Nothing says summer relaxation like a refreshing cocktail on a sandy beach. It’s the feeling of an ocean breeze and the bright sun on your face. It’s the smell of coconut oil and saltwater. No matter what time of year, certain cocktails like tinto de verano stir those memories. So why limit yourself to these concoctions during the summer months?
Consider these choices for summer cocktails the next time you are longing for the beach, pool or waterfront cabana.
If some of your favorite summer memories involve Central American resorts with a bottomless Moscow mule drink, here’s a recipe for you. First, you need a copper mug. It’s a perfect companion to this drink because it helps keep it cool. It’s also a trademark look for the vodka-based cocktail. As a drink created to help market vodka, this is the perfect way to showcase your favorite spirit with the light, refreshing mix of ginger beer and other seasonal flavors. Combine two ounces of vodka with a half-ounce of lime juice and four ounces of ginger beer. To give the drink more depth, add a dash of bitters. Pour into the copper mug and garnish with lime and a mint leaf.
New York Sour
You typically don’t think of whiskey as a refreshing drink, more of a winter option that helps warm in the winter with a gentle sip. But there is a recipe that brings out the summer side of whiskey. While marked by sour notes and a tinge of sweetness, the New York Sour uses a splash of red wine for taste. Combine two ounces of rye whiskey with three-fourths of an ounce of lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker tin. Vigorously shake for about 10 seconds and strain over ice in a glass. Top the drink slowly with about half an ounce of light red wine.
If you miss the festive culture of Mexico, here’s a drink that can trigger all those Cancun memories. The Paloma is a staple of Mexican resorts on both coasts. It’s a mixture of two ounces of white tequila, half an ounce of lime juice, and four ounces of grapefruit soda. No mixing really required, it’s that simple. You can spruce up this recipe a bit by adding fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup and soda water. That craft cocktail version requires a mixture to taste to replace the soda, which is typically sweeter. You can garnish with lime.
Most people know the Mai Tai drink from the heavy-handed bartenders who made it the cocktail of choice for college students. But there is an art to the perfect Mai Tai that goes beyond the basic fruit juice version spiked with alcohol. In fact, to do it correctly, the perfect Mai Tai isn’t really made with fruit punch at all. Try two ounces of aged rum, one ounce of lime juice, half an ounce of orange curacao or Grand Marnier, and half an ounce of orgeat. Combine it all with crushed ice in a tin shaker. Shake for about five seconds and pour in a tall glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint. It’s no wonder this drink is popular in the harsh sun of Caribbean beaches. Of course, if you prefer, you could always use a fruit punch to add to this drink, but then you’re just falling back into the old, lazy habits of those college years.
Of course, no summer drink list of recipes is complete without the margarita. This is not a simple recipe that uses a pre-made mix that is bitter. Instead, try two ounces of tequila, an ounce of lime juice, half an ounce of Cointreau, and half an ounce of agave syrup. Add the ingredients into a shaker and stir. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass over ice. Drink. Repeat.