Cause a stir among friends with a laidback summer drinks party. Much lauded Portland, Oregon, mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler of hot spot bar Pepe Le Moko and tavern-style eatery Clyde Common dreamed up a cocktail for everyone in your crew. Plus, each recipe is easy to make in batches.
For the Guest Who ♥s a Grown-up Mocktail:
Sparkling Lavender Lemonade
(Pictured at top)
“This one is so simple to make,” says Morgenthaler of his herb-infused, alcohol-free refresher. It’s also versatile: Swap out the lavender with thyme, rosemary, or tarragon to alter the flavor profile. Soda water gives it a tantalizing fizz.
9 oz. lavender syrup (recipe follows)
9 oz. fresh lemon juice
24 oz. sparkling water, chilled
Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish
Lavender Syrup Ingredients
1 cup water
¼ cup fresh lavender leaves
1 cup sugar
Lavender Syrup Directions
In a small saucepan, combine water and lavender; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves, about 1 minute. Strain and let cool.
In a large pitcher, combine lavender syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water. Pour into ice-filled highball glasses. Garnish with lavender.
For the Guest Who ♥s Something with a Kick:
Smoky Orange Margarita
Orange marmalade is the secret ingredient in this not-too-sweet crowd-pleaser. Amp up the sourness, says Morgenthaler, by substituting 3 ounces of tamarind concentrate ($9; amazon.com) for the marmalade and straining the drink to remove the seeds.
9 oz. silver tequila
4½ oz. mezcal
6¾ oz. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
6¾ oz. Cointreau
3 tbsp orange marmalade
1½ oz. agave syrup
3 tbsp salt for garnish
1. In a large pitcher, combine tequila, mezcal, lime juice, Cointreau, marmalade, and agave syrup. Whisk. Strain and return to the pitcher.
2. Moisten each glass rim with lime wedges; coat with salt. Fill glasses with ice; add the margarita.
3. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
For the Guest Who ♥s That Light Buzz All Night:
Lillet & Cucumber
“At a party you always need a drink that you can have a few of without feeling terribly tipsy,” says Morgenthaler, and this one fits the bill nicely. “Fresh mint and cucumber work so well together,” he adds.
1 5-inch-long hothouse cucumber, sliced
6 oz. simple syrup (see below, French 75 Rosé cocktail recipe, for directions)
12 oz. Lillet Blanc
9 oz. sparkling water
Mint springs for garnish
In a blender or food processor, purée cucumber slices with simple syrup. Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in Lillet and sparkling water. Serve in ice-filled rocks glasses, garnished with mint sprigs.
For the Guest Who ♥s Yummy Bubbles:
French 75 Rosé
Sparkling rosé wine, gin, and fresh lemon juice combine to create a drink that’s “ultralight and refreshing,” says Morgenthaler. It’s a riff on the classic French 75, a Champagne cocktail that was first served at the New York Bar in Paris in 1915. Here, sparkling rosé (a barcart staple for summer fun) is the bubbly of choice.
6 oz. London dry gin
6 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 oz. water
12 oz. chilled sparkling rosé
Lemon twist for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and water. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Just before serving, gently stir in rosé. Serve in ice-filled coupes. Garnish with a lemon twist. (Use a vegetable peeler to create a strip, then curl it up to make a spiral.)
Simple Syrup Ingredients
¾ cup sugar
3 oz. water
Simple Syrup Directions
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Let cool.