Summer is coming. Celebrate (and cool off) with a drink — specifically this drink recipe from former Eater drinks editor Kat Odell’s new book Day Drinking: 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz, out now. It’s an extremely fun look at cocktails low in alcohol which tend to be ideal for brunch, lunch, and all weekend long.
The Regents Royale, a tiki-inspired strawberry-pineapple-green-tea concoction, is high on both flavor and style. Odell says it tastes just like Starburst candy, and it also happens to be the color of the moment: pink. Serve it in a pineapple cup (instructions below) for maximum impact.
The Regents Royale
from Jane Danger of Mother of Pearl, New York City
Remember strawberry-flavored Starburst candy? This tiki-inspired tropical libation literally tastes like the beloved childhood treat. While this delightful drink calls for bubbles, which lower its ABV, it’s delicious straight out of the blender, served over ice. But if you want to lower the booze content even more, feel free to leave out the rum.
“Regent’s Punch” is a classic recipe (the base for this drink is modeled after it); to “Royale” a cocktail is to top it with sparkling wine. The recipe calls for dry curaçao, which is an orange liqueur flavored with the peels of bitter Seville oranges. Combined with the tropical, fruity, and slightly grassy-tasting cachaça (thanks to the green tea infusion) and the drink’s other ingredients, the orange flavor enhances the libation’s overall exotic strawberry flavor.
8 large strawberries; 5 hulled, 3 with greens intact
2 1/4 ounces fresh lime juice
2 1/4 ounces pineapple juice, preferably fresh
2 1/4 ounces simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces amber-colored rum, such as Smith & Cross
1 1/2 ounces orange liqueur (such as Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
1 1/2 ounces Green Tea–Infused Cachaça (recipe follows)
1 half-bottle (375 ml) prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine, chilled
Pineapple cup (optional; see below), for serving
Pineapple triangles, lime wheels and leaves, for garnish
1. Combine the 5 hulled strawberries with the lime juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup, rum, orange liqueur, and green tea–infused cachaça in a blender and puree.
2. Fill a pineapple cup, if using, or a large (14-ounce) tiki glass with crushed ice. Strain the puree into the glass through a fine-mesh sieve, and insert the bottle of sparkling wine upside down into the drink. (You can leave it in place or remove it once it’s emptied out—your choice.)
3. Garnish with the remaining strawberries and the pineapple triangles, lime wheels, and leaves.
Green tea–infused Cachaça
Add the green tea leaves to the bottle of cachaça and let infuse at room temperature, 20 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and into a jar.
The infused Cachaça will keep, covered at room temperature, for 2 years.
How to make your own pineapple cup
Lay a pineapple on its side and use a chef’s knife to slice off the top 1½ inches. (You can reserve some of the pineapple leaves to use as a cocktail garnish.)
Next, use a pineapple corer to remove the flesh from the shell. It will leave behind a center column of tough fruit; remove this inedible piece with the tip of your chef’s knife. Alternatively, run a chef’s knife between the shell and the flesh of the pineapple, leaving about ½ inch of flesh around the perimeter and making sure not to pierce the bottom of the fruit. Carefully slice the flesh into 4 quarters, then use a spoon to scoop them out.
Fill the pineapple with a cocktail and enjoy!