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Closing Out Hamptons Season with Tequila Cocktails

Casa Dragones and Mulberry Project offer up three mixed drinks for the Perfect Earth Project

by David Graver
on 09 September 2016

Last weekend closed out what is oftentimes perceived as "the Hamptons season." Summer Fridays are now gone (for those lucky enough to have had them) and students have returned to school. But that doesn't mean the libation must cease. Labor Day Weekend in the Hamptons features show-stopping events—like the Hampton Classic—but also benefits aiming to raise awareness and funds for charities. Internet phenomenon The Points Guy hosted an event for Housing Works, and artist Cindy Sherman lent her East Hampton home for the Perfect Earth Project's Prfct! Biennial Benefit. It was there that we learned of the severe harm that lawn fertilizing chemicals impart upon nature. Founder Edwina von Gal has spent years making clear these that chemicals—all utilized for what she refers to as a "military cut lawn"—harm animals, both domesticated and wild. For some in attendance, it was eye-opening and another demonstration of an under-considered instance of hazardous pollution.

"Our mission is to engage people in an environmental activity that they can do in their own yard," von Gal explains to CH. "This is the epitome of that. It's about everybody working together—and going from yard to yard," she says about why a backyard, BBQ-style event matters. As for why it was in the Hamptons, she makes clear "East Hampton is our model community. If we can make it work here, it may go across the United States." Von Gal is, in fact, a landscape designer by trade—and all her work is done without chemicals. "Doing without," she says, "is a process not a product. In going toxin-free and chemical-free, you are participating in an environmental process."

There, in support of von Gal, was Bertha González Nieves, founder of Casa Dragones tequila. (The brand donated product for the event.) "We view Perfect Earth as a like-minded company, as we are a small-batch independent tequila producer that focuses on sustainability in our production processes," Nieves explains to CH. Casa Dragones asked NYC's Mulberry Project master bartender Rael Petit along to create signature cocktails from their small batch Blanco tequila. We snagged the recipes; first, because they were delightful and second, because of the importance of the event in which they were served.

PRFCT Summer

"It's a refreshing, easy to drink for a party," Petit explains to CH. "And tequila and prosseco go well together" he adds. The tequila adds floral weight, while the prosecco adds levity. Serving the cocktail in a wine glass also lends to the celebratory vibe.

1.5 oz Casa Dragones tequila
1 oz grapefruit hibiscus mixer
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake all the ingredients, except processco, together. Pour in a wine glass with ice. Top with the prosseco and garnish with a lavender flower.

What the Water Gave Me

"We drew the name from a painting title by Frida Kahlo," Petit notes. "This is a tiki cocktail, fun for the eyes and tastes like something you can drink way too easily." Here, tequila plays the dominant role, but the lime citrus dodges overt sweetness. It's still quite fun.

1.5 oz Casa Dragones tequila
1 oz agave lime mixer
1 oz pineapple juice
Shake the ingredients. Pour in a rock glass with one big ice cube. Topped with a few dashes of angostura bitters. Garnish with three pineapple fronds (leaf) and an edible nasturtium.

More Than On The Rocks

For anyone who doesn't want any mixers—or doesn't need them—the best way to accentuate tequila on ice is with edible flowers, according to Petit. More than a garnish, it lightly impacts flavor. A combination of marigold, nasturtium, and snapdragons make for a visual and oral treat—all while allowing the tequila to shine.

PRFCT Summer and What the Water Gave Me images by David Graver, all other images courtesy of David Prutting/BFA

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