We’ve finally made it! After months of sweaters, snow, and dry skin, it’s summer! I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of summer is all of the tasty in-season produce. No more sad, pale tomatoes. Forget about those grapes grown a continent away, or the flavorless strawberries grown in giant greenhouses. Fresh, local, seasonal produce is here, and it’s time to make the most of it while we can. So why not let those ingredients shine in a refreshing cocktail? Click through to check out some great ideas for summer cocktails. Have your own favorite? Tell us about it in the comments.
The light, refreshing flavor of the cucumber pairs nicely with the spicy-sweet basil.
1. Cucumber-Basil Martini
Makes 4 Cocktails.
For Simple Syrup:
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 1/4 Cup water
- 4 Teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 4 3-inch pieces of cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced, plus 4 slices cucumber for garnish
- 8 Leaves basil, torn, plus one for garnish
- 8 Ounces gin
- 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1. Make simple syrup. In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and stir continuously for about 1 minute, until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Place ginger in a sieve and place over the bowl. Using a spoon, press ginger through the sieve to release the juice. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
2. Make cocktail. In a cocktail shaker, place 1/4 of the diced cucumber and 1/4 of the torn basil and muddle well. Add 1/4 of the simple syrup, 2 ounces gin, 1 tablespoon lime juice and ice. Shake the mixture vigorously, and then strain to a martini glass. Add a cucumber slice and a basil leaf to the glass. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Recipe Adapted From: Food and Wine.
The Caiprinha is undoubtedly the most popular cocktail in Brazil. This recipe adds a Sangria-style twist to the traditional cachaša-lime-sugar recipe. Trust me, it’ll be a hit at backyard barbecues all summer long!
5. Blackberry and Cabernet Caiprinha
- 1 Cup blackberries
- 2 Medium limes, quartered, plus the juice of 3 more
- 6 Ounces cachaša (ideally, or you can use rum if you must)
- 2 Ounces Cabernet Sauvignon
- Juice of 1/2 medium orange
- 2 Ounces cranberry juice
- 4 Ounces simple syrup
- Lime and orange wheels for garnish
1. In a large pitcher, place blackberries and quartered limes. Muddle the fruit until it is crushed well. Stir in the cachaša, wine, lime, orange and cranberry juice, simple syrup, and ice. Stir well. Add the lime and orange wheels for garnish. Serve.
Recipe Credit: Chow.com
9. Thyme Lemonade Punch
Thyme Simple Syrup:
- 2 Cups sugar
- 12 Sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- Thyme simple syrup (should be about 2 cups)
- 4 Cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (the juice of around 24 lemons)
- 2 Cups vodka
1. Make thyme simple syrup. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water, sugar and thyme to a boil. Stir occasionally and, once the sugar has fully dissolved, remove from heat. Let the simple syrup cool until it’s at room temperature.
2. Place a fine mesh sieve inside of a large bowl. Pour the simple syrup through the sieve, pressing the the thyme down with a spoon to get out as much flavor as possible. Remove and discard thyme. Cover the bowl of syrup and transfer to fridge to chill.
3. Add lemon juice, vodka and syrup to a pitcher. Stir to combine. Serve on ice in tumbler glasses, and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart.