There's a reason most summer barbecue pairs best with lighter beers: It's hot outside and you want a thirst-quenching and cool beverage, something that you can drink for hours. Summer cocktails should also follow this rule. So at your next outdoor party, offer up refreshing concoctions that pack a little less punch, and also be sure to make use of the season's fresh fruits and herbs. Here are 21 recipes to get you started; make them to individual taste or tinker with the recipes and serve them in a punch bowl (or, for big bashes, a trash can).
Once the weather heats up and you want your drinks cold, tall, and refreshing, wine stumbles on its own fancy feet – too precious for mixers, too much about swirling and sniffing to belong around the backyard grill. But all you have to do to knock it off that pedestal is discover the art of the wine cooler. "It's a hot-afternoon, sunny-day drinking thing," says Morgan Schick, creative director of San Francisco bar Trick Dog. An inside joke with a macho-minded regular at his bar – "What can I get you buddy, the usual white-wine spritzer?" – led Schick first to experimentation and then to his conversion: now a number of wine-based mixed drinks are on his menu.
From Morgan Schick of Trick Dog in San Francisco
- 1/2 oz gin
- 3/4 oz grapefruit juice
- 3/4 oz dry vermouth
- 2 oz dry white wine
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1/4 oz lime juice
- Soda water (or Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda) to fill
- A celery stick and Kaffir lime leaves to garnish
Mix in a Collins glass over ice.
Credit: Photograph by Christopher Testani