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The 8 Best Summer Cocktails

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Drinks to keep you cool through the hottest months

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A summer cocktail’s sole purpose is to keep you cool. When the mercury soars, it’s time to shake or stir up a cocktail! You may not be able to head to Hawaii anytime soon, but you can always throw a summertime cocktail sundowner for one or more in your own backyard or balcony. Here’s our roundup of a few summer cocktail recipes, which are highly recommended for hot weather drinking….

1. MANGO AND PINEAPPLE MOJITO: A classic Mojito, the iconic Cuban cocktail needs no introduction. While the original pairing of rum, mint and lime is as refreshing as it gets, this tropical version is vibrant and fruity; reminiscent of a beach holiday. 

INGREDIENTS

50g pineapple, chopped
50g mangoes, chopped
3 limes, chopped
2 tbsp light, brown sugar
2 mint sprigs, leaves picked
150 ml, white rum
200 ml, pineapple rum
Club soda/sparkling water to top off
ice

GET IT RIGHT: Add the pineapple, mango, limes and sugar into a large jug and muddle together. Muddle and the mint leaves, then top with ice. Stir in the white rum, pineapple rum and club soda/sparkling water.

 

2. SEA BREEZE: Conjure beach vibes while sipping on this super easy-to-make cocktail. It’s the taste of summer in a glass!

INGREDIENTS

50ml vodka
100ml cranberry juice
50ml fresh grapefruit juice
ice
lime, a thin slice

GET IT RIGHT: Half-fill a tall glass with ice. Then, pour in the vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. Stir gently until the outside of the glass feels cold, then garnish with the lime slice.

 

3. MARGARITA: Summer cocktail hours will be incomplete without a classic Margarita! If you prefer them frozen, which is the unconventional way to make one—simply add the ingredients to a blender and then blend until smooth. We like ours shaken.

INGREDIENTS

50ml tequila blanco/silver
25ml lime juice
20ml Cointreau
coarse salt

GET IT RIGHT: Chill a cocktail glass, and then rub its rim with lime juice and dip it in coarse salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the tequila, lime juice and Cointreau. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels cold. Strain the mix into the prepared glass over fresh ice. Serve with a wedge of lime.

 

4. NEGRONI: Bitter, sweet, dry, and refreshing all at once—this ruby-hued cocktail has developed a reputation as a summer mainstay!  This more-than-a-century-old drink became a quarantine sensation last year, when actor Stanley Tucci posted a video of making it for his wife! This three-ingredient drink is as refreshing and Italian as it gets!

INGREDIENTS

25ml gin (the drier the better)
25ml Campari
25ml vermouth rosso
ice

GET IT RIGHT: Pour the gin, vermouth and Campari into a mixing glass or jug with ice. Stir well until the outside of the glass feels cold. Strain into a tumbler and add some fresh ice, and garnish with an orange slice.

 

5. LONG ISLAND ICED TEA:  On paper, the LIIT is one hot mess of a drink. Four different spirits in a single glass—it’s boozy AF—more alcohol against less than half that amount in mixers. If you’re looking to tame your tea a bit, pull back the boozy parts, and add more cola and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to avoid a solid hangover the next morning!

INGREDIENTS

50ml vanilla vodka
50ml dry gin
50ml reposado
50ml rum
50ml Cointreau
50-100ml fresh lime juice
500ml cola
2 limes, cut into wedges
ice

GET IT RIGHT: Pour the vodka, gin, tequila, rum and Cointreau into a large (1.5l) jug, and add some lime juice to taste. Half fill the jug with ice, then stir until the outside feels cold. Add the cola then stir to combine. Drop in the lime wedges.  Fill 4 tall glasses with ice cubes and pour in the iced tea.

 

6. PIÑA COLADA: The official drink of Puerto Rico since 1978, you don’t need to be on an island holiday to enjoy this tropical drink.  It’s definitely not a daily evening fix, as there’s a lot of sugar in it. On date nights in and on other special occasions, especially during hot weather, the classic Piña Colada is one tough act to beat!

INGREDIENTS

120ml pineapple juice
60ml white rum
60ml coconut cream
wedge of pineapple or fresh cherries, to garnish (optional)

GET IT RIGHT: Pulse all the ingredients along with a handful of ice in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish as you like. You can use crushed or whole pineapple instead of the juice.

 

7. SANGRIA: Sangria is the lifeline of a brunch or a luncheon—when it’s too early to start drinking hard liquor! Sangria was conceived in Spain many centuries ago, and gets its name from ‘sangre’ the Spanish word for blood (due to the colour of the drink). Embrace balmy days with a pitcher of sangria. You can choose to share or not!

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle of light red wine
300ml sparkling water
100ml Spanish brandy
100ml unsweetened orange juice
3 tbsp of caster sugar/ simple syrup**
1 tsp cinnamon
2 apples, thinly chopped
2 oranges, thinly sliced
1 large pomegranate seeds
220g of mixed berries
ice
orange/apple/lime wedge to garnish (optional)

GET IT RIGHT: Stir all of the ingredients together in a pitcher. Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled in wine glasses. Garnish with an orange/apple wedge.

 

8. WHISKEY SMASH: When people think of summer drinks, they tend to think of clear spirits––gin, vodka, tequila––but brown spirits can be equally refreshing as well. Smashes get their names from the way the ice smashes up the mint in the cocktail shaker. This fruity 19th-century cousin of the Mint Julep is zesty, sweet enough and full of flavour.

INGREDIENTS

60ml bourbon
20ml simple syrup**
3 lemon wedges
2 springs of spearmint, leaves 

GET IT RIGHT: Muddle the lemon wedges in a shaker. You want to compress the lemon wedges to release not only their juices, but also the oils in the peel, which creates a richer taste. Add bourbon, simple syrup, mint leaves and ice, and shake until well-chilled. Double-strain into a rock’s glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Cool down with a tall drink of something sensational this summer! Responsibly of course! Cheers.

** A simple syrup is a staple cocktail sweetener, which is made boiling equal-parts granulated sugar and water over medium heat.

 

[Image Credits: Shutterstock]

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