Summer evenings in Red Hook you can wander down to the pier and find your friends there waiting for the sunset. Some have just stepped off the bus home from Manhattan, and come in their stuffy, sweaty work clothes. Others—freelancers and families—bring picnic blankets and bottles of rosé. Herds of children run wild, supervised communally by sideways glances.
Some nights I perch on the corner of a friend's blanket, drinking their beer. But when I'm better prepared I batch a cocktail in a big jar and bring a few tin cups and a zip-top bag of ice cubes. When I was a fancy cocktail bartender, I would have cringed at this rudimentary way to batch a cocktail—its all wrong, but somehow it turns out right. And when you're rushing to get the the park in time to see the sun go down behind the statue of liberty, lighting up the whole east river popsicle pink and neon tangerine, you've got more important things to worry about than perfect dilution.
A quart mason jar is perfect for this, because you can use the lines on the jar to measure. Squeeze 4 or 5 limes into the jar so the juice is just a hair past the 100mL line. Next, pour Maraschino (a bitter-sweet liquor made from the stems and pits of Marasca cherries, not to be confused with the artificially colored sundae topping) up to the 200mL line. Then, add mezcal/tequila poor mi amante up to the 500mL line (Regular mezcal or tequila would be fine, though it won't match the color of the sunset), and 4 generous pinches of salt. If you have some mint or berries, stuff some in the jar too. Fill the jar the rest of the way to the top with ice, seal it, and shake it hard until it feels cool.
Put the jarred cocktail in your tote-bag along with some cups and a zip-top bag of ice cubes, and trot down to the park. By the time you get there, 10 minutes later, the cocktail is cold and diluted from shaking around in your bag. It's too much to drink alone, so share it with 3 or 4 friends.
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