Summer Cocktail Ideas: Must-Try Cocktails For Summer

April 25, 2021

 

That's right, summer has finally arrived. Stuff is green again, the mercury in thermometer is riding a little higher, and the decks and outdoor areas of the world are calling out. What else does that mean? Time for some cocktails that reflect this glorious change of season. So start freezing your clear ice, shine up your glassware, and grab your shaker. And if you want to go a little bold this summer, try these...

(Warning: These drinks taste great, but also have the potential for excellent presentation and minimal dilution. If you don't want to go and ruin that with mediocre freezer ice or cloudy ice from cheap ice molds, you may want to grab an IceBox or two. Biased? Of course. But you can't argue with the results. Just saying...)

Ruby Queen:

Beet juice and scotch? Together? That's right, and it works. This one comes from the adventurous pallets of the team over at The Spruce Eats 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces Scotch whisky
  • 1 ounces fresh red beet juice
  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Garnish: sprig fresh dill or tarragon
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Ice Serving Recommendation: 2 large spheres

How to make:

Add scotch, beat juice, honey syrup, lemon juice, and ice into a shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

Fine strain into a chilled rocks glass over some perfectly clear ice (we're recommending 2 spheres for this one). Need handblown glassware worthy of the experience? OnThRocks Rocks Glasses might be the move.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill or tarragon and a lemon twist. The let the sipping and "ahhh"ing commence.

Source: The Spruce Eats 

3:10 To Yuzu:

Yep, single malt in a cocktail. A sin, right? Worth it.

This one may require a special shop, but if you want a unique flavor experience that still matches the vibrance of summer, you'll go all the way. We can thank the good folks at Forbes.com for this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Rye
  • 1 oz. Yamazaki 12 Single Malt (or comparable single malt, such as Balvenie 12)
  • 0.75 oz. green tea syrup (recipe below)
  • 0.50 oz. lemon juice
  • Barspoon yuzu juice
  • 3 drops Tamari
  • Star anise garnish

(Green Tea Syrup: Steep 20 grams green tea in 1 liter of simple syrup at room temperature for 18 hours, then strain and refrigerate.)

Ice Serving Recommendation1 large cube

How To Make: Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and shake for 30 - 60 seconds. Pour into an old fashioned glass over your clear ice (recommending a single cube for this one). Garnish with star anise. Take a sip and be prepared to make that "unexpected yet pleasant" face. You know, the one that usually comes with "Huh. That's actually really good!"

Source: Forbes.com

(Psst! Don't have the gear to make these delicious beverages? We've got you covered with our Minimalist Cocktail Kit. Everything you need, nothing you don't. Back to your regularly scheduled programing...)

Carrot Orange (Spiked) Punch

Wait wait wait, carrots now?? Yes. Really...isn't it..." The answer is yes. Any ingredient belongs anywhere if the result is great. So, yes. This is just a blast a summer refresh with a unique sweetness (thank you, carrots. So sorry about our friends). For this one, it is best to skip the small servings and just go for the pitcher so the refreshment can just keep coming.

Note: This is our own spin on the original Sugar and Soul recipe. If you want to go original though, it is here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups carrot juice (you can get pre-made like Odwalla, but always best to go fresh. How do you juice carrots? Check it out here.
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup honey simple syrup
  • 3 cups bubbly water 
  • 1 1/2 cups gin or vodka (depending on preference)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Fresh mint
  • Ice (see below)

Ice Serving Recommendation: 2 - 3 large spheres

Instructions (this one is pretty easy): Throw it all into a pitcher, stir, and serve. For chilling, fill with freezer ice and stir. If you are worried about the mix getting diluted, strain out the prep ice and keep chilled in the fridge. When serving, pour into a highball glass over some crystal clear ice (2 - 3 spheres recommended for this one). Garnish with a mix of lemon, lime, and orange slices (choose one or several), a healthy sprig of mint, and you are off to the races. Actually, this would be a great cocktail for a day out at the horse races. So maybe literally do that if you can.

Source: Sugar and Soul

Got anything less...weird...?

Looking for some more traditional tastes of the season? We get it. If your more team "carrots, beats can stay out of my drink and in the ground from whence they came", these might be more your style:

Grapefruit Margarita (with some 🌶️ ):

Let lime and grapefruit team up with tequila to create pure delicious. Sneak a little spice in the mix just for the finish. Doesn't matter where you are. After the first sip, a sunset will just appear before you as if it were there the whole time. Nope, we can't explain it either. That's just how this drink works.

This recipe is our own twist on the Grapefruit Margarita, but Gimme Some Oven has a great one that provided some inspiration.

