Five Summer Cocktail Recipes

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Impress Your Guests and Keep You Cool All Season Long

Doctor’s Orders: It’s that time of year when you’re prescribed to sip refreshing drinks while soaking up some vitamin D, all in the company of your best friends. P.S. We’re the doctor 😉

So, whether you’re gearing up for a Memorial Day celebration, an al fresco dinner party, or simply seeking some unique cocktails apropos for the season, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top five picks for the best summer cocktails to keep you cool all summer long. 

1. Tomato Margarita

Courtesy of @babytomago and @verygooddrinks

It’s officially tomato girl summer! Why not kick off the season with a tantalizing twist on the classic margarita using, you guessed it, tomatoes! This bright and savory concoction is the perfect fusion between tangy tomatoes and zesty margarita goodness. 

Prep Time: 12 hours

Ingredients:

Tomato Syrup (Tomato Cheug):

- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped

- 2 cups granulated sugar

Cocktail:

- 2 oz mezcal

- 1 oz fresh lime juice

- 1 oz tomato syrup

- 1/2 oz sherry

Rim:

- 1 tbsp salt

- 1 tbsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Tomato Syrup

- In a clean jar, combine equal weights of chopped tomatoes and granulated sugar (2 cups each).

- Seal the jar and let it sit overnight (about 12 hours) at room temperature to allow the tomatoes to macerate and release their juices, creating a tomato syrup.

- The next day, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to separate the syrup from the solids. Discard the solids and keep the syrup.

2. Prepare the Glass

- Mix the salt and ground black pepper on a small plate.

- Moisten the rim of your glass with a lime wedge.

- Dip the rim of the glass into the salt and pepper mixture to coat it evenly.

3. Make the Cocktail

- In a cocktail shaker, add 2 oz mezcal, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 1 oz tomato syrup, and 1/2 oz sherry.

- Dry shake (shake without ice) the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to combine the ingredients and create a slight froth.

- Fill the shaker with ice and shake again until well chilled.

4. Serve

- Fill the prepared glass with fresh ice.

- Strain the cocktail into the glass over the ice.

- Garnish with a lime wheel or a cherry tomato skewer, if desired.

2. The Dirty Napkin

Courtesy of @NoahTanen

This briny, funky cocktail is not for the faint-hearted, but then again, neither is this summer heat. Dive into the bold and unique flavors of the Dirty Napkin, and embrace the nostalgia of sun-soaked afternoons and the satisfying messiness of a perfect summer day.

Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus cooling time for oregano syrup)

Ingredients:

Cocktail:

- 1 1/2 oz whiskey

- 3/4 oz oregano syrup

- 9 oz IPA

Oregano Syrup:

- 1 cup water

- 1 cup granulated sugar

- 1 handful fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano)

Garnish:

- Fresh oregano sprig

- Optional lemon wedge

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Oregano Syrup

- In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar.

- Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved.

- Add a handful of fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano) to the syrup.

- Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.

- Remove from heat and let it cool completely.

- Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove the oregano.

- Store the syrup in a clean jar or bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Make the Cocktail

- In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 1/2 oz whiskey and 3/4 oz oregano syrup.

- Add ice and shake well until chilled.

- Fill a glass with 9 oz of your favorite IPA.

- Strain the whiskey and oregano syrup mixture into the glass, gently stirring to combine.

3. Garnish

- Garnish with a fresh oregano sprig for a touch of herbal aroma.

- Optionally, add a lemon wedge on the rim or inside the glass for a hint of citrus brightness.

3. Aperol Mezcalita

Courtesy of @thespritzeffect and @brookebonarrigo

In case you can't decide between a trip to Italy or Mexico City this summer, we've got the perfect solution: the Aperol Mezcalita. This cocktail masterfully blends the smoky allure of mezcal with the bittersweet charm of Aperol and the vibrant flavors of tropical fruit juices. It's a refreshing tribute to the best of both Italian and Mexican influences, perfect for summer sipping!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

- 2 oz mezcal

- 1 oz Aperol

- 1 oz pineapple juice

- 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice

- 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

- Ice

- Orange slice or twist for garnish

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Ingredients

- Make sure to use freshly squeezed orange and lime juice for the best flavor.

