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Eco-Cocktail Recipes for Hot Summer Nights

Eco-Cocktail Recipes for Hot Summer Nights

Whether you’re celebrating the sunshine or trying to keep cool, we’re here to help with a list of favorite summer drink recipes, each with an eco-conscious twist.

Truth be told, it can be pretty tough to concoct an environmentally friendly cocktail using locally grown and organic ingredients. But that won’t stop us from trying. Assuming you don’t distill your own hooch (which would make you the ultimate greenie), we tracked down companies and brands that make organic and fair trade alcoholic beverages.

When it comes to buying local, wine is the most widely available spirit. And for organic fruit and other ingredients, consider what naturally grows near you–berries and melons in temperate latitudes and citrus in tropical and subtropical climes. Adapt recipes to what’s seasonal and local, and drink in the summer sun.

White Wine Sangria
A refreshing blend of sustainable wine and seasonal fruits.

1 bottle of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc from California’s Frog’s Leap Winery; Riesling from Washington’s Badger Mountain; Chardonnay from Oregon’s Willamette Valley Vineyards)
2 shots rum (Matraga or Utkins)
1 peach, cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 nectarine, cut into wedges
1/2 cup lemonade (for pre-made organic, Purity’s or Calories in 365)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup ginger ale or soda water

Combine wine, rum, fruit, and lemonade in a large pitcher. Chill overnight and right before serving, add ice and ginger ale or soda water. Serve in wine glasses.

Serves 4-6.

Vodka Watermelon
About as simple and refreshing as you can get.

Large watermelon
Vodka (Purus, Square One, Vodka 14, 360, TRU)

At one end of the melon, cut a notch large enough to insert the cooking funnel. Pour vodka into the funnel until the melon can’t absorb any more. Repeat over the next day or two, while refrigerating the melon. (If you’re in a hurry, perforate the outside of the melon a few times with a small knife, pushing it to the handle, to help it absorb the vodka faster.) Slice into pieces and enjoy.

Pisco Sour
Pisco, a Peruvian grape brandy that derives its name from the word “pisqu” (Quechua for “little bird”), is grown in Chile as well, but Peruvians swear theirs is the real deal.

1/4 cup pisco (La Caravedo)
1 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. fresh pasteurized egg whites

Whirl three ice cubes, pisco, sugar, fresh lime juice, and egg whites in a blender until smooth. Serve straight up in a martini glass with a dash of aromatic bitters and a wedge of lime.

Joie de VeeV
Acai is the new pomegranate. This little blue berry from Brazil is packed with antioxidants and has made its way into sorbets, teas, energy drinks, and now a liquor called VeeV. A little sweeter than vodka, the 60-proof liquor is infused with ašai (pronounced ah-SIGH-ee) berries that grow on the top of palm trees. The company donates $1 from every bottle sold to Sambazon’s Sustainable Acai project, which helps protect and replenish Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.

2 oz VeeV
3 mint sprigs
2 strawberries
2 lime wedges
Ginger ale

Muddle the slices of lime, strawberries, and mint sprigs in a mixing glass. Add VeeV and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into a glass and top with ginger ale.

Strawberry Mojito
Put a seasonal spin on a traditional Mexican cocktail.

5-8 mint leaves
3 strawberries, halved
2 tsp. sugar
3 oz. lime juice
3 oz white rum (Matraga or Utkins)
Sprite or club soda

Muddle mint, strawberries, and sugar in a shaker until very finely mashed. Add ice, rum, and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and then pour mixture into 8 oz. glass. Top off with splash of Sprite or club soda.

Plenty is an environmental media company dedicated to exploring and giving voice to the green revolution that will define the 21st Century. Click here to subscribe to Plenty.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Drinks

By Plenty Magazine Editors

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9:43AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Thank you

5:30AM PDT on May 11, 2011

They all sound yummy.

4:34AM PDT on May 11, 2011

mmmm.... winter now but can't wait to try when our hot/humid summer arrives. Thanks

4:06AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

this is one hell of a list ! As a wedding planner I will try and "sell" this ones to my clients as much as possible. Now i i realize i enjoyed all your articles. Thank you.

9:29AM PDT on Jun 18, 2010


5:58AM PDT on Jun 18, 2010

Thank you for the post, some great ideas.

7:21AM PST on Jan 3, 2010

Yummy, can´t wait for those hot summer nights now!

9:17PM PDT on Oct 6, 2008

Hi Annie,

I love any drinks with melon and alcohol for that matter :) But if you are looking for a nice refreshing tea/drink try filling a tall beaker with Big scoops of watermelon and topping with hot water, fresh mint and a spoon. Beautiful, sweet and good for you too.
From my resources watermelon is made up of natural sugar and water.

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