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).
Horse & Carriage Punch
Naren Young oversees the gin-rich bar menu at Madame Geneva's, a dimly-lit shrine to gin in Manhattan's East Village. Punches are the easiest way to deliver your holiday party a payload with a minimum of fuss. Historically, gin has been the the most common and versatile base for punches, and Young continues the legacy with the Horse & Carriage Punch, a deceptively delicious combination of chamomile tea, elderflower liqueur, and citrus, with a base of Beefeater 24, chosen for its special grapefruit and tea botanicals.
• 6 oz Beefeater 24 London Dry Gin
• 3 oz Combier Triple Sec
• 3 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
• 6 oz lemon juice
• 10 oz cold chamomile tea
• 4 tbsp citrus sugar (Zest rind from a grapefruit, a lemon, lime and orange into a bowl of sugar, let sit for a couple hours, stirring occasionally.)
Dissolve sugar into lemon juice. Add to other ingredients in a punchbowl. Add a block of ice and circles of lemons. Drop some pomegranate seeds onto lemons. Edible flower garnish optional.