The summer brings warmer weather for us to enjoy out on the patio, but it doesn’t necessarily place a cold drink right in our hand when it’s time to cool off. That’s why we’ve rounded up recipes of refreshing cocktails from our database and elsewhere to quench your thirst and tease your taste buds as you soak in the summer sun.
Brought to you by Southern Kitchen’s own Chef Jeffrey Gardner, this refreshing drink calls for pink grapefruit, grapefruit juice, chili powder, salt, sour mix, sugar and tequila. Just use a fork to mix the chili powder, salt and sugar on a plate, then coat the rim of the glass with your mixture and slide a slice of grapefruit around the rim. Combine grapefruit juice and wedges, ice, sour mix and tequila in a cocktail shaker, shake 'til your heart’s content and pour your handcrafted drink into an ice-filled glass.
The Limoncello Collins will take a bit longer than the margarita, but it'll be just as satisfying when you’re out in the summer heat. You will need limoncello liqueur, lemon juice, thyme simple syrup, vodka, sparkling or soda water, lemon thyme and a lemon slice. After making your own simple syrup (water, sugar and lemon or thyme), add it in a cocktail shaker to the ice, limoncello, lemon juice and vodka. Shake it up, grab a collins glass and drop in the fizzy water, a round lemon slice or two, and a sprig of thyme.
Hibiscus mint sangria
Even though you can enjoy a hibiscus mint sangria in virtually any season, it's particularly fun and tasty when temperatures are high. It's also especially well-suited as a good-ol’ summer cool-down cocktail; it's also a piece of cake to make. Southern Twist Cocktails provides a super simple, two-sentence guide to crafting this white wine, hibiscus, mint, lime and orange drink -- all you have to do is throw everything into your wine glass with a couple cubes of ice, and you’re done (Ta-da!)
The Charleston Bog
According to Food & Wine Magazine, the Charleston Bog was created by mixologist Ralph Rosenberg to be a bourbon-based beverage that even people who do not identify as bourbon drinkers could still enjoy. Rosenberg uses Maker’s Mark in his, but as long as you have some kind of bourbon, raspberries, mint, lime, honey syrup, white cranberry juice and ice, you’re all set. Once everything gets mixed in a cocktail shaker, just find a pilsner glass, fill up and drink up.
Smoke Ring Atlanta bartender Ashley Bly shared with us the key components of this mildly sweet cocktail. Bly said the Chattanooga Lucy is a very popular item on the Southern barbecue restaurant’s cocktail menu and a great addition to a warm summer afternoon on the patio. The drink's main players include Chattanooga whiskey, apple moonshine, a splash of ginger ale and lime. Pour it all over ice and you’ll be ready to sip, enjoy and repeat.
Grapefruit margarita photo: Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Charleston Bog photo: Courtesy of Austin American-Statesman