If the 600-bottle wine list doesn’t wet your whistle, this sunshine-influenced cocktail will. Handcrafted by Andy Merklin, lead bartender at downtown Portland’s RingSide Fish House, the Fairway cocktails fairs as a top trender at the fish-savvy fine dining establishment.

“This is a contemporary cooler that is perfect whether you are on the golf course or relaxing in your own backyard,” Merklin says of his creation, named for its vibrant green color and pays tribute to sister restaurant RingSide Grill, found next to the Glendoveer Golf & Tennis club.

In building the bill for this bouncy sipper, Merklin says he started with local Aviation Gin. “It is a very balanced gin and, because of that, it doesn’t overpower other flavors that you’re trying to mix with it,” he explains.

As for the rest of the ingredients, he was focused on the balance of the overall cocktail. “Cucumber is very light but distinctive,” Merklin says. “This makes it really refreshing but not too rich or bold in flavor, which balances well with gin. Adding the orange bitters and the spicy tincture just gives this drink more legs and composition… Let the summer begin.”

Fairway
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Aviation Gin
1 ounce cucumber juice (sweetened with simple syrup, 3:1)
3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
2 drops Thai Chili Tincture*

Combine all ingredients into shaker and add ice. Shake, strain and serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a long curled peel of cucumber.

*For the Thai Chili Tincture, soak 6-10 Thai chiles — depending on heat desired — in a 12-ounce jar filled to the brim with white rum. Marinate for 30 days to get to its peak heat. Strain and keep in a small container.