- Chill your serving glass in the freezer for a few minutes if desired.

2. Mix the Cocktail

- In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 oz mezcal, 1 oz Aperol, 1 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice, and 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice.

- Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds until well chilled.

3. Serve

- Remove the serving glass from the freezer and fill it with fresh ice.

- Strain the cocktail mixture into the glass over the ice.

4. Garnish

- Garnish with an orange slice or twist on the rim of the glass or floating on top of the drink for a burst of color and added citrus aroma.

Pro Tip: Sub pineapple juice for muddled peaches or nectarines for an added summer flare. 

4. Pineapple Mojito

Courtesy of @likeablecocktails and Mixop

Sipping this drink is akin to an instant flight to a tropical island, where every sip transports you to a place adorned with Hawaiian shirts, puka shell necklaces, and sun-kissed sandy shores. With vibrant flavors that evoke the essence of paradise, this Pineapple Mojito is your ticket to a refreshing getaway, right in the comfort of your own home.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

- 1 oz Havana Club white rum (or your preferred white rum)

- 1 oz funky Jamaican rum (e.g., Wray and Nephew)

- 3/4 oz pineapple liqueur

- 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

- Handful of mint sprigs, with stems on

- Splash of soda water

- Ice cubes

- Pineapple slice and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Ingredients

- Make sure to use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.

- Wash and pat dry the mint sprigs, keeping the stems on as they contribute to the flavor.

2. Muddle the Mint

- In a cocktail shaker, add the mint sprigs.

- Gently muddle the mint leaves to release their aromatic oils, but avoid crushing the stems too much to prevent bitterness.

3. Mix the Cocktail

- Add 1 oz of Havana Club white rum and 1 oz of funky Jamaican rum to the shaker.

- Pour in 3/4 oz of pineapple liqueur and 3/4 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice.

- Fill the shaker with ice cubes.

4. Shake

- Secure the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds to chill the mixture and infuse the flavors.

5. Serve

- Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.

- Strain the cocktail mixture into the glass over the ice.

6. Finish

- Top off the cocktail with a splash of soda water for a refreshing effervescence.

7. Garnish

- Garnish the drink with a pineapple slice and a sprig of mint for a tropical touch and aromatic flair.

5. Lillet Spritz

Courtesy of @earthlyprovisions

If you're craving a light and bubbly summer cocktail with a moderate ABV but don’t love the tast of Aperol, then the Lillet Spritz is your new go-to. It's the elegant, aromatic sibling of the classic European spritz, offering a refreshing twist that's perfect for those warm summer days.

Prep Time: 5 minutes (plus freezing time for citrus slices)

Ingredients:

- Lemon slices, frozen

- Orange slices, frozen

- Lillet Blanc

- Soda water

- Fresh fruit (e.g., strawberries, raspberries, or orange slices) for garnish

- Ice cubes (optional)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Citrus Slices

- Slice lemons and oranges into thin rounds.

- Lay the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the citrus slices until solid, for about 1-2 hours.

2. Mix the Cocktail

- In a wine glass or a large balloon glass, add equal parts Lillet Blanc and soda water.

- Stir gently to combine.

3. Assemble the Drink

- Add a few ice cubes to the glass if desired (though the frozen citrus slices will help keep the drink chilled without diluting it).

- Garnish with fresh fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, or additional orange slices.

- Retrieve the frozen lemon and orange slices from the freezer and add them to the glass as well.

4. Serve

- Give the cocktail a final gentle stir to incorporate the frozen citrus slices.

- Serve immediately and enjoy the refreshing Lillet Spritz!

Pro Tip: You can adjust the proportions of Lillet Blanc and soda water to suit your taste preferences. For a sweeter variation, you can also add a splash of elderflower liqueur or a dash of simple syrup. 

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