Cincinnati, DIY, Food

Recipe: Japp’s “Summer Breeze”

DSC_0281Sometimes, a good drink is just what I need to unwind after a long day. And if it involves grapefruit, mint, vanilla, vodka and a splash of soda for some added fizz, then put it in my hand. STAT.

Japp’s, a popular bar in Cincinnati, is situated on Main Street. One of the bartenders told me that it used to be a wig shop. Pretty cool, right? It’s hands-down my favorite, and for good reason.

The bar is known for its handcrafted cocktails that take mixology to an art form new level. I’m talking fire in your glass, frothy egg-whites and drinks garnished with twists. Sitting at the bar is truly an experience. And the drink you’ll receive is a million times better than that poorly-made vodka tonic you’re used to sipping on with your friends at that one night club you told yourself you wouldn’t go to anymore. You know the one.DSC_0268Molly Wellmann, renowned bartender and co-owner of Japp’s and other bars around town, came out with her own recipe book, “Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist’s Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon & Night.” Let’s just say I snatched it up right away. It made the perfect gift for my boyfriend, who frequently pulls it out at parties and get-togethers. He made a drink one night called the “Summer Breeze.” The combination of tart grapefruit and earthy vanilla is like summer in a high ball glass.

DSC_0276Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 ounce vanilla simple syrup
  • 6 mint leaves
  • Soda to top

For syrup:

  • 2 vanilla beans, split
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

How-to make syrup: Toss water, sugar and vanilla beans in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and bring to room temperature. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

How-to make drink: Put all ingredients except the soda in a mixing glass. Shake and strain into a highball glass (or in my case, a mason jar) filled with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.


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