DIY Summer Cocktails with Sacramento’s Baron Stelling

It takes a proper combination of skill, a measure of good taste, and a generous portion of authentic love of the art to make the perfect cocktail. A good cocktail enthusiast can become great only with dedication to these principles. A great crafter of cocktails knows that different occasions call for different drinks, but the ultimate mark of greatness in the cocktail craft, aside from the execution, is the knowledge that taste is tempered to the individual palate. Sacramento’s own Baron Stelling, being such a craftsman has lent his talents and insights to us.

After winning the National Restaurant Association’s 2016 Star of the Bar contest in Chicago with his now famous Stag Savior cocktail, Baron continues to ply his trade at Paragary’s and the Shady Lady Saloon in Midtown. Baron is taking his talents from the bar to your home, having provided us with four of his favorite summer cocktails that the adventurous do-it-yourself cocktail enthusiast can apply in their own home along with the history and lore behind each carefully selected libation. Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-062- 1. The Paloma

While the Paloma remains the most popular tequila cocktail in Mexico, its origins seem to be lost to history. Countless theories about its genesis abound, but like so many topics surrounding libations, there isn’t much evidence to support them. History aside, this refreshing combination of tequila, lime, and grapefruit soda is a surefire way to give your Margarita a run for its money.


  • 1.5 oz 100% Agave Tequila
  • 5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • Grapefruit Soda (Squirt works well, but I highly recommend Jarritos Grapefruit if you can get your hands on it.)

Garnish: Lime Wedge

Directions: Fill a highball glass with ice, add the Tequila and Lime Juice, and top with Grapefruit Soda.Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-007- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-010- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-015-

2. The Daiquiri

The story goes that an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox happened to be near the Cuban town of Daiquiri during the Spanish-American War. Hot, tropical weather combined with being far from home and in a war-torn country was enough to drive him to drink; thus the Daiquiri was born. Is the story true? Doubtful. Rum, lime, and sugar are all very ubiquitous in the islands and people have been combining them for centuries. Still, as far as cocktail history goes, it’s more believable than most.


  • 2 oz Rum
  • 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup*

Garnish: Lime Slice

Directions: Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously for around 10 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass.

*You can make simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water. E.g. One cup sugar and one cup waterNicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-025- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-027- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-030-

3. The Bro Code

At Paragary’s, our bar staff creates a rotating cocktail menu that showcases a specific style of mixed drink every month. We feature a few classic drinks that define the category, and then each bartender comes up with an original cocktail that fits within the parameters of the “drink family.” This past April we featured Bucks and Mules, a category defined by a spirit, ginger, and oftentimes citrus. For the menu, I made the Bro Code in honor of Drew Garrison, our local Diageo Brand Ambassador, and my number one “Bro.”


  • 1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • 5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 5 oz Ginger Syrup*
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Root Beer

Garnish: Lemon Slices

Directions: In an ice-filled Highball glass, add the Ketel One Vodka, Lemon Juice, Ginger Syrup, and Angostura Bitters and top with Root Beer.Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-033- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-035- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-036- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-045-

4. Ryepirinha

For many people, starting to make cocktails can seem a little intimidating, so I wanted to come up with a drink that used minimal equipment and technique, but would still result in a delicious beverage. This is a variation of a Caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil which uses Cachaca, limes, and sugar, where I substitute in rye whiskey and lemons. Be careful when you muddle the lemon, you want to press them to release their juice and oils, not pulverize them into a pulpy mess.


  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • Half a lemon, cut into quarters
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar (feel free to adjust based on your palate)

Directions:  Muddle the lemon pieces and sugar in a double old-fashioned glass. Add the rye whiskey. Fill with ice and stir.Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-046- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-049- Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-053-And that’s it! We wish you luck in all your home bartending adventures and trust that this carefully curated selection will be the perfect accouterment to your home parties, your siestas, or the end of a hot summer day. May these cocktails make your midsummer nights so much the sweeter.Nicole Wallace - 2016-7-25.Paragarys-Summer-Cocktails.-066-

Photos | Nicole Wallace