It’s summer, and the long, hot days are probably making you crave something refreshing to unwind with once the sun finally goes down. Sometimes you want a beer in an ice cold bottle. Sometimes you want your drink on the rocks in a firm, short little glass. And sometimes you want to wrap your fingers around the stem of a long, tall martini glass and have something shiny and fruity – a girlie drink. Here’s a few creations (and an old classic) to cool down the summer nights and look sassy doin’ it.
This drink has become the base recipe for a lot of the bastardized cocktails I like to road test on my friends. Some consider me a lethal bartender after trying my drinks, so take my portion recommendations with a grain of salt if you’re a lightweight drinker.
1 1/2 shots ice-cold Vodka
1 1/2 shots Triple Sec
2 shots cranberry juice
Rose’s Sweet Lime Juice
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with fresh crushed ice. Add the vodka, triple sec, a splash of lime juice, a splash of lemon juice and the cranberry juice. Shake and pour.
I came up with this drink one day when I ran out of cranberry juice for a Cosmo. I thought about going to the store but it was really hot outside and I had some Snapple lemonade. The addition of the crème de menthe came in a later incarnation of the drink when I was looking to make it a little more complex in flavor.
1 1/2 shots Vodka, chilled
1 1/2 shots Triple Sec, refrigerated
1 squirt lemon juice
2 shots Snapple lemonade
A dash of Crème de Menthe
This is a summertime cocktail, meant for hot evenings, so the vodka should be fresh from your freezer and the bottles of triple sec and lemonade should have been resting in your refrigerator.
Fill half a cocktail shaker with ice and add the vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, crème de menthe and lemonade in that order. You can use Cointreau instead of Triple Sec if you like, but the orange flavor will be stronger and I recommend a little more lemon juice in that case. The Crème de Menthe will give it a little sweet kick. Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass. Add a sprig of mint for decoration, if you like.
This recipe is a serious bastardization of my Golden Cosmo. I was looking for something really cold from the blender because my tiny air conditioner wasn’t going far in helping keep my frozen martini glasses frozen. The obvious answer was to turn it into a frozen treat and keep things cold from the inside!
3 parts Vodka
3 parts Triple Sec
4 parts white cranberry juice
1 squirt lemon juice (or half of a fresh lemon)
This super summery drink should be served in a margarita glass. Fill a blender half way with ice and add the above ingredients. It is important to use fresh ice in drinks like this so buying a new bag at your local grocery store would be a great idea. Blend until the ice is at a drinkable, aerated consistency. Pour and garnish with a lime.
I make mango salsa to take to pretty much every barbeque I’m invited to in the summer, but it’s hard to find a use for the huge bottle of mango juice I’m left with. So, if you dump about one shot per drink in this recipe you can make your mango go further.
2 shots Tequila
1 shot Triple Sec
Splash of Chambord
I like a LOT of fresh mango in my margarita so I tend to fill the blender about halfway up (in a pinch you can also substitute mango juice but you lose the texture). Add all ingredients in the blender, ice first, and blend until smooth.
I flat out stole this recipe from a lovely little bar on New York’s Lower East Side that my friend Catonia introduced me to. (In fact, this particular fruit combination was her idea so I have to give her props.) I refuse to tell anyone the name of the place because it’ll just be overrun. Make this for yourself at home and light a few candles instead.
2 shots light Rum
2 tsp sugar
Fresh strawberries & kiwi
Make this just like a regular mojito, but with some extra fresh fruit. Muddle* a few springs of mint, about one sliced strawberry and a few slices of kiwi with the sugar and a splash of soda water until the sugar dissolves. Squeeze and add the lime juice and rum. Shake with ice. Top with soda water.
*Michelle: Muddling, for those of you not living with bartenders (or those unfortunate to live on the East Coast where the bartenders pretend to have no clue what you’re talking about when you ask for your drink to be muddled), is the act of smashing the contents of your drink with a blunt, short stick, called a muddler. In mojitos, it’s a good idea to muddle fairly gently as the mint will bruise. And nobody likes bruised mint, trust me on this one. If you don’t happen to have a muddler, try using the handle of a long wooden spoon or the like.