Mix It Up

Innovative ways to go fresh and fruity with summer cocktails

The season is ripe with fresh berries and succulent stone fruit. Whether sipping solo or serving BBQ for a group of friends, why not liven up your cocktail repertoire a bit? Here are a few interesting ways to incorporate some of that summer bounty into beverages from a few local mixologists.


Berries Bliss

At Pedalers Fork in Calabasas, temperatures can soar. One go-to respite for patrons is their Fruition cocktail, based on the intense flavor of blackberries. “It has a strong berry deliciousness that is like summer in a glass,” shares bartender Jason Harbert. Pair with foods that are salty or a bit sour, such as fresh bruschetta with a good amount of sharp garlic—or Pedalers Fork’s calamari with sea beans.

  • 3 lemon slices           
  • 5 fresh raspberries  
  • 4 basil leaves
  • .5 ounce agave
  • 1.5 ounce bourbon whiskey
  • .75 ounce Chambord   

In a shaker, muddle fresh raspberries and lemons. Add remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Serve over ice and garnish with two raspberries.


This recipe, from The Woodman in Sherman Oaks, combines the sweetness of raspberries with the rich, smoky taste of bourbon. “It’s a wonderfully forgiving and flexible drink, made for hot summer days,” says resident mixologist Angelino Chabriey. It’s perfect paired with with a lighter fish or chicken dish—or The Woodman’s seared scallops and cheese grits.

  • 2 ounces Scotch
  • 1 ounce lemon
  • .37 ounce simple syrup
  • .37 ounce curacao
  • .75 ounce blackberry puree
  • .25 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 1 or 2 blackberries for garnish

Shake and strain over ice with blackberry garnish.

Peach-Cucumber Martini

Talk about out-of-the-box thinking: When was the last time you had peaches and cucumbers together? Combined in Bow & Truss’ martini, it’s nothing short of ingenious. “It is not too sweet. The peach and aromatic flavor of the cucumbers are complementary,” says head bartender Sean Hanniford. This martini goes particularly well with grilled seafood, such as shrimp skewers or whole fish—or with Bow & Truss’s scallop tostones.

  • 2 ounces Hangar 1 cucumber vodka
  • .75 ounce peach syrup (cook canned organic peaches on low heat with a handful of fresh cilantro for a couple hours and let cool for 24 hours)
  • .75 ounce peach liqueur
  • .50 ounce lime juice

Shake all together and pour in a martini glass. Garnish with cucumber slice.