There’s no better time for a refreshing, chilling cocktail than summer. Ice cold. Close to bone-chilling. So cold it feels like it burns. The sun hides.
You get it. Those special concoctions that cool and keep cooling as you enjoy. Turn to herbal flavors – even mint, basil or thyme in your glass. Fruits make a juicy addition. Watermelon, strawberries and peaches are perfect. Plus you can usually make it a frozen drink with the right equipment and a touch more time.
Bottom line is all of them help beat the heat. Another bottom line is that FetchMe Alcohol can help. They can deliver beer, wine, spirits, and mixers right to your door. Make a connection with FetchMe Delivery and get your dinner, too.
Classic Tonic Cocktails
The classic contenders are tonic drinks. A simple gin and tonic is hard to beat and if you prefer a less aggressive flavor, replace with vodka. Citrus like lime or lemon are easy garnishes and use plenty of the juice too.
For a gin and tonic use twice the quantity of tonic to gin. Vodka and tonic uses a little less alcohol. Here are 5 good things to remember. 2 ounces – a stiff drink – is 4 tablespoons. Easy to measure. Twice as much is 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup – the tonic part. It’s simple – a little less is 3 tablespoons.
Then, always pour the spirit over the ice first. Everything tends to mix together better and you avoid too much alcohol floating on top of the tonic at the beginning. Add lime or lemon juice now. Mixes in better. An extra squeeze before serving adds a bright pop.
The fourth is a neat bartender’s trick, simply pour the tonic over the back of a spoon and you’ll get more bubbles in the glass. If you want an icy cocktail, keep your glass, spoon, fruit, mixers, and spirits cold. Two smaller cold drinks are better than a larger one that gets warm before you finish it.
Premium Gins yield fine Summer Cocktails
If you like the botanic notes and aroma of gin, give Hendrick’s a try. The hint of cucumber makes for a tasty tonic drink. So does Tanqueray Ten. It adds a wonderful citrus burst. Bombay has a nice pop of juniper.
Quality Tonic Helps Calm the Sizzle
Also pay as much attention to the tonic as you do to your spirits. This is not the time to skimp. Think about it. You use just twice as much of the tonic or other mixers as spirits. Premium spirits deserve fine tonic water. An excellent brand is Fever Tree. These tonics are available in regular and light versions plus with herbal additions.
No matter the brand of tonic you choose, keep the container size manageable. 6 to 12 ounces is it – unless you are making lots of cocktails is a short time period. 4 ounces per cocktail is max. It’s not time for a 2-liter container. Don’t plan on extra – even for an hour. Fresh is better. So is cold. In need of some tonic? FetchMe Alcohol can deliver. Mixers and snacks too.
And….. too much ice waters down your cocktail as it melts. If necessary, keep your glass in ice. Don’t add extra to your glass. Insulated glasses are an option. No matter, always use fresh ice to make a cocktail. Throw out the ice from the cocktail shaker. Remember fresh and cold.
Similar to tonic drink is a Collins. They use simple syrup, lemon juice and soda water along with gin or vodka. Very refreshing with a touch of sweet. Rickeys use a spirit with soda and lime.
Summer Loves a Mojito Cocktail
There’s little better than the mojito in summer. That perfect balance of lime, rum, and mint along with simple syrup and soda water hits to spot. It even looks cold. These fall into what are known as sour cocktails.
To make a mojito, a cocktail shaker (Mason jar) is nice. Mint is muddled in the bottom. Lightly bruise some leaves. Don’t beat them up. Add an ounce of simple syrup and another of lime juice. Then, add 2 ounces of light or white rum and top with ice and shake well.
Put fresh ice in a glass and strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Top off with soda water – 2 to 4 ounces. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Rather than an old- fashioned glass or highball, consider using a stemmed glass or snifter. Very attractive.
Bartender’s advice – use ice cubes for a mojito or other summer cocktails. Crushed ice cools quicker but also melts much faster. Results are watered-down drinks in no time.
Margaritas and Daiquiris – Frozen or on the Rocks
Margaritas are popular for summer cocktails. As long as you have tequila, Cointreau, lime, and simple syrup, you can craft yourself a boozy classic in no time. The frozen versions are even better for summer, just add ice and whiz.
The same is true for daiquiris and this is where fresh fruit really shines. It has rum, lime and simple syrup. No mixes needed, but you can certainly use one. For a frozen treat, add ice and whiz – simple enough. For a fruit variation? Add fresh, ripe fruit or your frozen fruit of choice and blend. Mixers are available for a quick option but keep in mind that they can be very sweet.
Bartender’s trick – if you are short on sugar or don’t want to make simple syrup, you can substitute with maple syrup or agave syrup.
What cocktail is better suited to summer than a piña colada ? This time the fruit is pineapple plus coconut, lime, simple syrup and rum. The frozen version is just like a smoothie.
Sangria – the Traditional Summer Cooler
A Bloody Mary can contain a summer garden. Mules are at home with various spirits. Sangria shouldn’t be missed. Not just red but white, rosé, peach, and certainly watermelon. Long Island Iced Tea? Sure hits the spot.
A popular drink these days is the Paloma. Start with a great tequila, add lime juice, simple syrup, and pour over ice. Finish by topping off with red grapefruit juice and a splash of soda. So refreshing and killer attractive.
A tequila concoction adding frozen watermelon with sliced grapes and simple syrup is a different one. Mix together and spike with a jalapeño slice or two. A tequila sunrise can be served anytime. This artistic glass of orange juice, tequila and grenadine can be stunning. That special cherry is very in keeping.
One more summer cocktail done especially for this article is a lemonade cooler. Start by mixing 4 ounces Fentiman’s rose lemonade with 3 TBS of vodka and the juice of half a lemon. Pour over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon. Hope you enjoy.
The absolutely wonderful thing about many of these summer cocktails is they can be made into frozen versions. They take to fruit additions just as easily. All sorts of glassware works equally well and make for such variety. Little umbrellas are not necessary.
An often missed summer time drink is a spritzer. No, not the vodka kind. It can be simply adding soda water to wine – white or rosé. Maybe put in a fruit garnish or two. But much more interesting versions are easy to make. Classic Italian aperitifs are an answer. Lower in alcohol and bursting with flavor. Campari and soda is a tried and true example. A similar but less bitter and slightly sweet option is popular Aperol. It’s more of an orange-red than darker red Campari. A negroni made with campari and sweet vermouth mixed with gin is a cooling treat over ice.
Other lighter-alcohol examples of what are often called amaro are Cynar and Fernet. Amaretto fits here as well. All sorts of bitters can add flavor to spirits, soda, and sparkling water. Angostura and Peychaud’s are just two additions. Vermouths from Cinzano or Martini and Rossi qualify. My surprise winner uses limoncello. Caravella, from the Amalfi coast, is the original limoncello.
Those Italian preserved cherries make outstanding garnishes for these drinks or others. Perfect for a sunrise. Amarena Fabbri is an excellent choice.
Another Bartender’s Trick
A final bartender’s trick – When you have everything in your cocktail shaker, here’s your choice – shake or stir. Basically, shake and your drink is cloudy. Stir and it remains sort of clear. Above all, it’s great to know when serving a cocktail “up.”
Summer cocktails sure are fun. Their season is right head of us, and with so many variations along with the flexibility to create those of your own, it’s time to get started. Remember – keep plenty of citrus on hand. It’s in need throughout the day and all summer long. Whether by the pool or the grill.