I don’t get excited when summer approaches. Where I live, like many other places around the globe, it means floods of tourists, dangerous traffic, scorching temperatures, inflated summer prices and, well, I don’t sunbathe so summer is practically wasted on me.
However, if there’s one good thing the heat doth bring, it’s the need for really refreshing beverages, and that gets the inspiration juices flowing. If you’re a slut for summer cocktails like I am, you need not feel guilty about it anymore! You can have that cheeky drink or two and have it not be so cheeky after all. Since when is fresh goodness a guilt-trip? As with all things in life, moderation is the key between balance and imbalance.
All of these carefully selected cocktail recipes have healthy ingredients in common; they’re made with real fruit juice, and have added nutritional value like antioxidants, immune-boosting vitamins such as vitamin A & C and contain healthy sugars. They’re also easy on the hard-stuff, and you can make them completely alcohol-free so even kids can enjoy the delicious flavours.
It’s important to remember that the holistic lifestyle calls for enjoyment, and as long as you don’t have a bad relationship with alcohol, there’s no reason to resist these beautiful concoctions.
Keep it classy and have a great Summer!
Summer Cocktails 1
Notes: This gorgeous sparkling grapefruit cocktail recipe combines gin, Campari, fresh grapefruit juice and seltzer. The touch of Campari enhances its beautiful red colour, but if you prefer a less bitter drink, just leave it out.
- 1 1/2 cups red or pink grapefruit juice, fresh-squeezed
- 1 1/2 cups plain seltzer
- 2 tablespoons Campari
- Ice cubes
- Grapefruit wedges or slices for garnish
Preparation: Stir grapefruit juice, seltzer, gin and Campari together in a pitcher. Fill 4 glasses with ice and top with the cocktail mixture. Garnish with grapefruit, if desired.
Summer Cocktails 2
Inspiration from womenshealthmag.com
Notes: The perfect sweet & sour twist to cleanse and satisfy any pallet. Not too much of the hard stuff and just enough drizzle of the good stuff. The fresh lime juice and cold watermelon cubes really make this drink a winner. Leaves you feeling refreshed, hydrated, and only slightly buzzed. A good daytime beverage.
- 2 oz cranberry juice
- 2 lime wedges
- 1/2 oz agave nectar
- 3 watermelon cubes
- 1 oz silver tequila
Preparation: Mix watermelon cubes, fresh lime juice and agave nectar in a glass. Shake cranberry juice and silver tequila together, and then strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Summer Cocktails 3
Notes: The elder tree’s white blossoms first appear in spring in Denmark, so this refreshing cocktail makes an elegant homage to the season. The delicate, lightly floral flavours are perfect with Champagne or a dry, light white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc. Have all the ingredients ice-cold before serving.
Elderflower concentrate or syrup, made from the blossom of the elder tree, has a delicate, floral aroma and mild honey flavour. Popular as a drink ingredient all over northern Europe, it’s thought to help fight fevers and colds. Look for it in specialty shops that feature northern European foods (such as Ikea) or at lepicerie.com. Apricot nectar can be used as a substitute.
- 8 tablespoons elderflower concentrate, or syrup
- 2 cups brut or extra-dry Champagne
- 2 cups seltzer
Preparation: Place 1 tablespoon elderflower concentrate (or syrup) in each of 8 Champagne glasses; add 1/4 cup Champagne to each glass, then top off with 1/4 cup seltzer. Garnish with flowers (or mint), if desired. Serve immediately.
Summer Cocktails 4
Green Tea Martini
Notes: The benefits of green tea are nearly endless. In a mixed drink, it’s a light way to bring some antioxidants to your party.
- Green tea, brewed and chilled
- Vodka or Gin
- 1 lime, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
Preparation: Combine equal parts green tea with vodka or gin in a martini shaker. Add in lime juice and agave nectar. Stir ingredients until blended. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Summer Cocktails 5
Cucumber Ginger Lemonade
Notes: The combination of fresh lemons, ginger, and cucumbers are sure to quench your thirst whilst improving digestion.
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 3 cucumber slices
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
- 1 cup water
- freshly shaved ginger root (to taste)
Preparation: In a tall glass, combine vodka, agave nectar, cucumber slices, lemon juice, ginger root and water. Stir, serve over ice, and garnish with lemon rind.
Summer Cocktails 6
Notes: Mojitos are one of my favourite cocktails, not only because they’re delicious but also because they require so few ingredients and are so easy to make. Just crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of a glass with some sugar, lime juice, and rum, add club soda and stir. Simple. Beautiful.
- 6 fat blackberries + more for garnish
- 8 mint leaves
- 1 oz rum
- ⅓ oz lime juice
- 2 oz club soda
- 1 to 2 tbsp sugar
(Depends on how sweet you like your mojitos. I like mine sweeter so I used 2 tbsp in mine, but others like it a little more tart so only put about 1.5 tbsp for them. Alternatively, you can use simple syrup, which will give you a more concentrated and uniform sweet flavour. I’ve been using that in all my cocktails lately and I think they are even more delicious this way. Just bring ½ cup sugar and 1 cup water to a simmer over medium-high heat, until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, and then measure out however much you want to use for your drink. I suggest starting with ½ to 1 oz per drink and going from there.)
Preparation: In the bottom of your drinking glass, muddle/crush together blackberries, mint leaves, sugar/simple syrup, rum and lime juice. Add some ice cubes, then pour in club soda and stir. Garnish with a few whole blackberries and a sprig of mint. Wallah!
Summer Cocktails 7
Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail
Notes: Nothing ever tasted so sweet (but not too sweet) or refreshing as that light pink elixir of gin and grapefruit, with its slight hints of rosemary. I’m not usually a gin person or a put-savoury-herbs-in-drinks person, but this just works somehow.
- 3 oz grapefruit juice
- 1-1/2 oz gin
- ½ oz rosemary simple syrup
- Rosemary Simple Syrup
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Preparation: To make your rosemary simple syrup:
- Combine sugar and water in a pot over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer and swirl the content of the pot around until translucent.
- Turn stove off, and add your rosemary to the syrup.
- Allow mixture to steep for 20-30 minutes.
- Pour rosemary simple syrup into a seal-able bottle or container.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make your cocktail: Combine grapefruit juice, gin, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain/pour into a glass filled with ice. (If you don’t have a shaker, just pour all the ingredients into a glass with ice, and stir.) Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!
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