Miss July is Waiting for You at Grand Tavern

The centerfold of cocktails wins first, second, and third place.



It will take you three beautiful evenings, or one very inebriated night, to completely understand the Miss July, an intriguing cocktail served on summer nights at Oakland’s Grand Tavern. That’s because this bronze-colored beverage is prepared in a trio of styles: You can order it with tequila for a kick, with gin for a refreshing bite, or with whiskey for that oh-so-lovable burn. In each of its forms, this creation from owner Temoor Noor, who runs the bar program, is hard to let go of. When you settle in at this converted Victorian home that boasts crystal chandeliers and a dark wood fireplace, you’ll want to consider the options in store for your palate. If you are a let’s-try-it-and-see-what-happens person, order the tequila option and just enjoy the results. If you prefer a spoonful of citrus and sugar, order the gin variety and expect a bright, crisp cocktail that your hand will reluctantly ungrasp. Of if you’re in the mood to erase the workday and cozy up under the stars, opt for the rye whiskey version, which offers a little fire along with the cucumber slices and Lillet to build out the flavor combination. When asked, Noor said of this unique drink, “Miss July leads with a slight tartness that shifts into a spirit-driven sweetness. The addition of Velvet Falernum and Maraschino liqueur develop depth but also a high-alcohol content, so Miss July is best for sipping slowly.”He also noted that you will remember his name (first name Temoor, that is) because any time you stop in, you’ll want to order “not one, but two more.” This is accurate, but you might want to make it three.


Miss July

Recipe by Temoor Noor, Grand Tavern.

2 ounces of gin, rye whiskey, or tequila

6 slices of thin-wheel cucumber

0.5 ounces Lillet Blanc

0.5 ounces of Velvet Falernum

0.5 ounces of Maraschino liqueur

0.5 ounces of fresh lemon juice (strained, no pulp)

Bar spoon of crème de cassis (0.25 ounces max)

Maraschino cherry


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake hard. Then double-strain and pour into a rocks glass with fresh ice cubes. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.