The long, warm days of summer will soon arrive. There’s no better way to spend them than sipping your favorite beverage with friends, outdoors. As for me, I always love a refreshing seasonal cocktail.
Summertime brings an abundance of fresh fruits and herbs that can be mixed into all sorts of flavorful craft cocktails.
It’s fun to experiment – whether infusing your libation of choice* with an herb or creating interesting simple syrups, be creative! Try some of these paired flavors and you’re on your way to becoming an amateur mixologist.
All of the following cocktails are made as martinis. However, they can be served over ice, too. And of course, you can “spice” them up a bit more with a heavier hand on the alcohol.
If you’re serving martinis, start with a shaker filled with ice. Once all the ingredients are added, shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds, and then pour into a chilled martini glass.
My brother-in-law introduced me to this years ago and it’s always a big hit. In a shaker filled with ice mix:
Serve with a slice of lime.
I stole the recipe for this martini from one of my favorite restaurants, and then kicked it up a bit. I added elderflower liquor to cut the acid and enhance the flavor. It’s so good that it’s become my “signature” go-to cocktail. In a shaker filled with ice mix:
Satsuma mandarins have a mellower flavor than your basic orange, but any mandarin or tangerine will do. In a shaker filled with ice mix:
You can substitute basil for the mint. In a shaker filled with ice mix:
Serve with a sprig of mint.
Simply muddle about a ½ cup of the herb of choice, pour 2 cups vodka or gin over the herbs and seal in a mason jar. Let it sit for a couple of day, then strain.
To prepare syrup, in a sauce pan, bring one cup water and one cup sugar to a boil. Simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it stand until it’s room temperature.
If you’re making a flavored syrup, add in a heaping amount of the herb. I find you can’t put in too much. For example, about 20 basil leaves or ½ pound grated ginger work great.
Seal and refrigerate for a couple of days. Strain and use. Any leftover syrup can be frozen for several months.
Do you have a favorite summer cocktail that you love to prepare for your friends? Please share some of your favorites below!