Summertime is my favorite time of the year to enjoy a great cocktail, but make no mistake, a great summer cocktail must have the best and freshest of ingredients or it is a waste of a good spirit. Summer cocktails must be light, refreshing, vibrant and delicious. For me, a summer cocktail should not only taste good but it should awaken memories of great times with friends and family. So allow me to introduce you to a few summer drinks you may or may not know, and their recipes so that you can hopefully enjoy them as well!
The first is the Tom Collins. This reminds me of my summers in the Hamptons with my family. I will forever have the fondest memories of my Mother, Grandmother and Aunts and cousins all sitting on the patio and sipping Tom Collins’ and just enjoying the summer. A truly great and refreshing summer drink!
1.25 oz. Dry Gin
1.00 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Splash Club soda
1 Slice Orange
1 Maraschino Cherry
In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, add Gin, Lime Juice, and Simple Syrup. Shake Well. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice, add club soda, stir and garnish with an orange slice and Maraschino Cherry.
About 4 years ago my father went to Machu Pichu in Peru. Outside of the amazing pictures, and stories he brought back, he also came back with a Peruvian brandy called Pisco and a simple recipe for a Pisco Sour. The next week while at my brother’s house we broke out the bottle, mixed up the sour’s and promptly fell in love with this regional brandy mixed into a proper summer cocktail!
3 parts Pisco
2 parts simple syrup
1 part fresh lime juice
1 egg white
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Ice in equal volume to liquids
Combine Pisco, simple syrup lime juice, and egg white in blender. Add an equal measure of ice and blend till the ice is thoroughly crushed. Pour into a rocks glass, add a couple of dashes of bitters and enjoy!
I lived in South Florida for about three years and never truly liked it. It only has three seasons, hot, hotter and hottest! One of the few things that made my life there tolerable was sipping Mojitos in Calle Ocho(Little Havana). This is a wonderful district in Miami full of great people, awesome culture, fabulous food and something I refer to as air conditioning in a glass…the Mojito!
1.5 oz. white rum
10 fresh mint leaves
½ lime cut into 4 wedges
2 tablespoons of white sugar
1 cup of ice cubes
½ cup of club soda
Combine mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a tall sturdy class. Muddle the mint and lime to release the oils and juice. Add 2 more limes wedges and sugar and muddle again. Fill the glass with ice and pour the rum over the ice and fill with club soda. Stir and taste for sweetness, add more sugar if needed and garnish with the remaining lime wedge. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
This next drink I need to thank by brother and sister-in-law and their love of Nantucket(where they first had it) for the introduction. The Dark ‘N’ Stormy a registered trademark of Gosling’s Brother’s Limited and it’s their signature drink. The Dark ‘N’ Stormy is Bermuda’s national drink and has gained popularity in the coastal sailing communities along the United States Eastern Seaboard as well as Australia by way of a Rugby tournament for Australian teams held in Bermuda in the early 1970’s. It seems that I can no longer visit my brother when the sun shining and not enjoy a Dark ‘N’ Stormy!
Dark ’N’ Stormy
1.5 oz. of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
4 – 5 oz. of Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer
Lime wedge (garnish)
In a Highball glass filled with ice add 4 – 5 oz. of Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer and top with 1.5 oz. of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Garnish with a lime wedge. Be careful…These go down quick and sneak up on you! Perfect for a hot and lazy summer afternoon!
So my final summer cocktail was created by Audrey Sanders of the Pegu Club. I’m not even sure if it has a name. I found the recipe in a culinary magazine and it was labeled "Into to Aperol". So for a drink with or without a name, it is far from a drink without enjoyment. I saw the recipe and decided to mix up a few drinks for some friends before we went out for dinner. Wow! What a hit! It is slightly bitter, and sweet with just the perfect hint of orange and florals. A truly sophisticated summer cocktail!
¼ cup of Aperol
2 tablespoons of gin
1 ½ tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoons of simple syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Flamed orange peel
Fill a cocktail shaker with 2 cups of ice. Add Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and Angostura Bitters. Cover and shake till cold. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel. This is a great sophisticated cocktail to serve at any summer gathering. Learn how to properly flame an orange peel and you’ll impress your guests even more.
I hope that you enjoy your summer and create as many great memories as I have with my family and friends. Whatever your favorite summer cocktail is, enjoy, cherish, and most definitely share!