Cheers to Summer

It’s officially party season. Time to invite friends over, fire up the grill, and chill the rosé. We tapped the coolest.

Photos by Jamie CHUNG food styling by Maggie Ruggiero
5 min

The Pink Stuff

So much rosé, so little time. That’s why we asked the brains behind the summer’s biggest rosé events (it’s a thing) to tell us which wines they’re pouring, and then enlisted the hosts of the Bitch Sesh podcast and verified aficionados, Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider, to taste-test them in a pair of Riedel’s rosé glasses. (“They look like, as you would imagine, a cross between a red- and a white-wine glass,” Wilson explains.) Bottoms up!

The Event: A “Rosé Experience” at Charles Smith’s urban winery in Seattle; June 3

The Wine: CasaSmith ViNO Rosé

Danielle Schneider (above, right): Oh, I like that a lot! It tastes light and airy, which is what I enjoy.

Casey Wilson: It’s a little tart and sweet, to me—

DS: Like a Jolly Rancher.

CW: I could see this at a summer barbecue.

DS: Or a summer getting-up-in- the-morning. Very casual.

The Event: The RoséFest at Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga, California; June 24

The Wines: Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Rosé and Château M de Minuty Rosé

DS: The Sterling rosé is a bit fuller-bodied.

CW: This tastes more fruit-forward and spicy.

DS: Yeah, it has more of a kick. A little more tannin.

CW: Now, the Minuty I really like. Don’t mind if I Minuty!

DS: Feels summery. A little bit sweet, which I enjoy. It has flowery notes.

CW: And I’m all about judging a wine by its bottle…

DS: It looks like a pretty lady.

CW: The bottle looks like Nicole Kidman. Don’t bring it to the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre. But bring it to a dinner party.

The Event: Pinknic rosé picnic and music festival in New York City; June 24–25

The Wines: Pommery Pop Rosé Champagne, Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel, Chateau d’Esclans Rock Angel, and Chateau d’Esclans Garrus

CW: The Pommery Pop Rosé isn’t too cloying. Some pink champagnes are really too sweet; this is the right amount. I love it. You could go through four glasses of this and not even notice.

DS: And then get in a speedboat with a guy you don’t know. TheWhispering Angel is light and fruity, but it has a bit of a harsh aftertaste. Like a cute guy you hook up with but then wake up the next morning thinking, He has less hair than I remember.

CW: Next up: Rock Angel. Look, it’s hard to get past the name, but once you do, you will be too drunk to care. It’s bold and citrusy, but in all the right ways.

DS: I feel classy, elegant—like I deserve nice things—when I drink the Garrus rosé. It’s got some fruit. Do I detect some caramel? Wow, just decadent. Did I use the word decadent? Don’t think I’ve ever used that word before.

How To Throw a NonBasic Brunch

We turned to Joy Crump, chef-owner of go-to brunch spot Mercantile in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for her favorite easy brunch recipe. Cheers to the freakin’ weekend.


“No one wants to feel heavy in their cute brunch dress,” says Crump. “Instead of going for something protein-rich and very filling, try a grain salad (think: farro, wheat berry, barley), which I’m super into right now. Add creative veggies like purple carrots and dried fruit. Top with a simple vinaigrette. That’s it!”

Brunch Farro Salad

(serves 8)


  • 1 cup farro
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup your favorite shaved cheese (Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, etc.)
  • ¼ cup your favorite nut or seed (pumpkin seeds, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, etc.)
  • 2 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup your favorite dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, dates, etc.)


In a medium pot, bring farro, a dash of salt, and 3 cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. (Add more water if liquid evaporates before the farro is done.) Remove from pot and chill in the fridge (about 1 hour). In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt. Add farro, cheese, and nuts, and mix well. (You can make this a day ahead and store in the fridge.) Just before serving, toss in the arugula, herbs, and dried fruit.

Sugar High

Los Angeles–based vegan baker Clara Polito—pick up her recently released supercool cookbook, Clara Cakes (powerHouse Books)—reveals her summertime baking survival secrets for her way-easier take on a BBQ classic: pie.


