Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for sitting by the fire with a glass of bourbon (neat) and a good book. As spring and summer encroach upon our winter wardrobes and demand that wool overcoats be replaced with shorts and flip-flops, the time comes for new cocktails as well.
I love summer cocktails because they're fun and lighthearted; they don't take themselves too seriously. While I love a great glass of whiskey, I desperately want something a bit less serious when summer weather comes around. Something that feels natural in your hand over a game of corn hole.
Summer cocktails are great and should be done right. With that in mind, here are some recipes for some old classics done right.
This cocktail is either done really right or really wrong. Use a good-grade tequila and fresh lime juice along with coarse, kosher salt.
2 oz. tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Coarse salt for the rim of the glass
Rub the rim of a chilled glass with lime juice and dip in salt. Add your liquor and other ingredients and shake with ice in your shaker. Strain and serve with a wedge of lime and maybe a few sprigs of mint for garnish.
Few things are as refreshing as mint. The mojito fits the bill if you're tired of mint juleps.
Muddle 2 ounces of lime juice with a bit of fine sugar. Add some mint leaves, making sure to mix them well. Fill your glass with crushed ice and add some rum. Top with club soda for some fizz.
3. Mai Tai
The classic drink for "sipping", the mai tai is ubiquitous as a summer cocktail.
2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. curaçao
1/2 oz. simple syrup syrup
1/8 oz. orange or lime syrup
Shake everything with ice and pour unstrained in a tall glass. Serve with a little umbrella.
4. Pina Colada
If you like them, drink them. Take rum, coconut cream, fresh pineapple, and ice and blend together along with ice. Garnish with a cherry or more fresh pineapple. You can also add some pineapple juice if you want a more pronounced flavor.
5. Mint Julep
A personal favorite, this combo of Kentucky bourbon, mint, and sugar is a one-way ticket to leisure. Place the mint at the bottom of the cup and crush with ice and sugar, then pour a good bit of bourbon over top.
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