Remember this: Whether served at a swanky lounge in downtown L.A. or on some deck in the Caribbean, the ideal summer cocktail should balance acidity with sweetness and be served over a generous mound of ice. Base liquors, mixers, and paper parasols come and go, but rules are rules.
As the head bartender at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel in South Beach, Juan Coronado has mastered the art of refreshment, serving up inspired warm-weather cocktails all year-round. Our favorite? His Check Point, a mix of mezcal, green chartreuse, lime juice, pineapple syrup, and salty water that perfectly showcases each of the diverse flavors. Slightly smoky and sweet, this cocktail has soft herbal notes and just the right amount of acidity.
• 1.5 oz Bahnez Mezcal
• .5 oz Green Chartreuse
• 1 oz fresh lime juice
• .75 oz pineapple syrup (reduce two parts pineapple juice and one part sugar)
• Salty water (mix a teaspoon of salt in one cup of cold water)
Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice; pour into a highball glass with lots of ice. Top with a splash of salty water.