Stick to fruit pies. Think stone fruits, like peaches, or berries, which don’t need a whole lot of labor to be delicious.


No matter what the recipe says: An oven typically needs only about 10 minutes to preheat.


Try a crumble topping. Arrange the fruit in a pretty, circular layout—and not in a cheesy lattice-pie style that looks like you’re trying too hard.


My recipe for strawberry blood orange bars is good for summer because you can easily transport them and it doesn’t require as much patience as a normal pie!

For Polito’s Strawberry Blood Orange Bars recipe, visit

Not Your Mama’s BBQ

Upgrade your barbecue bash without breaking a sweat. Julia Sullivan and Allie Poindexter, the duo behind popular Nashville restaurant Henrietta Red, share their pro tips for how to do it.



A cooler full of hard lemonades.


Insta-worthy cocktails.

“Freeze herbs in ice cubes, like mint for Mojitos or cilantro for Margaritas. They make cocktails look beautiful and taste great. And batch your cocktails ahead of time—so that you can enjoy the barbecue.”


Hot dogs and hamburgers.


A fired-up raw bar.

“Throw some oysters on the grill with compound butter. (To make, soften unsalted butter and whip in a standing mixer with a paddle. Add any flavor—we’re doing an anchovy butter with red chili flakes and raw garlic.)”


Fruit salad for dessert.


Adults-only sweets.

“Dessert wines are perfect if you just want a touch of something sweet. Or cut up a watermelon and soak it in vodka with simple syrup. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat and drink at the same time.”

Have a Cold One

Session beers—beers with lower alcohol content—are perfect for day drinking at the beach, a music festival, wherever. Cayla Marvil, cofounder of Lamplighter Brewing Co., a microbrewery and taproom in Cambridge, Massachusetts, gives us the scoop on which ones to sip.

Grimm Present Perfect (4% ABV)
What it tastes like: “A Berliner weisse that’s the ideal blend of fruity, oaky, and creamy.”
When you’ll drink it: “I’d drink this beer anywhere, anytime.”
Lost Nation Brewing Gose (4.5% ABV)
What it tastes like: “A traditional German-style sour beer brewed with salt and coriander.”
When you’ll drink it: “At the beach. The salinity in the beer complements the ocean, and the light body and tartness are refreshing on a hot day.”
Allagash Hoppy Table Beer (4.8% ABV)
What it tastes like: “A mildly hoppy ale with a clean finish.”
When you’ll drink it: “An outdoor dinner party with friends—it’s approachable, easy-drinking, and complementary with just about any food.”
Fiddlehead Hodad Porter (5.5% ABV)
What it tastes like: “A porter brewed with chocolate, toasted coconut, and vanilla bean.”
When you’ll drink it: “Great for sipping by a bonfire. Bonus: It pairs perfectly with s’mores.”
Lamplighter Sound & Vision (4.3% ABV)
What it tastes like: “A dry-hopped sour with satsuma citrus juice. It’s fruity and tart, but still has a solid malt body.”
When you’ll drink it: “Best enjoyed while floating in a pool.”

Ice, Ice, Baby

Find your chill with boozy frozen treats—slushies, ice pops, milk shakes, you name it—from some of our favorite female chefs and bartenders.


The Blue Brazil

By Daisy RyanoOf Perla’s in Austin, Texas


  • 1 oz. Novo Fogo Cachaça
  • 1 oz. Senior Blue Curaçao
  • 1½ oz. pineapple juice
  • 1½ oz. Coco Lopez
  • 1½ oz. coconut water
  • 1½ cups ice
  • Grated nutmeg and pineapple wedge for garnish


Add first 6 ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Garnish with a little bit of grated nutmeg and the pineapple wedge.

“The Blue Brazil is a play on the classic tropical drink, a Blue Hawaiian. We sub out basic island rum for Brazilian cachaça, which has a much grassier, funky flavor. And we add a little coconut water to freshen things up, as well as citrusy blue curaçao.”

