I never thought I would find another cocktail as refreshing as a mojito, but Costa Esmeralda makes the grade. This drink is my favorite Berkeley Blue Bar choice. It wafts me off to palm-fringed beaches, turquoise-blue seas, and tropical sunshine—until that is, I come back down to earth and realize I am in the center of a big city. Still, at least I am in a supremely comfortable—and incomparably stylish—place in that city.
Costa Esmeralda Cocktail Recipe (Serves 1)
- 2 lemon wedges
- ¾ ounce (20ml) lemon juice
- 2½ bar spoons superfine (caster) sugar
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 2 ounces (50ml) Snow Queen vodka
- Champagne, to top up
- To garnish: a basil leaf and lemon wedge
- Muddle the lemon wedges, lemon juice, sugar, and basil leaves in a shaker. Add the vodka and half-fill with crushed ice. Lightly shake and strain into a highball glass.
- Top up with Champagne.
- Blend gently with a bar spoon and add crushed ice to form a “crown.”
- Garnish with a basil leaf and lemon wedge.
Text © William Yeoward, Photography © Loupe Images/Gavin Kingcome
Excerpted from William Yeoward’s American Bar: The World’s Most Glamorous Cocktails (CICO Books, 2012).