5 Refreshing Summer Cocktail Recipes

By: A.J. Rathbun | Posted July 24, 2014

The long stretch of sunny (well, mostly sunny) days that we call summer lends itself well to a number of things: romances, songs about summer, vacations, and most importantly, parties. But if you have to sweat over the right drinks to serve at your summer soiree, then it sorta takes the fun out of things. I am here to help, with the following five refreshing numbers that will secure your position as the best party host/hostess and help make your summer wing-dings more memorable.

1. The Caipirinha With a Kit

The national drink of Brazil, the Caipirinha is designed to take the edge off when the mercury rises. And now, thanks to the swell Caipirinha kit from Novo Fogo, making the drink is a snap. The kit comes with a bottle of Novo Fogo cachaça, a muddler and two drinking jars. You’ll just need a lime and some sugar and the below recipe.

Cracked ice

1/2 lime quartered

1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar

2 ounces cachaça

1. Add all but one of the lime quarters and the sugar to a drinking jar. Muddle well.

2. Fill the drinking jar three-quarters up with cracked ice. Add the cachaça. Stir well, making sure the sugar has dissolved.

3. Garnish the jar with a lime wedge.

2. The Lucky Apple

Sadly, we sometimes think apple-related drinks are only for fall (admittedly, apple drinks and fall are a great combo). But a nice iced-up apple-based drink is wonderful in summer, and makes a real party hit. I’m using Washington State’s own Tree Top 3 apple blend pure apple juice here, combined with 3 Howls single malt whiskey – apples and whiskey being a nice pairing.

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces 3 Howls single malt whiskey

3/4 ounce Averna amaro

4 ounces Tree Top 3 apple blend apple juice

Mint sprig, for garnish 

1. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Add the whiskey and Averna amaro. Stir a bit.

2. Top the glass off with the apple cider. Stir a bit more. Garnish with the mint. Feel lucky.

3. Moraine Cooler

I first saw this wine cocktail in Jacques Straub’s Drinks, published in 1914. And my thought is if it was good enough to refresh our forefathers and foremothers when they were partying, it’s good enough for us. I’ve made this with a Riesling in the past, but recently I’ve been whipping it up with Maryhill Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc, which has a few nice fruit hints that mingle well with the other ingredients. 

Lemon wheel

Ice cubes

1/2 ounce orange curaçao

3 ounces chilled Maryhill Sauvignon Blanc

Chilled club soda

Lemon twists, for garnish

1. Add the lemon wheel to a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler, muddle well. 

2. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the curaçao and wine. Shake well.

3. Fill a highball glass halfway full with ice cubes. Strain the Moraine into the glass. Top with club soda, till it approaches, but doesn’t reach, the rim. Stir well. Garnish with a lemon twist.

4. Castello Special

If you think of your summertime party as a castle, within which only awesomeness occurs (leaving the outside world to the dreary and the drab), then this drink from Good Spirits is for you. If you’re planning far in advance, make your own limoncello. But if not, go with Letterpress limoncello, which is a fine thing in its own right. Oh, if you can’t find blood oranges, use regular and call it “The Tower Special.”

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces limoncello

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

Chilled club soda

Blood orange slice for garnish

1. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Add the limoncello, juice, and syrup. Stir twice around with a thin spoon, sir stick, or very tiny ladder. 

2. Top the glass off club soda. Stir again, at least five more times around. Garnish with a blood orange slice.

5. The Dragonfly

Sometimes when it’s hot out, stick to the simple drinks, those which don’t require much in the way of preparation. After all, there’s no need to go overboard and wear yourself out. The Dragonfly, a great thirst quencher that’s also from Good Spirits, fits times like these perfectly (like a good pair of flip flops).

Ice cubes

2-1/2 ounces gin (Seattle Distilling Company gin goes well here)

Chilled ginger ale

Lime wedge, for garnish

1. Fill a highball or comparable glass three quarters full with ice cubes. Add the gin, with reverence. Add the ginger ale until you’re slightly fearful of spillage.

2. Squeeze a lime wedge over the drink, and then drop it in smoothly. Stir five times with a buzzing sound.

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