Holy smokes! We’ve had a few hot one’s lately, and rain or shine, it’s always nice to sip on a cooling, ice filled cocktail on a day like that. Moreover, there is so much fresh, ripe produce right now, it’s fun to experiment with new fruit filled cocktails. Our expert produce buyer, Mike Harris, told me that Melons, Grapes, and Tree Fruits like Nectarines and Peaches are the most flavorful right now. Some of these cocktails are new and fruit based and some are classics; but all of them are deliciously refreshing when the humidity rises.
If you’re like me, you have basil coming out of your ears right now, and as Mike told me, the watermelon is coming from Texas and is sweet as can be. This drink utilizes the classic summer flavors with a healthy dollop of rum!
6 1-inch cubes watermelon
4 basil leaves
1/4 cup aged or light rum (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 ounce)
1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup (3/4 ounce)
Frozen watermelon spear or wedge
In a cocktail shaker combine basil and watermelon and muddle until slushy. Add rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice. Shake until cold and strain well into a tall, ice filled glass. Garnish with a frozen watermelon spear.
Floral, fragrant and pretty as a picture, this drink is light in alcohol and big on flavor.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup elderflower liqueur (such as St-Germain)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
3 cups chilled sparkling wine
Microwave sugar and water in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (15 minutes). Stir together sugar syrup, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and ice cubes. Let stand 20 minutes. Stir in chilled sparkling wine, and serve immediately.
If there’s anyone who knows about how to beat a hot muggy night, its Southerners. The sweetness of the simple sugar and peach schnapps is balanced by the bright citrus lemon and tangy bitters.
2 oz bourbon
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Demerara Simple Syrup
1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz club soda
3 to 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters (optional)
1 peach slice
1 lemon slice
Fresh mint sprig
Fill a cocktail shaker with the first four ingredients with ice and shake until cold to the touch. Strain over ice and top with club soda, bitters and garnish with peach, lemon, and mint.
Richer than some of these other drinks due to the egg white, this tart Chilean drink is perfect for sitting on the back porch and watching a summer storm roll in.
1 egg white
2 1/2 ounces Pisco Capel Chilean Brandy
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine egg white, Pisco Brandy, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Cover, shake vigorously- for 15 seconds- so that the egg white becomes foamy and the shaker is cold to the touch, and strain into a coup or rocks glass. Top with a few dashes of bitters.
Gin sales have been on the rise and so have classic cocktails like this one. It’s so simple to make and so refreshing when using fresh ingredients; I hope you never use a mix!
2 ounces good quality Gin (such as Hayman’s, Hendricks, Valentine’s)
1 1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
In a cocktail shaker combine gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Add ice cubes; cover and shake until sugar is dissolved and the shaker is cold to the touch. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice and 1 or 2 lemon slices. Add a splash of sparkling water; stir.
We haven’t had too many days above 90 degrees this year yet, but summer is not even half over yet. Keep these recipes close for those hot and sticky summer nights!