Excerpts from the article in Newsweek by Julia Reed are below and you can read the full article here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/201745
"The most memorable summer was marked by the introduction of the Yucca Flats—not the nuke site, but a passion-inducing concoction mixed in metal trash cans with floating handfuls of squeezed citrus, and I've always wondered what else, exactly, was in there.
The good (and scary) thing about the Internet is that you can locate not just the answers to such questions, but also a lot of people who appear to have lived your same life—when I Googled "Yucca Flats," a great many cocktail blogs appeared....There was some disagreement about the recipe—versions included vodka, gin, rum, tequila or some combination thereof. But the consensus seems to be that a Yucca Flats is a whole lot of gin mixed with equal parts lemon juice and sugar, shaken or stirred with ice until really cold, and topped with maraschino cherries and halves of lemons, limes and oranges.
It's also time to switch cocktails: warm-weather months have traditionally meant a change from brown liquor to white, from heavy cocktails to those that are lighter and more refreshing—though equally potent.
So now there's also a seasonal shift from the stronger and more savory end of that spectrum to the lighter, fruitier end, which also includes the herbs abounding in the garden. You might switch from a properly muddled old-fashioned to, say, a lemon-thyme margarita.
Even for traditionalists, the garden's the limit. In The Gentleman's Companion exotic-drink book (1946), Charles H. Baker Jr. offers a recipe for a julep made with bourbon, pineapple and mint and another with dark rum, mint and ripe peaches. A Pimm's cup requires cucumber, and bloodies can be made with the juice of heirloom tomatoes. In Mix Shake Stir, a new book from Danny Meyer, there are mojitos flavored with watermelon, strawberries and rose petals and simple syrups flavored with thyme, lavender and basil."
This is my version of Yucca Flats:
QTY (1) 750ml bottle of Gin ( I bought Bombay)
1 cup/ 8 oz lemon juice
1 jar of maraschino cherries (juice and all)
1 cup/ 8 oz sugar
Pour into empty gallon jug (ex: milk) and shake vigorously until thoroughly mixed.
Fill tall glass ( ex: pint glass) with ice. Pour 1.5 shots (or 2, whatever you're in the mood for) of the mixture into the glass.
Using a key lime juicer:Squeeze 1 key lime and one whole strawberry. The strawberry will be squishy so just scrape the berry off the lime squeezer and put in the glass. Top off with club soda.
Using a shaker sealed to the top of the pint glass, shake vigorously until drink is well mixed and ice cold.
So. So. Good. It's like a strawberry, cherry, lemon-limeade. Very refreshing and with a often needed post-work cocktail kick. Perfect for the beach, deck, hammock, patio, stoop, etc.