5 Easy, Breezy Summer Cocktails
This is by far the most difficult post that I have worked on for the Blog and not just because I am a little tipsy after testing a couple of cocktails recipes. In fact, the hardest aspect of this piece was choosing just one cocktail to encapsulate the summer season! It's the time of the year when we dine outdoors, drink with friends at picnics on the Point, and enjoy our well-deserved break–so what's the perfect beverage to accompany these serene summer days?
In the spirit of making my life easier, I have made a collection of five recipes that you can pick your favorite drink(s) of the season from.
All of the recipes are from Serious Eats and NYT Cooking. There are many more refreshing cocktails on their websites waiting for you to explore. Enjoy the weather and drink on!
I might be biased, but vodka is probably the most common spirit in a college dorm or apartment. If you don't already have a lonely, half-empty bottle sitting in your "home bar," stop by Kimbark on your way to Hyde Park Produce for the following concoction.
This is a great option for those of who are not typically keen on vodka but would love to finish up that bottle. Squeeze 1/2 lime to the serving glass, add ice and 2 ounces vodka, pour 4 to 6 ounces chilled ginger beer over to your taste. 3 ingredients, 1 minute, there you have it.
Start off your day with the combination of strawberry, mint leaves, and lime. It's a little bit more complicated to make but absolutely worth the effort.
- about 5 medium-sized strawberries
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup: 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar cooked over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved; cool before using
- the juice of 1 lime
- 10 mint leaves
- 2 oz vodka
- 2.5 oz club soda
- lime/strawberry/mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Muddle the strawberries, simple syrup, and lime juice in a shaker. When the berries are dissolved, add 5 mint leaves and gently combine everything.
- Add vodka and fill 2/3 of the shaker with ice. Shake for about 15 seconds.
- Fill the serving glass with club soda and ice; pour the cocktail (strain the ingredients in it) in the glass.
If you are feeling fancy and want to put in more effort, this simple, refreshing watermelon cocktail developed by the American Bartender of the Year in 2012 Joaquin Simo is for you.
- To rim the glass: first, dip it in 1 oz fresh lime juice; then dip it into the mixture of 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- Juice 1 cup of cubed watermelon or muddle it in the shaker; strain the solids
- Fill the shaker with ice, add 2 oz watermelon juice, 2oz tequila, 1/2 oz lime juice, and 1/4 oz simple syrup. Shake vigorously.
- Fill the serving glass with ice and pour the cocktail over. Serve, no, DRINK immediately.
Dear wine lovers, I know you might find the idea of dumping fruits into red wine unappealing, but who said cocktail is spirit-only? Taming the dry Spanish red with some rosé and orange soda, refrigerating it overnight (preferably), and serving with fresh cut apples and oranges–there you have a Sangria that not only preserves, but also showcases the complexity of the wine. Sangria is also perfect to make in large quantity.
- Find a big container. Combine 1 bottle dry red wine, 1/2 bottle dry rosado (Spanish rosé), 6 ounces orange soda (preferably not too sweet), 1/2 ounce Torres orange liqueur or Triple Sec, 1 ounces Romate or other Spanish brandy.
- Stir with a wooden spoon; let it sit for 5 minutes. Then add sugar to taste.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
- Serve in glasses filled with ice and fresh cut apples and oranges.
I highly suspect you'd also have a bottle of Tequila if you've made it this far. Find a tall glass, (optional: rim the glass with salt), add ice, 2.5 oz tequila, lime juice and top with grapefruit soda. Give everything a gentle stir and serve with a lime wedge.
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