By Chef Joey
With the Fourth of July behind us and Labor Day approaching many people take off for a week or long weekend and, upon going out, splurge with the official “I’m on vacation drink!” followed by a toast and lots of stories and planning for the coveted time off.
Cool as cukes! The “dog days” of summer call for plenty of H2-O – a few cocktails can’t hurt either! But not too many! Alcohol dehydrates your body!
But summer time is also a great time to relax at home, too, and summer beverages are always fun to think about and always a great way to turn a blah day into a festive one.
Here are some summer drink recipes that can be non-alcoholic or alcoholic – which makes them even more fun!
The Blushing Bride …
… is my new favorite!
Juice up 2 red grapefruits
add 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
Depending on the acridity of the grapefruit add some simple syrup* –
Shake over ice and garnish with a lemon wedge.
Goes great with Vodka or Gin, too. Serves 2
Cool as a Cuke …
… this one is a little lengthy but tastes great!
A crisp and refreshing cucumber Lemonade Chiller summer cocktail recipe that includes fresh rosemary, cucumber and lemon juice!
1 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
plus a few sprigs for garnishing
1 cup water
¾ gin (substitute sparkling lemon-lime soda for a virgin drink)
½ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons Simple syrup*
Cut cucumber into 12 thin slices for garnish. Peel and chop remaining cucumber.
In a food processor, add cucumber and fresh rosemary, puree mixture.
Pour the pureed ingredients into a fine-mesh strainer and set over a medium size bowl.
Press on the solids to extract all of the juice.
Add water, gin (or sparkling soda), lemon juice, and simple syrup to the cucumber juice. Stir until dissolved.
Pour over ice, garnish with rosemary spring & cucumber and enjoy! Serves 4.
You say Margarita – How about a MINT-Erita!! …
… Get a ½ cup fresh chopped mint leaves, ½ teaspoon kosher salt , 4 cups crushed ice, 1 ½ cups tequila (substitute lemon lime soda for virgin drinks), 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 8 limes) – you can use bottled but fresh does tast like summer and 1 cup Triple Sec (omit for virgin drinks).
In the bottom of a large pitcher, crush together ice, mint and salt with the handle of a wooden spoon or cocktail muddler.
Add lime juice, tequila (or lemon lime soda) and Triple Sec. Stir vigorously.
Pour over ice and garnish with fresh lemon and lime wedges. Serves 4-5.
Flamable Ice Tea!! …
… You dont have to go to Long Island to get one of those famous teas, but it is a fun summer drink and it is easy to make!
Take 2 cups ice cubes
add 1 oz vodka, 1 ounce gin, 1 oz white rum 1 oz white tequila 1/2 oz Triple Sec 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup of and cola product, or to taste 2 lemon wedges
And what about my blender drink?
All of these libations can be made in a blender, by adding ice, but for a true summer bevvy how about a frozen Mojito – with Rum?
Or my favorite is a Joe-Jito made with Vodka!!
For each drink:
In a blender combine ice , juice of a 1/2 squeezed lime, 1 tablespoon simple syrup* and 5 or 6 mint leaves 1 1/2 oz white rum, or in my case vodka and blend!
*Simple syrup can be made way ahead of time and refrigerated for quite some time.
It is merely one cup sugar and one cup water.
Bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool and voilá!
You can add it to your ice tea, too!