Sinks' Drinks - A Sip of Summertime

May 27, 2015

Feel that? It's the warm breeze of summer. If you're anything like us, we're outside all summer long - hosting friends for cookouts, meeting at the neighborhood pool, beach vacations, fishing, the LAKE. All of this is better with a cocktail in hand. See what Bill and Amanda are recommending to drink with your summer adventures.

Pro tip: Many summertime drinks call for simple syrup, which is just one part water to one part sugar. We recommend making a big batch of simple syrup, say about two cups of water and two cups of sugar (more if you know you're making a punch for a crowd). Mix water and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until dissolved. Let cool, put in standard ice cube trays and freeze. Each simple syrup cube will be about an ounce. There you have it, sugar syrup on demand. Great for quick drink making!

Cocktails

Summer cocktails are sweet, but not always overpowering. Think about your guests when deciding the cocktail menu. Will you serve one or two? Will the drink be light and refreshing or stout with strong flavors?

Pro tip: Consider a cocktail with a lower alcohol content for longer gatherings. You don't want your guests sloshed and driving home.

Watermelon Tequila Cocktail

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Ingredients
2 ounces simple syrup (add more if needed)
8 cups diced seedless watermelon (1 pound)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 3/4 cups blueberries
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, plus 8 sprigs for garnish
1 1/4 cups silver tequila Ice

Directions: In a blender, puree the watermelon until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the watermelon juice, pressing gently on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp. In a large pitcher, combine the sugar syrup with the lime juice, blueberries and mint leaves. Using a wooden spoon, lightly muddle the blueberries and mint. Add the watermelon juice and tequila. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Pour the cocktail into tall ice-filled glasses. Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.

Peach Donkey

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Ingredients
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce ginger liqueur
3 ounces peach puree or nectar
Crushed ice
1 ounce chilled ginger beer
Peach slices, for garnish (optional)

Directions: In a highball glass, combine the vodka, ginger liqueur and peach puree; stir. Add crushed ice and stir again. Top with the ginger beer and swizzle by spinning a swizzle stick or bar spoon between your hands. Garnish with peach slices.

Cobbler Agua Fresca 

Ingredients
2 packages berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or blueberries)
Superfine sugar
5 ounces gin
8 ounces fresh lime juice
16 ounces water

Directions: In a large Tupperware, add the berries. Crush them lightly and top with superfine sugar until fully covered. Let sit for 30-40 minutes at room temperature until the mixture has a syrup-like consistency. Transfer the berry mix to a pitcher and add the gin, lime juice and water. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. If you want a chunkier version, keep the berries. For a smoother version, strain out the solids through a fine mesh sieve. Add ice and serve.

Crowd Pleasing Punches

Who wants a drink? The brilliance of a summer punch made in a large quantity is that people will try it, even if it looks a little girly. Experiment with all sorts of punch recipes, and your guests will inevitably say something like, "This is really good, I must have your recipe!"

Pro tip: When thinking summer punches, think citrus. Stock up on oranges, peaches, and pineapple along with the the classics like limes and lemons. As for alcohol, punches can be made with just about anything. For sangria, have a nice red and white blend handy at all times. Tequila, rum and vodka are all used as well. No matter what you have on hand, I bet you can find a recipe!

Rum Punch

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Ingredients
80 mint leaves, torn or thinly sliced
8 ounces light rum
8 ounces aged rum
8 ounces fresh orange juice
8 ounces mango nectar or juice
4 ounces pineapple juice Ice
8 pineapple wedges

Directions: In a pitcher, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and pineapple wedges and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Stir well and serve over ice in red wine glasses. Garnish each drink with a pineapple wedge.

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

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Ingredients
1 quart pomegranate juice
2 cups fresh orange juice, strained
2 cups chilled limeade
One 750-milliliter bottle Prosecco
Lime and orange slices, for garnish
Ice
1 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions: In a punch bowl, combine the pomegranate juice, orange juice and limeade. Pour in the Prosecco; float lime and orange slices on top. Ladle into 12 ice-filled glasses, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.

Do you have a killer summertime cocktail or punch recipe you'd like to share? Let us know!

Happy experimenting and happy summer!