Hot days call for long drinks, but the category is tricky: The challenge is finding one that is thirst-quenching and complex. The best warm-weather cocktails have a balance between fruit, spice, and alcohol that both satisfies and stimulates, capping a summer afternoon and preparing the palate for the meal ahead. Clay Conley, chef-owner of Buccan in Palm Beach, is best known for big flavors and dramatic presentations, a style evident in Buccan’s bar program, too. One of his most popular cocktails at the moment is the Spicy Palms, which combines muddled kiwi and jalapeño with Patrón Silver and agave syrup, creating a blend of sweetness, spice, earthiness, and fruit. The drink’s green tint turns heads in the dining room and at the bar. “Customers are always asking about drinks with tequila, and they seem to want something spicy,” says Andrew Dugard, Buccan’s general manager. “It’s a delicious drink and it definitely has eye appeal, as well.” (561-833-3450)
Muddle the kiwi and jalapeño in a cocktail shaker. Add the tequila, lime juice, agave, and bitters. Shake with ice and pour into a Collins glass.