Just a few blocks away from the W Hotel is the Ava Lounge at 210 W 55th. Since a rain shower had just passed, I had no problem getting a seat on the rooftop lounge, though it filled up in a matter of minutes shortly-there-after. The views were great and the décor was trendy yet casual.
After reading an article about the recent rise of vegetable-based cocktails, I felt I had to give the “Cucumber Cooler” from their cocktail menu a try. The drink featured vodka with cucumber puree, mint, simple syrup, and sprite. It might not have been listed as one of the ingredients, but I swear there was a fair amount of black pepper thrown in there that I could have done without. Overall, it was rather refreshing; though I’d swap out the sprite for some club soda and a squeeze of lime (you’re already getting the sweetness from the simple syrup).
For a second round, I took my server’s suggestion and ordered the “Lemonade Stand,” with Citron vodka, muddled lemons, fresh lime juice, Sprite, and club soda. I find you can’t lose with a lemonade drink on a hot day, but I also enjoy a little more flavor in the mix. Try this one to quench your thirst:
1 ½ oz. OVAL vodka
½ oz. Blueberry Schnapps
½ oz. Triple Sec
Lemonade to fill.
Shake Vodka, Blueberry Schnapps, and Triple Sec over ice. Pour into a highball glass and add lemonade to fill. Garnish with a lemon peel.