A summer cocktail should be three things: bright, fruity, and refreshing. Below, we have three recipes that fit the bill, courtesy of Trisha Antonsen, the chief cocktail officer of alcohol delivery service Drizly. “For summer, look to fresh fruits and veggies, like strawberries, basil, and watermelon, instead of reaching for something from concentrate—it can make all the difference,” says Antonsen. “If for some reason I don't have a fresh fruit on hand, I love to experiment with liqueurs to impart flavor. For example, a dash of Chambord will add a yummy raspberry kick to a drink.”
Another secret for the perfect summer cocktail? Fresh ice. “Do yourself a favor—don't use your freezer burned ice cubes after you've spent all that time tracking down the ingredients for a new, cool drink,” advises Antonsen. “Order a fresh bag to have on hand when you're entertaining. I love cocktails with crushed ice in the summertime. If you don't have an ice crusher (not many people do), pop some ice cubes in a Ziplock bag and break them up using a meat mallet or even a can from the pantry. Voila.” Read on for three of Antonsen’s favorite warm-weather drinks.
1. The Blue Lagoon
“Despite the mesmerizing blue-green color of this cocktail, its flavor is bright and citrusy,” says Antonsen. “The soda water keeps this drink from being overly sweet.”
1 ½ oz Bacardi Tangerine ($14; winefolder.com)
1/4 oz Blue Curacao ($12; internationalwineshop.com)
1 ½ oz pineapple juice
1 ½ oz soda water
Green maraschino cherry, pineapple slice, or orange slice for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a large glass over ice. Stir gently with a bar spoon before serving. Garnish and serve.
2. Endless Summer
“This cocktail is comprised of fresh citrus juices, tequila to add a little bite, and crème de cassis to balance it all out. I guarantee you'll be sipping this into next season,” says Antonsen.
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all ingredients and shake until frosty and cold. Pour entire shaker contents into a rocks glass. Garnish and serve.
“A variation on the French martini, this recipe replaces pineapple with the more exotic Carribbean flavor of mango,” explains Antonsen. “And Chambord, a blackberry and raspberry flavored liqueur, is one of my favorite cocktail additions.”
2 oz Chambord ($28; budgetbottle.com)
1 oz vodka
1/2 oz lemon juice
Lemon wheel and blackberry for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all ingredients and shake until frosty and cold. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish and serve.