When summer’s short, it’s always the right time for cocktails. And that means hold the fuss and muss. A simple cocktail shaker, fresh lemons and limes and a liquor cabinet stocked with basics are all you need to get started. Chances are, your fruit bowl and crisper have the other ingredients covered. Ready to find out? It’s cocktail time.
The Negroni is a classic cocktail that’s made its way back into the limelight. Loved for its bitter orange flavour, this is one cocktail that’s definitely an acquired taste. Our version, a Mistaken Negroni, calls for Prosecco rather than gin, which helps take a bit of the edge off—a Negroni with training wheels.
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz sweet, red Italian vermouth
1 oz Prosecco (more if you like)
1 slice of orange (to garnish)
Pour the Campari and vermouth into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, secure the lid and shake. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice, top with Prosecco, garnish with a slice of orange and sip s-l-o-w-l-y.
Oranges and rum are a match made in heaven—and the beach and the patio and the…you get the picture.
2 1/2 oz freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
1 1/2 oz light rum (we used Flor de Caña)
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp simple syrup
Orange slices (to garnish)
Pour the juice, alcohol and syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, secure the lid and shake until chilled. Strain the mixture into an ice-filled tumbler, garnish with a slice of fresh orange and serve.
The Cranberry Ginger is a delightful variation on the Cosmopolitan—one of the most popular cocktails of the last 20 years. Like the Cosmo, this is a sour cocktail that’s great for summer sipping.
3 1/2 oz cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz ginger-lime simple syrup
1/2 oz ginger liqueur
2 dashes Angustura bitters
Cranberries, lime slices and ginger slices, to garnish
For the ginger-lime syrup
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
7 slices (coins) of fresh ginger (thickness of a dime)
2 short strips of lime zest (just enough for a hint)
To make the syrup, bring the water, sugar, fresh ginger and lime zest to a boil in a small pot, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, strain the syrup and reserve the “candied” ginger to use as a garnish. Let the syrup cool to room temp, and then place it in the fridge to chill.
Pour the cranberry juice, alcohol, syrup and bitters into a shaker filled with ice, secure the lid and shake until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler, and garnish with a few cranberries, a slice of lime and a few coins of the “candied” ginger.
Peaches and thyme are always a nice pairing. The addition of bourbon makes it a party. Enjoy responsibly!
2 oz bourbon
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz ginger-thyme syrup
1 1/2 oz peach nectar
Ginger ale (to taste)
Slice of peach and sprig of thyme (to garnish)
For the ginger-thyme syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1 sprig fresh thyme
Combine all the syrup ingredients in a small pot, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool completely.
To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the bourbon, lemon juice, ginger-thyme syrup and peach nectar. Shake vigorously, and strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Top with a splash of ginger ale, and garnish with a slice of peach and a sprig of thyme.
Make no mistake. This cocktail’s got kick! Flirty, refreshing and perfect for ushering in summer.
2 oz gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz rhubarb syrup
2 dashes rhubarb bitters
Lime slices and
strawberries (to garnish)
A splash of tonic water or sparkling wine (optional)
To make the rhubarb syrup, place 2 cups of chopped rhubarb in a small pot with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer 20 minutes. Strain well, and store the syrup in the refrigerator.
To a cocktail shaker, add the gin, lemon juice, lime juice, rhubarb syrup and bitters. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a glass with ice, and garnish with lime and strawberries. For a sour with a little less kick, add a splash of tonic water or sparkling wine.
Bourbon and jam together at last. This quick cocktail is almost too easy to make. We used cherry jam, but blackberry or apricot work equally well.
2 oz bourbon
1 tbsp cherry jam
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp honey
Club soda or Sprite (to taste)
Place the bourbon, jam, lemon juice and honey into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, secure the lid and shake until chilled. Strain the mixture into an ice-filled tumbler, top with club soda or Sprite and garnish with a fresh cherry.
This quencher requires muddling but is well worth the “effort.” The honey and mint make it next level delicious.
12 fresh raspberries
2 tsp honey
3 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Club soda (to taste)
1 dash Angustura bitters
Place the raspberries, honey and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker, and give them a muddle. Next, add the tequila and lime juice and top with ice. Secure the lid, and shake until chilled. Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with ice, top with club soda and a dash of Angustura bitters. Garnish with a few raspberries, and serve.
Great things begin with mint and cucumber, and this mojito is one of them. You’ll find cucumber-flavoured vodka at most liquor stores and, likely, other inspirations too.
5 fresh mint leaves
2 tsp sugar
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
2 oz cucumber-
Club soda (to taste)
and mint sprigs
Place the mint leaves and sugar in a cocktail shaker, and give them a muddle. Next, add the tequila and lime juice, and top with ice. Secure the lid, and shake until chilled. Strain the mixture into a tumbler filled with ice, top with club soda and garnish with cucumber slices and mint. t8n