The 411: My Favorite Summer Drinks

Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to talk about one of my favorite subjects: cocktails. At Strayland, I keep the bar stocked with just about every kind of liquor imaginable—everything from champagne to Chivas—but my all-time favorite drink is tequila. I love tequila and I consider myself a pro at serving, mixing, and drinking it (safely and responsibly, of course) because nothing is more satisfying after a long week of work than watching the sun go down from my back patio with a super-chilled tequila in my hand. It’s paradise!!!!

Behind the Strayland bar, I keep every type of tequila I love, which is a lot—at last count, I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 different kinds. I love George Clooney’s and Rande Gerber’s Casamigos and the small-batch producer Casa Dragones, along with Don Julio 1942. Don Julio 70 is spectacular and sometimes is hard to get, but really worth the search. I also have a bunch of pretty bottles I’ll probably never open, but they look really nice lined up on the glass shelves. The key to finding a great tequila without a sharp aftertaste is to look for aged tequilas made with 100% agave, so you know it’s not loaded with sugar … and won’t leave you with a crazy headache the next morning. In the warmer months, I like to keep things simple with a Don Julio 1942 on the rocks and a wedge of lime, or a nice, cold, classic margarita. And because just about everything tastes good alongside tequila, you don’t need to limit yourself to pairing it with grilled or traditional Mexican foods—the sky’s the limit when tequila is part of the equation. And then, my best bit of advice: just sit back and enjoy it.