Summer is the season when we take some time to lounge in the sun while downing refreshing drinks with family and friends. Whether at the beach or on the back porch, there’s a perfect cocktail for every occasion.
After working at a number of bars that pride themselves on delicious fruity concoctions from the East End of Long Island to San Francisco, I’ve learned the art of crafting the perfect summer cocktail. What follows is a list of my five most popular cocktail creations. These drinks will refresh your palate with unique flavor combinations and make you the toast of your next event:
1. Concord Grape Crush
This is a refreshing drink that is perfect for a hot day.
Ingredients: Fresh Lime, Concord Grapes, Premium Vodka, Club Soda (or Lemon-Lime Soda Pop)
- In a high ball glass, muddle one lime wedge with 4 to 5 Concord Grapes with a splash of club soda to aid the muddling
- Fill glass with ice and 1.5 ounces (44 ml) of your favorite vodka
- Pour content into shaker and shake well for 10 seconds
- Return contents to glass and fill with club soda (note that lemon-lime soda, or a splash of simple syrup, can be used if you want the drink to be sweeter)
- Gently stir contents and garnish with a lime wedge
2. Anthony the Pirate’s Cocktail
This is a delicious fruity drink that’s perfect for lying beside the pool or on the beach.
Ingredients: Light Rum, Amaretto, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Midori, maraschino Cherry
- Fill a high ball glass with ice and pour in a 1 ounce (30 ml) of light rum (Bacardi or Shellback work well)
- Add ¾ of an ounce (22 ml) of Amaretto
- Add equal parts of pineapple, orange, and cranberry juices (about a half ounce of each)
- Give the mixture a short shake or stir with a spoon
- Add about ½ ounce (15 ml) of Midori floater
- Garnish with a maraschino Cherry
3. The X-Rated Romp
This is a sexy cocktail that is sure to loosen up everyone at the party.
Ingredients: X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, pineapple vodka, maraschino cherry
- Fill your shaker with ice and add 1.5 ounces (44 ml) of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur and ¾ ounce (22 ml) of pineapple vodka (Ciroc Pineapple is recommended)
- Pour in 1 ounce (30 ml) of pineapple juice along with an ounce of orange juice
- Shake all ingredients and strain into a cocktail glass (sometimes called a martini glass)
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry
4. Tommy Gun’s Punch
This was made in honor of one of my best friends who has a serious sweet tooth when it comes to booze. It became an instant favorite at the bar I used to work at on scenic Lake Chautauqua.
Cherry vodka, Three Olives Loopy Vodka, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, orange juice, grenadine, orange slice, maraschino cherry
- Fill a pint glass with ice and add 1.5 ounces (44 ml) of cherry vodka and 1.5 ounces of Loopy Vodka
- Add 1.5 ounces (44 ml) of pineapple, cranberry juice, and orange juice
- Add ½ ounce (15 ml) grenadine
- Shake all ingredients briefly
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice
5. Raspberry Lemon Zest Martini
This is a refreshing drink I created while bartending on the East End of Long Island. This is a recipe which will be the rage of your next event.
Ingredients: Vanilla vodka, raspberry vodka, simple syrup, raspberry puree (cranberry juice can be substituted)
- Start with a cocktail (martini) glass and a shaker
- Fill shaker with ice
- Pour in: 2 parts vanilla vodka, approximately 1 ½ ounces (44 ml)
- Add 1 part raspberry vodka ¾ ounce (22 ml)
- ½ ounce of simple syrup (15 ml)
- Splash of raspberry puree or cranberry juice
- Shake all of the contents and strain into glass
- Garnish with a lemon twist
There you have it, everything you need to make your next poolside cocktail party a hit. There’s no time like summer to chill-out with the right fruity flavor combination. With these fun cocktails you’ll definitely be able to beat the heat and find a delicious release from the grind of the 9-5.