When in Cincinnati one must visit Rhinegeist. If you’re not familiar with the Nasty Nati, you may not know that at one point in time, Over the Rhine (OTR to us locals), was considered a bad part of town. It has since been renovated, updated, gentrified, rehabbed, what have you. At any rate, it is a very cool place to visit (a killer farmer’s market, great breakfast places, wicked cool boutique hotels, a thriving arts scene, good public transit. You get the picture.) In the heart of OTR is a craft brewer, Rhinegeist. They own an old factory building with a great hall containing not one, but two (count them—two!) bars. Plus, there is a rooftop bar that is well worth visiting if for no other reason than taking in the splendid vistas of the Queen City.
Now, as you may or may not have picked up on by now, I don’t drink beer. (It’s a sad story really. I loved beer in my twenties. When I discovered I had a rare esophageal allergy to my favorite beverage I was heartbroken. I subsequently discovered the wonders of hard cider and haven’t looked back.) Rhinegeist makes a few ciders. What they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. Each of their ciders is nothing short of completely fabulous. Each summer I look forward to the release of their seasonal Swizzle Cider—a ginger lemongrass concoction that just fucking works all summer long, from the first hot spring days to the time the leaves begin to turn. Swiz that shiz all day, baby.
At any rate, this is my Swizzle cocktail and what you need:
- A Tom Collins glass
- The Swizzle cider
- A sprig of fresh mint
- A slice of lemon
- Belle of Dayton vodka
Cut a slice of lemon (don’t juice or muddle it) and place it in the glass.
Throw that sprig of mint in the glass too.
Pour in that shot of vodka and weight it all down with a large ice cube.
Let it sit for a minute or two. Go do something. You want those flavors to mix.
Come back and top off that glass with the cider.
Don’t mix it too much—maybe just bob the ice cube with your finger.
Then, sit your ass down and enjoy that perfect summer beverage.