by The Culinistas
And just like that, we’re in the middle of summer. It’s sunny and hot (with the exception of the occasional rainstorm) meaning a refreshing beverage is in the cards. Our secret formula for a delicious summertime cocktail involves your liquor of choice + fruit + herbs + fizz. Think about cocktail creation like cooking: the more seasonal you can get, the better.
Select a seasonal fruit and either muddle it into your glass, or make it into a fruit juice. Lately, we’ve been loving fresh watermelon juice (simply blend up watermelon) with tequila, blackberries muddled with gin, and mojitos with all the citrus. Pro tip: shave off a piece of citrus peel and rub it around the inside rim of your glass to impart a delicious aroma when sipping. Head to your local farmers market when making your fruit selects, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unfamiliar with a certain ingredient.
Turn your hard herbs into a simple syrup: combine one part honey and one part water in a pan, along with your herbaceous selection. Let it come to a boil, then cool. Rosemary and thyme work particularly well in syrups. With soft herbs like basil and mint, consider muddling them into your glass, or in the case of mint, slapping the leaves to release the natural oils. This step is key to adding flavor and nuance.
Whether you’re opting for a simple splash of Pellegrino, or using prosecco in an Aperol or Campari spritz, a little fizz makes your drink that much more refreshing. Sparkling wine adds both flavor and texture to your bev, and can serve as either the base of your cocktail, or an extra boozy kick. One of our favorite summertime treats is a scoop of sorbet topped with sparkling wine. Serve it after dinner with fruit salad for dessert.