by Anna Tusa
WITH THE NEW ORLEANS heat and humidity punishing everyone during the dog days of Summer, I always seek refreshing ways to beat the heat and enjoy a cocktail while unwinding in the pool, reading on the porch, or having dinner with friends. Summertime is also the perfect time to experiment with cocktails using fresh fruit. For the cocktails featured in this article, I used freshly ripe pineapples, mangos, strawberries, and pears. I was able to use the pears, strawberries, and mint from my garden. It brings me great joy to be able to use fruit and produce that I have grown. Also, I played with infusing different home-made simple syrups to give the cocktails a little something extra. Below are some of my favorite summer recipes.
2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
½ oz Homemade brown sugar simple
2 dashes El Guapo Holiday Pie Bitters
2 slices of peach
1oz Brut Champagne
Muddle the peach slices, fill a mixing glass with crushed ice, bourbon, simple syrup, bitters, and shake well. Pour into a rocks glass and top with a splash of champagne. Garnish with a peach slice.
2 oz Don Q Cristal Rum
1 oz Mint Simple Syrup
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
2 oz Mango puree
Muddle mint leaves and limes in a mixing glass, fill with crushed ice, rum, mint syrup, lime juice, and mango puree, shake well. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. For a fun garnish, use a piece of sugar cane and a slice of mango.
2 oz McQueen and Violet Fog Gin
1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
½ oz Homemade brown sugar syrup
1 egg white
3 Pineapple slices
Muddle 2 pieces of pineapple in a mixing glass, fill with ice, gin, lime juice, brown sugar syrup, egg white, and shake well. Take a lime wedge, go around the rim of a coupe glass and next dip into a bowl of powdered sugar to rim the glass, strain the mixing glass into the couple glass, and garnish with pineapple. I would advise chilling the coupe glass while making the cocktail so the drink will stay nice and cold.
Spicy Pear Margarita
2 oz Avion Tequila
1 oz Pear puree
1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz Agave Syrup
2 Slices of fresh jalapeño
2 Lime wedges
1 Orange slice
Muddle one lime wedge, orange wedge, and jalapenos in a mixing glass, fill with ice, add tequila, pear puree, juices, agave syrup; shake well. Strain into a salt rimmed rocks glass filled with ice, garnish with a lime wedge.
2oz Stoli Strawberry Vodka
Simply Pink Lemonade
3 Fresh Strawberries
3 lemon wedges
Muddle 3 strawberries and 2 lemon wedges in a mixing glass, add vodka and lemonade, shake well and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Why make the lemonade when you can easily save time using this product. It is delicious and refreshing. If you like your lemonade sweeter, add some sugar or simple syrup.
2 oz Skyy Watermelon Infusion Vodka
½ oz Lime juice
4oz Ginger Beer
½ oz Soda water
3 Watermelon cubes (Seedless)
In a mixing glass, muddle 2 watermelon cubes, fill with ice and add the vodka, lime juice, ginger beer and shake
well, pour into a copper cup and top off with ice and soda water, garnish with mint leaves and a watermelon cube.
Pro Tip—these cocktails all taste different using crushed ice. If you do not have crushed ice at home or the ability to crush it, the best place to get crushed ice is the RaceTrac gas station or Sonic. The drinks also last longer with the crushed ice and do not water down as fast in the heat.
Also, since it is summer in the South, it is perfectly fine to drink these in your favorite insulated tumbler or Yeti.
I hope y’all enjoy these and stay cool!