Grapefruit Margaritas -- so fresh and easy to make with just a few ingredients | gimmesomeoven.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces silver or resposado tequila
  • 3/4 ounce orange liqueur 
  • 3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • ~1/2 - 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or simple syrup in a pinch) for sweetening (more or less depending on the sweetness you are after)
  • IF YOU WANT A KICK: 2 - 4 large slices of jalapeño (careful, jalapeños can vary in spiciness, proceed with caution and know your spice comfort)
  • Lime wheel and jalapeño slices for garnish
  • Chunky salt (Kosher, flaky sea salt, or similar)

Ice Serving Recommendation: 1 large cube

Instructions: Add all the ingredients, including jalapeño slices, into an ice-filled shaker and shake for 30 - 60 seconds until ice cold. Start light with the jalapeño slices and agave and sample to make sure sweetness and spice are to your taste. If done right, the spice should just barely appear at the finish in the throat.

Once your mix is tasting just right, wet the rim of a lowball glass with lime juice. Pour your salt onto a plate or a bowl with a diameter larger than that of your glass, and rub the rim into the salt until it is liberally coated with salt. Not into salt rim? Don't do any of that. 

Pour this magical mixture over your spectacularly clear ice (recommend a single large cube for this one), garnish with lime wheel and a jalapeño slice, if you are so inclined, and get ready for that sunset. 

Source: Gimme Some Oven (Note: This is our own twist on a few recipes, but you can find one of the source recipes there). 

Gin Fizz: 

The right kind of old school, this simple classic just shows up and does its job. Yes, this recipe calls for an egg white. It is one of those. If you're not into it, it is an easy step to skip. If you haven't tried it though, it is worth a shot. You may be surprised.

This particular take on this classic comes from The Spruce Eats

Gin fizz cocktail topped with a lemon peel

Ingredients:

• 2 oz. London dry gin (we're fans of Boodles or Plymouth)
• 1 oz. lemon juice
• 3/4 oz. simple syrup
• 1 egg white
• club soda

Ice Serving Recommendation: 2 large cubes (if they'll fit) or 2 - 3 large spheres

Instructions: Throw everything (minus the club soda, or you're going to need some towels) into a shaker with plenty of ice and shake for 60+ seconds.

Strain into a Collins glass over some unimaginably "this can't be real" clear ice (recommend 2 large cubes if your glass can fit it, otherwise, 2 spheres is the way to go).

Fill the rest of the glass with club soda, and start talking like Carry Grant or Sophia Loren in the movie Houseboat (this is what movie trailers used to be like!). Full disclosure, never seen it. But it is a 50's movie that takes place on and near a boat. I'm going to guess this fits.

Source: The Spruce Eats

Shaken (aka. Hemingway) Daiquiri

"Always do sober what you said you'd do when you were drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut!" - Ernest Hemingway. 

Harsh but fair, Mr. Hemingway. Apparently his path to writing the proverbial checks that his sober self would later be left to cash was the Shaken Daiquiri. This is not your Club Med dog bowl sized blended monstrosity. This is more on the classy side. And since this classic also came to be known as the Hemingway Daiquiri, it is fair to say Earnest enjoyed his fair share of these drinks. At first sip, you'll see why.

This recipe comes from Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail. Since that's a print book (well worth a purchase), you can find another great one from David Lebowitz.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces light, clear rum
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice (strained)
  • 1/2 Luxado Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice (strained)
  • a pinch of salt

Ice Serving Recommendation1 large sphere

Instructions: Combine the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 - 15 seconds (not too long so as to avoid dilution). Strain into a coupe glass over your "was this sourced directly from a glacier?" clear ice (recommend 1 sphere), and you're all set. Now start sipping as if you were seated outside the Café Iruña in Pamplona. 

Source: Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail AND David Lebowitz

The Tequila Minimalist

All those recipes still too complicated? Too many ingredients? Too many steps? Okay okay, this one may be more up your alley.

Ingredients:

  • Good tequila 

Ice Serving Recommendation1 large sphere

Instructions: Pour it. Drink it. Recipe over.

A sip of chilled, quality tequila on a warm evening; there is no need to mess with that. Tequila not your thing? That's okay, this recipe is pretty flexible with substitutions. The point is a good spirit and quality ice in a nice glass in a nice spot...you've done it. 

So there it is. So many options, so few...no, just so many options. Ring in this season of rebirth with some flavors to match. Gather (safely), share, laugh, and enjoy. 

What are you favorite summer cocktails? Do you stick to recipes, or do you like to freestyle? Let us know below. 






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