Parlour Puts Melon with Mezcal

The Longest Day cocktail hints of summer vacation, beaches, and relaxation.


The Longest Day cocktail hints of summer vacation, beaches, and relaxation

Photo by Lori Eanes

Is there anything better than vacation? Just picture it: You’re beachside on a soft towel and the sun is gleaming in the sky. At arm’s reach is a great book and an inch away is your favorite person in the world. The only thing that could make the best day a few notches better is a refreshing cocktail.

So this June you are invited to bask in the warmth of the summer season and savor every moment of The Longest Day, an original drink from Downtown Oakland’s Parlour restaurant. Built around the thirst-quenching flavors of watermelon, this creation from owner Travis Dutton is fruit-forward, subtly sweet, and all things delicious. At first sip, it may whisk you away to a beach where palm trees sway, waves lap, and sand slips through your fingers.

Dutton had lingering, lazy dreams of vacation in mind when he blended the sumptuous ingredients of melon, mezcal, and aperol. “Watermelon always reminds me of summer,” he said. “Like a tailgate party at an A’s game.” Relaxation is central to The Longest Day, because it’s not only reminiscent of jovial social soirees but also late mornings in bed that don’t end until happy hour begins.

Maybe that’s because of its simplicity. There’s nothing complicated about a perfectly composed combination of smoke and sugar. Dutton opts for a housemade honey syrup instead of risking an artificial taste with a cane-based sweetener. This ensures the drink steers clear of any Jolly Rancher likeness and maintains a clean, authentic, juice-filled flavor. He also mixes in Aperol, an addition he quite accurately described as “Campari’s softer cousin.” The final product is a paradise for the palette—a vacation of sorts. “It really balances out,” Dutton said. “If someone usually isn’t into mezcal, this might be a very good gateway.”

The Longest Day is no doubt a delectable introduction to agave’s distinctive flavor. It’s also an incredible detour from the daily grind that will leave you confident you’re due for some time off.


The Longest Day

1.5 ounce Pelotón de la Muerte Mezcal
.5 ounce Aperol

.5 ounce lemon juice
.5 ounce 1-1 honey syrup
1 ounce watermelon juice
Mint, for garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin, shake, then strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Parlour, 357 19th St., Oakland, 510-451-1357,