol, and an orange wedge, the only update to the classic cocktail is the omission of the green olive that Italians traditionally add, for a bit of salt. Enjoy it alongside the restaurant’s homemade foie gras or braised pork belly with celery root. Another specialty of the house is the Cucumber Limey, made with Beefeater Gin, St. Germain, tonic, fresh lime, and cucumber.