I love trying new drinks around the neighborhood, but with summer in full swing I’m increasingly likely to make a drink at home, put on a bathing suit, and camp out in front of my window unit. With thoughts of steamy summer days on the brain, we decided to compile easy and delicious summer cocktail recipes from bartenders around the neighborhood. I asked Rina Haverly, co-owner of Ridgewood’s The Bad Old Days, to kick off the project.
The Bad Old Days is owned by two badass women, Rina Haverly and Sonja Lutnicki. They met as bartenders at Rockwood Music Hall where they first began talking about opening a place of their own. The Bad Old Days is a neighborhood institution. I fell in love with the eclectic, throwback décor and cozy did-I-just-walk-into-Cheers vibe on my first visit, but the cherry on top is the unpretentious but always on-point mixology.
Their menu changes regularly, reflecting the sensibility of the season. This is not the type of place where the jiggers go unused—you can count on getting a drink made with the exact same proportions from any of their bartenders.
Just because the drinks are precise, doesn’t mean they are complicated. Their delightfully smoky chipotle paloma is the perfect make-at-home drink for all the tequila lovers out there. Waxing poetic about her love of the paloma, Haverly explained, “I think it’s a really fun summer drink, really easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser.”
Haverly added, “whether or not you have grapefruit soda or grapefruit juice and seltzer, you can adjust how sweet it is, how tart it is, how juicy it is. It’s really easy to make at home because the recipe can change based on the ingredients you can find.”
Here is the basic recipe:
½ ounce of lime (about half a small lime)
2 ounces chosen tequila
Fill a rocks glass with ice and add the ingredients
Top with Jarritos grapefruit soda (or fresh grapefruit juice and soda water)
The Bad Old Days make their chipotle paloma with Tanteo chipotle tequila (made from actual chipotles not flavoring). If you can’t find Chipotle Tanteo, you can really use any tequila any flavor, according to Haverly. Flavors like pineapple tequila are a fun alternative, but if you want to stick with the spice you can easily make your own infusions. Jalapeño tequila, which they make in-house at The Bad Old Days, is simple: take a couple of jalapeños, cut them in half and put them in a container of tequila for a couple of hours.
Have fun and riff on it!
The Bad Old Days
Cozy Ridgewood bar with ample seating and an ever-changing cocktail list.
1684 Woodbine St (Myrtle-Wyckoff L/M)
Mon-Sat: 2:00 pm – 3:00 am; Sun: 2:00pm – 2:00 am
All images by Miriam Mosher for Bushwick Daily.