The dog days of summer are here, and there’s no better way to cool down from the heat than with a light, refreshing libation. Always on the lookout for the perfect seasonal drink, we caught up with Jackie Patterson, talented mixologist and brand ambassador for Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, for a behind-the-scenes look at the world of mixology and her recipe for a flavorful, citrus-inspired cocktail that’s both shaken and stirred.
What spurred your career in mixology?
My love of food, wine, history and art combined is what created my love of craft cocktail making and truly provides the perfect medium through which I can express myself creatively. The recognition I garnered from entering cocktail competitions after earning my BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute laid the framework for my future success in mixology.
Tell us something we wouldn’t expect about the day-to-day life of a mixologist.
The life of a mixologist is very romanticized. Don’t get me wrong—we have rock star moments, but more often than not, we’re getting our hands dirty. If we are truly great at what we do, we clean up more than anything else.
What is the first cocktail you loved?
The first cocktail that made an impression on me was a new drink created by Carlos Yturria that won a competition at Rye in San Francisco. It was called the Green Flash and consisted of muddled cucumber and kiwi with gin, fresh lime juice and simple syrup.
Your go-to drink?
I am in love with the Solerno & Sparkling, a simple, aperitivo-style cocktail that is delicious and refreshing. It consists of 1 part Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur to 5 parts of Prosecco over ice with an orange slice.
What are your favorite bars?
I have a soft spot for divey, old-school joints like the 500 Club and High Tide in San Francisco, or the Til-2 Club in San Diego. I also appreciate a great restaurant or hotel bar where formal service still reigns and cocktails are top-notch, expensive and pair with beautifully executed food like Keen’s Chophouse and the NoMad in New York or Bar Agricole in San Francisco. Lofty craft cocktail dens can also be enchanting, like Dutch Kills in Long Island City, PDT and Pegu Club in New York, and The Everleigh in Melbourne. I also love places that have delicious drinks and a relaxed atmosphere like Prizefighter in Emeryville, CA, Basik in Brooklyn, Employees Only in New York, the Baxter Inn in Sydney and Black Pearl in Melbourne.
What are you doing this weekend?
I’m living the Northern California life this weekend! I’m headed up to Santa Rosa with my fiancé Felix to stay with friends at their beautiful old country home.
What is the recipe for your favorite summer cocktail?
I created this especially for San Francisco gourmet food market Bi-Rite at their new location on Divisadero Street. I was inspired by fresh, ripe organic California strawberries and the classic garden party staple, the Pimm’s Cup.
Copa di Sangue
1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
1 oz. Fresh Meyer lemon juice
3 small, ripe organic strawberries
2 oz. Fever Tree Bitter Lemon Soda
Muddle the strawberries in a pint glass, add Solerno, Pimm’s and Meyer lemon juice. Shake ingredients with ice and fine strain over fresh ice in a tall glass. Top with the soda and stir to combine. Garnish with slices of fresh strawberry, a cucumber spear and a sprig of mint plucked from your garden!