It’s summertime and the living sure is easy, especially when your time is spent enjoying an Alaska vacation. While a trip to the 49th state is sure to be full of adventure, it’s important to also make sure you give yourself some time to kick back. One of our favorite ways to do this is with a deliciously crafted cocktail in hand, on a porch, preferably. Whether it’s Alaska–inspired, made with Alaska ingredients or created at your own hand while traveling, we can’t think of a better way to take a mini vacation from your vacation.
You might not see the northern lights when you’re visiting so close to summer solstice, but you can taste them at the Red Lantern at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel. This delectable beverage (pictured), named for the dancing lights across the Alaska winter sky, is a glowing mixture of coconut rum, peach schnapps, Blue Curacao and orange, pineapple and cranberry juices. We also love the Salty Sled Dog, made with Anchorage Distillery gin, fresh grapefruit juice and a splash of simple syrup.
If you’re in Alaska during the month of June, chances are you’ll notice lilac blooms in great abundance. They’re gorgeous, fragrant and yes, you can drink them in a cocktail. This recipe for lilac simple syrup can be used in a gin and tonic, a spin on a French 75, as a sweetener in a boozy iced tea or as a touch of color in spiked, fresh-squeezed lemonade. We also wouldn’t turn our noses up at drizzling it over a stack of fresh sourdough pancakes!
There are also plenty of ways to taste Alaska in cocktail form without breaking out the cooking utensils. Stop by popular Anchorage restaurant South and indulge in one of its famous Spanish-style gin and tonics. The Sitka Rose is made with spruce tips, rose petals, grapefruit, Alaska sea salt and 50 Fathoms Gin from Port Chilkoot Distillery in Haines, Alaska. At the Bear Tooth Grill, also in Anchorage, try the Spenard Rita made with Sauza Hornitos, lime and a little bit of Broken Tooth Brewing’s Chugach Session beer.
In Juneau, head to Hangar on the Wharf for the Blueberry Gin & Soda, also made with local 50 Fathoms Gin with blueberry-vanilla-mint shrub. Sounds tasty to us!