Summer is filled with all kinds of celebrations that, typically, involve a bit of drinking: Memorial Day Weekend, 4th of July, Summer Fridays, Thirsty Thursdays, being at the beach and not having to work, etc. That said, now that Summer is right around the corner, I wanted to share a few cocktail recipes that you can reference when in-need of some drinkspiration.
Some of these ingredients you may need to seek out, but they will prove to be valuable investments after tasting some of these. If you are only missing one liquor/liqueur, feel free to get creative and substitute that ingredient out for a similar one that may be easier to source. Channel your inner home bartender - you've got this!
Summer 2018 Cocktail Guide
No Way, Rosé
As soon as the warm weather hits, everybody busts out the rosé. It is a sign that Summer is here and that the people are ready for it. Instead of just sipping it straight like you normally would, why not make a beautiful, refreshing, cocktail with your rosé - it's a showstopper that will impress all of your guests.
When to Drink It: Summer Holidays & Special Occasions.
1 1/2 oz Gin
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime
1/2 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar,water)
2 Dashes Lavender Bitters
Topped with 3 oz of sparkling rosé
Garnish: Basil leaf and expressed lemon peel
Mixing Instructions: mix all ingredients in shaker, except the rosé. Shake until chilled and diluted. Strain into stemware of choice, top with rosé, garnish, and indulge.
Westside Pisco Punch
This punch is fantastic to make for large groups. If you've never had Pisco, after sipping this cocktail you are going to be singing Rihanna's "Where have you been? All my Li(ee)ife..." and then the beat drop is when you take a sip, because it is that good. Pisco is a spirit that is distilled from grapes and the particular Pisco I use for this cocktail, El Gobernador, is one of my favorite spirits to sip on. This recipe includes Genepy (which is hard to come by), so I'd recommend using Maraschino liqueur, or Chartreuse in its place.
When to Drink It: on a hot day when you and some friends want to crush cocktails like it's your job.
1 1/2 oz Pisco
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Genepy (If you don't have, sub in Maraschino or Chartreuse)
1/2 oz Lemon
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Campari
6 Basil Leaves
Garnish: Basil sprig & Peychaud's Bitters
Mixing Instructions: combine all ingredients in shaker (including the basil leaves). Add ice and shake until chilled. Double strain over ice into glass, garnish with basil sprig and Peychaud's bitters, and sip.
Warning: you will want to guzzle this one...try not to.
Martinis are the safe bet because the ingredients are easy-to-source and, when made right (with a good gin), are one of the best cocktails to sip on. Many cocktail bars have been introducing impressive builds on the Martini that give the flavor profile a little more complexity with a dash of this, or a dash of that.
This recommendation is more of a blank canvas, or template, for you to mess around with flavors and come up with your own version of the Martini. Play with proportions, garnishes, types of vermouth, bitters - you'll discover something beautiful.
When to Drink It: after a long day when getting a nice buzz on is your goal.
1 1/2 - 2oz Gin
1/2 oz - 1 1/2 oz Vermouth (Note: equal parts gin and vermouth will leave you with a 50-50 Martini variation)
Traditional Garnishes: Olives or Lemon Twist
Things to try (can just be one of the below or a few):
Adding a dash of bitters
Adding a dash, or 1/4 oz, of a floral liqueur (like Maraschino, Italicus, or Creme de Violette)
Adding a dash of saline (salt + water)
Adding a unique garnish that ties in with the flavors of your cocktail (Ex: if you add Creme de Violette, maybe garnish with an edible flower and a lemon twist)
This cocktail made my list for NYE 2018 cocktails that you should be drinking but, if I am being honest, you should always be drinking this cocktail. It is a build on the tequila & tonic, adding citrus and some floral notes to the mix to make for a thirst-quenching, simple fizz.
When to Drink It: anytime, any day, anywhere.
1 1/2 oz Tequila
3/4 oz Lemon
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (2:1)
4 Dashes Lavender Bitters
Topped with Fevertree Tonic (approx. 2-3oz)
Garnish: Grapefruit Peel
Mixing Instructions: Mix all ingredients (excluding 2 dashes of bitters and tonic water) into mixer. Shake. Strain into glass, then top with tonic, add 2 more dashes or lavender bitters. Garnish. Sip.
Flowers & Bitters
A couple of these ingredients aren't typically found in the home bar, but I highly recommend picking these few items up as you can use them across many recipes and are a great investment! Plus, this cocktail is DELICIOUS.
When to Drink It: a kickback with some friends and family.
1 1/2 oz Pisco
1 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 1/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime
1-2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Garnish: 1/2 Lime Wheel and Drops of Peychaud’s on Top
Mixing Instructions: mix all ingredients into shaker. Shake until chilled, strain into glass, garnish & sip.