Pittsburgh may be a city of bridges, but there’s more than rivers flowing nearby. Whether from bottles, taps or cans, Steel City residents are enjoying bountiful beverages all summer long. Reflecting the diverse tastes of local patrons, a mix of drinks are touted by Pittsburghers to ease the summer heat.
“If I’m out at a bar on a Saturday night, I’ll get wine,” said Becca Sufrin, 25, who, unlike some of her peers, is less interested in curiously concocted cocktails from neighborhood haunts. Though she drinks both white and red, she said, “it depends on the occasion. Red in a smaller, more intimate gathering.” White if she’s in a larger group.
Ronna Peacock Pratt, 28, has noticed that wine is quite popular in the summer months. “The young kids are drinking all of the rosés,” noted the Highland Park resident.
Indeed, rosé has made quite the resurgence, both locally and nationally, as is evident from events like “The Longest Day of Rosé,” which marked the summer solstice with happy-hour-style all-day prices at several local bars and restaurants.
Andrew Darling, 28, of Pittsburgh, is less picky: He’ll drink “whiskey, beer and anything except vodka,” and Rachelle Brick, 25, of Pittsburgh, enjoys “vodka soda with lime” as a refreshing summer option. Brick also likes the variety she finds in hard seltzer.
“It’s amazing. There are so many flavors,” she said, noting that even though it has fewer calories than beer, “it has the same alcohol content as beer, so you can still feel like a bro.”
Speaking of beer, summertime typically brings out special formulations.
“In the summer, I am always looking for something a little more refreshing,” said Kenny Gould, 26, co-founder and editor-in-chief of HopCulture, an online craft beer magazine.
The “sage of stouts” (as the Chronicle once called Gould) recommends Gose, a top-fermented beer with a “slightly tart style” for this time of year. With its inherent saltiness, Gose is good for “your electrolytes, which is great in the summer,” he said.
For those seeking to explore Gose, Gould recommended two domestic options: SeaQuench Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Briney Melon Gose by Anderson Valley Brewing Company.
“Both are readily available,” said Gould.
For those who prefer cocktails, Adam Poznanski, 36, of Squirrel Hill recommends a strawberry mango melon margarita to chill the summer scorch. Of all the potent potations that the schooled mixologist has manufactured, this one is his “latest favorite.”
Darling also recommends ingredients that are easily found in the produce aisle to go with gin and tonic: cucumber and lime. The cucumber makes it “refreshing” and “not heavy,” he explained.
Whether you choose wine, hard seltzer, beer or a cocktail, “it’s all good,” said Pratt. “If there’s an alcohol content, we aren’t going to say no.”
Adam Poznanski’s recipe for strawberry mango melon margarita
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup frozen mango
Mango nectar (available at Costco)
1 part tequila
1 part Triple Sec
1 part melon liqueur
4 cubes of ice
In a blender, mix strawberries, mango and ice cubes with a splash of mango nectar, then add tequila, Triple Sec and melon liqueur. Add more mango nectar as needed to reach desired consistency. Serve in margarita glass garnished with a fresh strawberry on the rim of the glass. Makes 2 servings. pjc
Adam Reinherz can be reached at email@example.com.