Charleston, South Carolina-based Made in the South Awards judge Brooks Reitz is a busy guy. In addition to opening Leon’s, his new fried chicken and oyster house, he’s got a coffee shop in the works, and he’s a partner in the just-launched Khi Khi Milk Co., a globally inspired beverage company. Despite the harried schedule, though, Reitz continues to appreciate things done the old-fashioned way—slow and by hand. As the founder of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., he’s helping to revive forgotten staples of the American bar one bottle of artisanal grenadine, tonic, and aromatic bitters at a time. To celebrate beach season, we asked Reitz to come up with a couple of refreshing summertime cocktails.
Try mixing up a batch of either of these drinks for your Fourth of July celebrations this weekend. And if you’re heading to the beach, they taste just as good in a solo cup.
White Port & Tonic
“When the mercury spikes, I like to enjoy something a little lower octane than gin, and white port is often just what I need. It’s lower in alcohol, so I can enjoy a couple, and its dry, nutty character plays so well with Jack Rudy Tonic.”
“This is a great beach drink, and it’s easy to make for parties. Some folks like to add a little lemonade, as well. For us, beer and grenadine is as simple as it comes.”