Josh's Last Call. God bless you, Josh.

Josh's Last Call. God bless you, Josh. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun / July 4, 2012)

It has come to this, an almost dreaded time of year for we imbibers: having to base our beverage choices around the temperature outside.

Is it really "weather appropriate" to drink an Old Fashioned when it's 103 degrees? Shall I enjoy a frothy Guinness next to the pool in a swimsuit? Call me crazy, but I say no. Still, if you don't want to take my word for it, I've got professional backup: Brendan Finnerty and Randal Etheridge, co-owners of Idle Hour in Federal Hill. Their drink — Josh's Last Call — is the answer to your overheated woes.

The tale of Josh's Last Call — named after the owners' friend and longtime patron — started six months ago when the weather turned unseasonably warm. "We [including this fellow Josh] needed something to replace the heavier winter drinks we'd been serving. Something light that appealed to everyone," explains Finnerty. Essentially, the Idle Hour team was feeling like I often do — you want a summer drink to be cool and refreshing but why do they all seem so downright girly? By appearance, Josh's Last Call — a rather simple combination of Green Mountain Organic vodka, grapefruit juice, and St. Germain — seems that way. But with only three ingredients, the drink is deceptively strong, extremely approachable and incredibly smooth.

The tartness of grapefruit and vodka rounded out with the sweetness of elderflower liqueur; Finnerty describes Josh's Last Call as a glorified Greyhound (a Prohibition-era favorite). I'd describe it as drinking spiked fruit juice.

In a season when hydration is essential, this drink is a thirst-quenching, trouble-making pleaser. Whether you order it first, second or last call.

How to Make Josh's Last Call

2 parts Green Mountain Organic vodka

2 parts grapefruit juice

A healthy splash of St. Germain

Add all ingredients to a rocks glass over ice; stir and serve.

Where to Get Josh's Last Call

Idle Hour

201 E. Fort Ave, Federal Hill

410-468-0357

$6