Category: News

Recently I hosted a picnic-like get together for a bunch of friends and their kids. We all know that there are so many things to get ready for a gathering, but luckily my fun summer beverages were not complicated.

I wanted to pass on some of my tips for making refreshing summer drinks for adults and kids alike.

For the kids, I used a couple of flavors of good old-fashioned Kool-Aid mixes with Polar Seltzer Water for a relatively low-calorie fizzy drink, maybe a few varieties of Polar flavored waters, and lots of bottled water. These are very low-maintenance drinks and convenient to quickly make more, if needed.

For the adults, I wanted to try to keep it just as simple.

Blueberry Lemonade:

I have always been a big fan of Cruzan’s flavored rum, and they really knocked it out of the park with this one. I love adding fresh fruit to the mix as it makes it an eye-appealing crowd pleaser. It can be made per person or in a large pitcher. I advise the larger method, which will allow the fresh fruit flavors to enhance the cocktail as it sits. I also highly recommend the peach and the mango. Oh, and the raspberry too!

1 750 ml. bottle    Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade Rum
1 Liter                  Nino’s Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
½ Liter                 Polar Seltzer Water (optional)
½ Pint                  Blueberries
2 Lemons             Sliced into wheels
Fresh Ice

Add all ingredients into a large sun tea jar with a spigot. Serve over ice in lemon sugar rimmed Solo cups.

Pineapple Passion Sangria:

Bright, colorful, refreshing, and sweet, this is one of my favorite Sangria recipes. Relatively easy to make, it’s best the next day, so you can make everything a day ahead saving you time on the day of the event. The secret ingredient is passion! Well, passion fruit liquor that is.

1 Bottle          New Age White Wine
1 Cup             Passoa Passion Fruit Liqueur
1 Cup             Pineapple Juice
1 Cup             Pineapple, cut into chunks
1 Cup             Mango, cut into chunks
1 Lemon         Sliced thin
1 Lime            Sliced thin
1 Cup             Club Soda
Mint Sprig       For garnish

Add all ingredients, except club soda, to a large pitcher and stir. Refrigerate overnight. Add club soda and stir again just before serving.
Other items that I truly believe enhance any picnic include the following:

• Vinho Verde, a bright, spritzy, and intensely refreshing Portuguese wine—they even have brands with a screw cap like Calamares or Famega, so you don’t have to worry about bringing a wine key if you are on the go for a picnic.
• Any variety of grapefruit Shandy, my favorites being Schofferhofer, Stiegl, and Shiner Ruby Red.
• A good-quality craft beer mix pack, like Short’s or Alaskan. If your crowd is craftier, go with Short’s, but Alaskan is way more approachable and better for a diverse crowd.

These simple, yet delicious drinks will make preparing for any get together a snap leaving you free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the company of your guests. I hope you find these drinks work for your next outdoor party! Let me know how it goes by tweeting me @NinosWineExpert

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