Summer is in full swing and with the weather reaching higher temperatures, there's more reason than ever to cool down with a chilled beverage. For me summer is incomplete without enjoying a great cocktail at an outdoor party. With the fourth of July just days away, what better way to celebrate than with a refreshing drink in hand? Grab one of these three and join the revelry.
I've updated my favorite drink, the gimlet, by making it with freshly squeezed lime juice and a touch of syrup for sweetness. For a fizzy drink, I came up with the Ruby Sparkler, which combines, vodka, ruby red grapefruit juice, and grenadine for a bit of pomegranate sweetness and color. And the Citrus Breeze is my combination of the most refreshing flavors, rum, mint, and a blend of three different freshly squeezed citrus fruits. There's a drink here for everyone to enjoy.
I enjoy making my own syrups. It's great to have a few different ones on hand. You never know when you might need to mix a drink for friends or family that stop by unannounced.
To make your own simple syrup, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Add 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar and heat until dissolved and thick syrup forms. Once cooled, store the syrup in a jar in the refrigerator. Yield: 1 cup.
To make your own grenadine, bring 2 cups of pomegranate juice to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Once reduced by half, add 1 cup granulated sugar and heat until dissolved. Once cooled, store the syrup in a jar in the refrigerator. Yield: 1 cup.
2 ounces gin
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
lime or lemon twist, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime or lemon twist. Yield: 1 drink.
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
raspberries, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine, vodka, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled wine flute. Top with seltzer and garnish with raspberries. Yield: 1 drink.
2 lemon wedges
6 mint leaves
1 ounce golden rum
1 ounce golden grapefruit juice
1 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
mint sprig, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle together lemon wedges and mint leaves. Add rum, grapefruit juice, orange juice, simple syrup, and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with mint sprig. Yield: 1 drink.