07/02/2012 06:17 pm ET | Updated Sep 01, 2012

Summer Cocktails and Tunes at Telepan

July 4th is right around the corner, which means the summer is in full force. This also means you have been inundated with everyone's favorite summer cocktails and music playlists. I didn't want to be left out, so I am sharing mine with you.

The food we serve at Telepan is seasonal, and we like to extend that idea to the bar. Our Beverage Director Sam Clifton has been working with me since 2001 when I was the chef at Judson Grill in midtown. Sam is a bartender at heart, and he knows a good cocktail. He creates bitters, ages Negroni and develops syrups that we use in many of our drinks at Telepan. He has also inspired our bartenders Phil Thornblade and Patrick Shepard to develop new cocktails.

Sometimes customers play a part, too. One of our favorite regular customers is Dave Rutkin. He lives across the street and stops by often for a drink or two. One cocktail he savors on these hot days is a gin and tonic, but he requests half tonic and half seltzer. I'm always looking for something that'll quench my thirst after a shift on a hot night, and Dave shared this tonic and seltzer idea with me one night. Now I will never go back to a regular G&T. I always ask for a "Dave" at the end of the night (you can, too).

We have been getting beautiful blueberries from our friends at Phillips Farm, who is at the Union Square Greenmarket twice a week. Sam decided he wanted to use them in a cocktail and thought they would be awesome in the "Dave." So he muddled a few of them with a lemon wedge and a pinch of sugar. Added gin and ice. Shook it et voila! The "Blueberry Dave" was born.

I'm including that recipe and another of my favorites, the watermelon margarita, for you to try this summer. And shake away to my summer playlist, further below.

Blueberry Dave

4 lemon wedges
8-10 blueberries
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½-2 ounce gin

Muddle (crush together) lemon, blueberry and sugar. Fill glass with ice. Add gin, shake and top with soda and tonic. Enjoy!

Watermelon Margarita

4 2-inch chunks of seedless watermelon
1½ ounces silver tequila
¾ounce triple sec
¾ ounce lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup

Muddle watermelon. Fill shaker with ice. Add tequila, triple sec, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously and strain into rocks glass with salted rim.

Summer 2012 Playlist

Here is the list, courtesy of my friends at Spotify.

What would you add? I would love to hear.