Robert & Maria at Nightingale: Manzanilla and gin pair up in this dry, crisp refresher

Robert & Maria

It's a perfect 77 degrees, bright sun streaming through tall windows, and in front of you sits a gem-toned stunner of a cocktail with something dark lurking beneath the surface. In the presence of Nightingale's Robert & Maria, you don't need to think, just drink. Dry and crisp, with a thirst-quenching spot of sweet summer fruit, it's the only thing we want to be drinking all season long.

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The clever use of a bright, clean, botanical gin like Knickerbocker from New Holland and a Manzanilla sherry creates a beautifully dry and aromatic palette on which to splash a lovely strawberry shrub, also known as a "drinking vinegar," or a sweetened fruit-and-vinegar syrup perfect for punching up a cocktail with balanced flavor.

And what about that dark object swimming in the shallow depths of your Robert & Maria? An unexpectedly perfect black olive, ripe and with the pit intact (no sad, soggy pitted messes here). Aficionados of Spanish wine already know how well something briney and salty pairs with Manzanilla, but even those not yet initiated into the cult of sherry will appreciate the addition.

Summer is no time to over-analyze your imbibing. Nightingale's already done the work for you by mixing up all the best aspects of crisp, light, warm-weather drinking into one pretty pink-ish package. Just order up, and get down to the business of unwinding in style with Robert & Maria.

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