The Hamptons

The Montauk Yachtini

michael braverman :: on the hamptons

News From the Cocktail Front…

A few days ago, at about cocktail time all over the world, I sat down on the terrace of the Montauk Yacht Club for a kind of Alice in Wonderland experience with a cartoon sized martini glass. Had my friend Daniel not been across the table, already sipping through his straw, I might have decided that it was more prudent to dive over the bulkhead into Lake Montauk than to tackle a drink this size.

The mega-yachtini is Montauk’s trendy, over-the-top contribution to this summer’s crop of extravagant Hamptons baubles. And it is right up there in memorable contributions to the silly season on the East End, those glorious, golden days before we have to go back to serious business in September. A small step for a bartender, perhaps, but a great step for the sybaritic side of mankind.

Keith Battaglia, the manager of the Montauk Yacht Club, had wanted a signature cocktail. (My best definition of a signature cocktail is something that~Rs not easily co-opted by the competition and that gives you license to price it as high as a barrel of oil.) He very cleverly came up with the name, yachtini, and decided it should, like the yachts themselves, come in a mega size as well as regular.

Not having the vaguest idea of how to fill the oversized glass, Battaglia turned to the mixologist at Veuve Cliquot, who developed a cocktail with 10 Cane Rum, fresh lime and pineapple juice, orgeat syrup and Veuve Cliquot as the major ingredients.

It turns out that the mixologist is one smart and savvy girl. The drink is a good balance of fruit and alcohol, soft, tropical, and with its Champagne topping, sophisticated too. The only problem I found is that it is too easy to drink, much, much too easy. When Battaglia told me about a woman who drank two mega-yachtinis, I have to say I quite understood.

This is peak season at the Montauk Yacht Club and sitting there with a yachtini next to the sparkling water, looking at the splendid boats coming and going or just tied up at their slips, is a superb mid-summer treat. While most cocktails are priced at a reasonable $9 to $11, the yachtini is positioned as a budget buster at $25 for the regular size and $100 for the mega. Expensive, yes, but a fine way to remember the summer of 08.

Another local pleasure of the alcoholic kind is LiV vodka. Made in Baiting Hollow, near Riverhead, it is the first vodka to be distilled and bottled on Long Island. Because of a change in state laws, the producer, Long Island Spirits, is the only legal distillery to be established here since the nineteenth century. The vodka is distilled from potatoes using artisanal methods, and the result is terrific: smooth, clean and creamy. I tested it several ways; even straight up at both refrigerator temperature and room temperature it had clarity and a fine mouthfeel.

The name LiV, a play on Long Island vodka, rhymes with five, and it~Rs priced at $38 for 750 ml., and $44 for a full liter. Expect to see the tall, elegant bottle around at the parties, and watch for it as the official vodka of this year’s Hampton Classic Horse Show.

Michael Braverman is Editor at Large at Hamptons Magazine and Contributing Editor at Gotham Magazine. He has been the Wine Columnist at The East Hampton Star and he also writes for the polo newsletters, Open Season and Morning Line. We are thrilled to welcome him aboard as well! He can be reached at michael[at] or via our comments page.
Braverman is deeply involved in the East End community and serves on the boards of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the Thomas Moran Trust, the Robert Wilson Watermill Center, and the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. He has lived most of his life in East Hampton, and was a partner in Braverman Newbold Brennan Real Estate. That business was sold to Sotheby’s International Realty ten years ago, after which he became a journalist. lifeguard stand

August 7th, 2008 Posted by | wine & dine...our take | no comments