Roman Holiday

By Julie Reiner of Clover Club in Brooklyn


  • ¾ oz. Campari
  • 2 oz. gin (try Nolet’s Dry Gin)
  • 2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1½ cups ice
  • 2 whole strawberries, tops cut off
  • Orange twist and extra strawberry for garnish


Blend first 6 ingredients until smooth. Pour into a tall glass; garnish with the orange twist and strawberry.

“Classic Gin Lemonade is the base for the Roman Holiday, but when you add the strawberries and bittersweet Campari, it truly becomes a grown-up slushie—perfect to sip on the entire summer long!”

For more frozen drinks and treats, visit

Your Party Packing List

Jacqueline Strum of the new wine and spirits registry startup, ThirstyNest, lists the essentials.

Two-Piece Chilling Carafe
Pour ice into the center chamber without compromising any of the good stuff. $54;
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Speaker
It’s drop-proof, waterproof—essentially party-proof. $100;
Underwood Sparkling Canned Wine and White Claw Hard Seltzer
Toss these in your tote and avoid party fouls (see: broken glass, spills, shame). Underwood (left), $28 for four-pack; White Claw, $9 for six-pack;
Aromaflage Fragrance
Keep bugs from ruining the mood. Bonus: Its scent of spicy cardamom and warm cedarwood will make that fresh outdoor air smell…fresher. $65;
Neon Outdoor Wine Glasses
Solo cups are for your college photos. These all-grown-up glasses (made with ultra-strong BPA-free plastic) are unbreakable. $42 for set of four;
High West Distillery The 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan Cocktail
Because it’s too hot out to shake. $64;

Tiki 101

A mini master class in the fun, sweet, tropical drink style you’ll be sipping all summer.


“If you’re looking for the strictest definition of a tiki drink, it’s a cocktail that was made up in a tiki bar,” says Sierra Kirk (left), a bartender at Hale Pele in Portland, Oregon. “But some people think if you put a little umbrella in a tropical drink that it becomes a tiki drink. Not so. True tiki is all about escape—it’s a real immersive experience. The drinks are supposed to be able to transport you to the point that you feel like you’re right there on the beach in Maui.” That’s why you’ll find places like Hale Pele planning out every minuscule facet of their tiki bars, right down to the perfect oceanic Martin Denny soundtrack. The majority of tiki drinks find their island-influenced roots in rum. Not your thing? Wrong: Tiki can convert even the biggest rum skeptics into believers. “If you like whiskeys, try a rum Old-Fashioned,” Kirk advises. “If you’re into something like a vodka and cranberry juice, I’d suggest the Lapu Lapu.” Tiki’s reputation for flamboyant presentation and over-the-top garnishes doesn’t hurt, either. Who can resist, as Kirk says, “drinks coming out in pineapples and on fire”?

For Kirk’s Lapu Lapu cocktail recipe, visit

Let’s Just Go Out

Because sometimes the weather’s too hot to stay in. That’s why we asked chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of buzzy L.A. restaurant Kismet for some of their must-visit places to grab a bite when they hit the cross-country roads.



Austin, Texas



“The whole vibe is super-warm. Think of it as a casual neighborhood place that does a better job than it has to.”


Luling, Texas


“Watermelon Thump”

“They call themselves the watermelon capital of Texas. They have something called the Watermelon Thump in June [22–25], where there’s a seed-spitting contest and watermelon-growing competition. Also: lots of good BBQ.”




Viceroy of India

“I am from Chicago, where there are a million lunch buffets, and I always go to this place. Walk it off in the lively neighborhood after.”


Las Vegas


Lotus of Siam

“This is a great place off the Strip—it isn’t classic Vegas at all. Pro tip: The crispy rice salad is really good.”


Alamogordo, New Mexico



“There is a gigantic pistachio statue—plus pistachios, gourmet foods, and candy for sale—photo op!”