Shake it up! Raise a glass to warm weather with these delicious and refreshing summer cocktail recipes

‘Tis the season for signature drinks—the more colorful and fruity, the better!



 

 

 

Summertime is the season for signature cocktails—the more colorful and fruity, the better. Adding fresh fruits is the modern-day mixologist’s secret to success, notes bartender Joe Bittick of McEwen’s, a fine-dining restaurant in PMQ’s home town of Oxford, Mississippi. “We’re going to use a lot of strawberries, blueberries and peaches [in the summer months],” Bittick said. “Mint is really good, too.”

Catchy names make a big difference in marketing your summer cocktails, Bittick adds. The Orange Creamsicle described in this article “is actually a play on one of our McEwen’s original cocktails [called] Daddy’s Little Princess. Most people can feel a little weird about calling it Daddy’s Little Princess, but I actually get more big, burly men who want to try it.”

We brought Bittick into the Pizza Kitchen to walk us through the steps of creating some astonishingly tasty and fruit-laden summer drinks. 

 

Orange Creamsicle

1.5 oz. vodka
1.5 oz. orange juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
3 strawberries, sliced
¼ orange, sliced

Muddle the sliced oranges and strawberries in a shaker with simple syrup. Once the fruit mixture is thoroughly muddled, add some ice, orange juice and vodka. Shake the mix thoroughly, strain and pour. Garnish with a strawberry.

 

Porch Party Punch

2 oz. gin
Juice of ½ lemon
¾ oz. simple syrup
4 basil leaves
2 slices of lemon

Muddle three fresh basil leaves with slices of lemon and simple syrup. Add gin, shake and strain over ice. Rim the glass with a twist of lemon for extra flavor. Garnish with slapped basil leaf and lemon twist.

 

Bourbon Punch

2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
.5 oz. simple syrup
Grenadine
Orange slice (for garnish)

In a shaker, mix bourbon, orange juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup and a splash of grenadine. Shake vigorously and strain and pour over ice. Garnish with an orange slice.

 

Bourbon Punch Fizz (variation on Bourbon Punch)

2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 tbsp. sugar
Grenadine
Egg white from 1 egg

Mix bourbon, orange juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup and a splash of grenadine in a shaker. Add egg white to the mix. Shake vigorously and strain over ice. Allow between 30 seconds and one minute for the fizzy part to settle at the top.

 

A Taste of the Classics

Looking for more signature cocktail ideas? Try these summertime favorites, including an Italian classic called the Negroni!

Negroni

1 oz. London dry gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. vermouth rosso

Add the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

 

Rum Mojito

2 oz. white rum
1 oz. club soda
1 oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp. sugar
8 fresh mint leaves
1 c. ice
Lime slice and additional mint leaves for garnish

Add lime juice, sugar and mint leaves to shaker. Muddle the mint into the lime juice-sugar mix. Add rum, stir, then pour onto ice, leaving 1” at the top of the glass. Top with club soda and garnish with mint leaves and lime slice.

 

Caipirinha

2 oz. cachaça (Brazilian liquor made with sugar cane)
1/2 lime, quartered
2 tsp. sugar
Sparkling water
Ice

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the quartered limes and sugar until the juice is thoroughly extracted from the limes and mixed with the sugar. Add the cachaça and some ice and shake thoroughly for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice into glass and top with a spritz of sparkling water.

 

Pimm’s Cup

2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
3 oz. ginger beer or ginger ale
1 cucumber slice
1 sprig fresh mint
Fruit garnishes (can include orange, lemon or strawberry slices)
1 c. ice

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add Pimm’s No. 1 and top with ginger beer/ale. Add mint sprigs, cucumber slice and fruit garnishes.  

Heather Cray is PMQ’s social media director. Rick Hynum is PMQ’s editor-in-chief.

 

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