Bay boaters do not thrive on beer alone. The savvy ones keep an eclectic collection of unbreakable acrylic glasses of various shapes chilled on ice, awaiting that magical moment when the anchor is set, the nibblies are plated to pass around the cockpit, and it’s time at last for a refreshing Chesapeake-themed cocktail.
We recently joined the staff at the dockside bar at Pusser’s Caribbean Grille in Annapolis for a quick tutorial on crafting a fun selection of inspired—and inspirational—spirits.
Ginger Sea Dog
The Ginger Sea Dog is a hearty drink that came to life in the tropics, where rum is plentiful and so are sailors. This seagoing drink is similar to a Moscow mule—just swap out the vodka for Pusser’s Navy Rum. Here’s how to create Pusser’s version of a Dark and Stormy.
2 ounces Pusser’s Rum
6 ounces Ginger Beer
Place ice into a Pusser’s mug or mule mug. Add rum and ginger beer.
Squeeze lime wedge over top of drink and drop into the glass. Stir briefly. Add Angostura bitters and serve.
If Maryland summers were a drink, they would be an orange crush.
1/2 shot Triple Sec (omit for a skinny crush)
1 shot Smirnoff Orange Vodka (plus a half shot for a skinny crush)
fresh orange juice
Sprite (substitute soda water for a skinny crush)
orange slice garnish
Fill glass with ice. In a shaker, combine spirits and juice. Pour into glass and finish with soda. Garnish with orange slice.
Maryland’s official flower is also its favorite cocktail in May. The Kentucky Derby has mint juleps—the Preakness Stakes has the Black-Eyed Susan. The drink was first served at the 1973 Preakness by the Harry M. Stevens Co., the longtime caterers at Pimlico Race Course.
1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce peach schnapps
2 ounces orange juice
2 ounces sour mix
Orange slice, for garnish
Cherry, for garnish
Fill glass with ice. In a shaker, combine spirits, juice and sour mix. Shake and pour into glass. Garnish with orange slice and a cherry.
Chesapeake Bloody Mary
There are many origin stories for the bloody Mary, the combination of tomato juice, vodka and sometimes outlandish garnishes. Regardless of where and when it started, it remains a popular daytime drink—said to ease hangovers and popular among boaters and brunchers.
1 ounce Tito’s Vodka
George’s Bloody Mary Mix
Dip the rim of a glass in fresh lime juice. Coat with crab seasoning (we recommend J.O. Spice). Add ice and one shot Tito’s Vodka. Fill with George’s Bloody Mary Mix (available in Mild or Spicy). Garnish with a celery stick, lime, pepperoncini and an olive.
Kathy Knotts is a writer, editor and digital content editor at Chesapeake Bay Magazine. She is the former editor of CBM Bay Weekly and has spent over 20 years in media. A native of Louisiana, she loves good books, good food and good cocktails.