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Credit: Greg Davis; Food Styling: Josh Gandee
Recipe Review

Summer Travel Is Canceled, but These Vacation-Inspired Cocktails Are Not

updated Jun 30, 2020
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Your vacation had been planned for months, you had a new wardrobe you were ready to unveil the second you got off the plane, and you created a hashtag for all your posts. But the world had other plans for you: sheltering in place. Now the only trip you’re taking is to the kitchen calendar to put a giant red ‘X’ through the week labeled “vacation.”

I, too, understand the feeling of having your plans upended as try to dig your way out of the sourdough cavern you baked. At the beginning of the pandemic, one week after the bar I manage in Columbus, Ohio, was ordered to close and we had to lay off our whole team, my brother and his wife left Australia. With their support system continents away, and fearful of what might happen if they lost their restaurant jobs, they came to live with us. My wife and I quickly converted our home office into a makeshift apartment: The “quaranteam” of two was now four (and a couple of pets, of course).

I think frequently about all the time they gave up, how their year-and-a-half working honeymoon came to a screeching halt. Their arrival home wasn’t them sneaking into a family barbecue with a six-pack to surprise us. Instead, it was a frigid airport pick-up close to midnight as me, my wife, and our toy poodle pulled up to them shivering in the passenger lane surrounded by their luggage.

My brother and his wife cutting their trip short made me think of all the travel that many folks are missing out on. And while I can’t give great advice on how to maximize your travel points when rebooking flights, or how to subtly suggest an upgrade in services when signing up for a cruise line package, I can bring a little slice of those trips to your home. These cocktails, inspired by classic vacation getaways, take a little work in the kitchen and a touch of imagination, but if you play along and throw on an accompanying playlist, looking at that red ‘X’ won’t be so bad after all.

Credit: Greg Davis; Food Styling: Josh Gandee

Disney World: The Dizzy Whip

For those who take the family down to Florida to see their favorite TV characters, I’ve created the Dizzy Whip, inspired by the pineapple treat served in Aloha Isle. If you put on Moana (like you haven’t already) and fire up your blender, you can make this spoonable concoction for the whole family (without the gin, of course) or pour some extra gin and pineapple juice into a glass and use the whip as a garnish after an Epcot-inspired meal around the world.

Get the recipe: Dizzy Whip

Credit: Greg Davis; Food Styling: Josh Gandee

European Road Trip: The Honeymoon Spritz

For those missing out on a European vacation, this spritz recipe will have you feeling inspired to re-download that language app and make another loaf of focaccia. The Honeymoon Spritz will even teach you how to make syrup using a bottle of wine and makes for a great sipper while you sit on the deck or perfectly shape prosciutto into little roses next to Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Get the recipe: Honeymoon Spritz

Credit: Greg Davis; Food Styling: Josh Gandee

Cruise Voyage: The Sparkling Peach Sunrise

If the backdrop of your phone is you and your spouse petting a dolphin while wearing life preservers, my guess is that you’re missing out on a cruise line voyage on the high seas and could use a little reminder that you’ll make it back there soon enough. The Sparkling Peach Sunrise is inspired by the bottomless mimosa and bellinis in the dining hall to give your body the jolt it needs to walk out onto the deck ready to get a sunburn or to take a day trip island hopping.

Get the recipe: Sparkling Peach Sunrise

Credit: Greg Davis; Food Styling: Josh Gandee

Beach Vacation: The Guava Piña Colada

If you had to postpone your beach vacation, you’ll want to keep your blender on the counter as you mix up the tropical freshness of blanco tequila, guava, pineapple, and coconut. This Guava Piña Colada is sure to delight.

Get the recipe: Guava Piña Colada

Credit: Greg Davis; Food Styling: Josh Gandee

In the Air: The Biscoff Highball

When mixing these drinks inspired by our favorite getaways, we can’t forget about how we get there. This recipe is a nod to my favorite moment of plane travel: minibottles, ginger ale, and packs of cookies. Biscoff simple syrup is the new flavor blaster in your life you didn’t know you needed, shown off in the Biscoff Highball.

Get the recipe: Biscoff Highball

If you were able to rearrange your life, or put it on hold for a few months, rebooking some travel won’t be as bad as you think. Think about the memories (and loaves of bread) you were able to make at home, and bring that newfound appreciation for the outside world with you when you are able to go. I myself will be missing a few trips this year, but fear not — the world is out there waiting for us, and I can’t wait to go say hello.

Credit: Megan Rainwater
Josh Gandee

Joshua Thomas Gandee is the manager of Watershed Distillery in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about his experience as a sober bartender here.