Summer Cocktail Shortcut

During the summer I find that I’d rather come up with a fun cocktail to sip while the hubs mans the grill than stand over the oven or stove indoors. It fills my need to get creative in the kitchen and makes the heat a little easier to bear.

I have a simple cocktail equation I like to follow in the summertime when I’m whipping up my newest drink. There are so many ways to mix and match flavors and ingredients, so cocktail time never gets boring. It’s easy:

cocktailgraphic9

1 part hard liquor + 1 part mixer (usually citrus or fruit juice)

-or-

1 part lighter alcohol (such as wine or sake)

Shaken with lots of ice and an edible add-in (like a handful of muddled berries, citrus, or herbs; sliced fruit or cucumbers; or 1/4 part flavored simple syrup). You can also supplement the previous ingredients with a splash of liqueur for a little extra bang for your alcohol buck.

Pour over a glass with more ice (you can get creative with the ice too! Freeze in flowers, herbs, juice, or berries for extra flavor and flair).  Aim to fill the glass 2/3 of the way at this point.

Top with 1 part bubbles (sodas, tonics, sparkling wine or champagne, or even beer).

Drink, drink, and be merry!


The only thing I would avoid using is any dairy-based product as it will likely curdle with the rest of the ingredients (and curdled anything in this heat makes me shudder).

Some combinations are definitely better than others, so it’s not to say it’s foolproof. But you’re smart, so you’re going to mix things that sound good together. I’ve mixed rum, citrus juice, muddled mint and lime, and topped it with ginger beer for a Moscow-mule-meets-mojito combo. I’ve also mixed rosé wine with strawberries and mint, and topped it with club soda for the prettiest pink drink (both pictured).

The bubbles in the equation add the perfect, refreshing finish to these summer cocktails. Play around with the ingredients and try something new. Tequila just might become your friend again.

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