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The colorful cocktails of the North Fork

Brighten up your month with these vibrant libations

If the coldest months of the year have you crying out for a little bit more color where food and drink are concerned, you aren’t alone. Winter can feel like a color wheel wasteland, a palette of beige, brown, black, and white. Which is why we’ve scoured the North Fork for the most vibrant and inspiring cocktails that our local restaurants have to offer. Follow the rainbow to these happy hour favorites. 

In Greenport, head directly to First & South, where the cocktails are abundant — and colorful. The Yuzu Zuzu, a citrus-plentiful drink made with gin, yuzu, green tea syrup and a liqueur made from Bergamot oranges, is a beautiful shade of yellow-green, the ideal lively shade to breathe life back into anyone who is feverishly awaiting the arrival of spring. The Olvera Heist is a pale shade of blush, heavenly and delicate, even in the deadest of winter. Made with spicy silver tequila, lime, and a squeeze of grapefruit juice, this cocktail is a lovely pink cocktail for those in the mood for a different kind of rosé. 

Also in Greenport, the Frisky Oyster has plenty of color to offer up on its cocktail menu. Start with the Spring Fling, a drink that invokes the botanical bounty of the North Fork. The drink is made with Vida Mezcal, freshly juiced carrots, pineapple, ginger, and lime, and is served with a salted rim — an orange sunset in a glass. The lime-green Beaver Fever marries Casamigos Blanco tequila, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime, along with a salted rim. And the lemon-yellow Shineapple Express highlights pineapple-infused vodka (made in-house), Cointreau, lime juice, agave, and a ruby-red cayenne salt rim. 

At Lucharitos, which has outposts in three North Fork locations (Greenport, Mattituck, and Aquebogue), you can chase the winter gloom away with a tall and cold glass of the Lucha Punch: light rum, Malibu coconut rum, pineapple juice, dark rum, orange juice, and cranberry juice. The red drink is a cheerful reminder of warmer days, and one of the most colorful drinks around. An added bonus? The Lucha Punch comes in a 16-ounce glass, for a tall and frosty drink that can really go the distance. Equally delicious, however, is the restaurant’s signature Paloma, a sunrise-pink combination of tequila and grapefruit juice, along with a Taijin rim. This pretty-in-pink delight hits all the sweet, sour, and spicy spots on the tongue. And for those who prefer their drink to stand out without the alcohol: Jarritos, the vibrant Mexican soda, offers all of the color with none of the punch. 

Try the deep garnet cocktail at The Halyard, the Beet Goes On, named, naturally, for its signature ingredient, beets. The saturated color is one of the most arresting on the North Fork — or anywhere, for that matter. This exceptional cocktail is also made with caraway seed-infused vodka, orange, coconut, Aperol, and mace, and is a delightful sweet and savory spin on an aperitif. Its pale orange cousin, which tends far more toward summer in flavor, Pillow Talk, embraces stone fruit season at its peak. The drink is made with apricot eau de vie, London dry gin, apricot brandy, cream, lemon, egg whites, orange blossom water, and cardamom.