BY DOMENICK RAFTER
Ok, so it’s obvious that water is probably the best thing to be consuming on a hot summer day. But if you’re looking to have a libation or two by the pool or at your summer barbecue or evening party, here are a few great ideas to make your summer lively and fun.
Please remember to drink responsibly this summer – and don’t drink and drive.
Peanut Butter Frappe
The Frappucino. The caffeine-addict’s go-to beverage in hot weather. This version doesn’t include the coffee, but does work as a tasty dessert drink for a hot summer day.
Pour chocolate syrup into a glass as if making chocolate milk. Puree ¼ cup of peanut butter with 1 cup of milk.
Pour mixture into glass and top with peanut butter milk. Slowly add seltzer and stir.
Top with some whipped cream and garnish with a Reeses peanut butter cup.
The Perfect Sangria
Sangria is not necessarily a summer-only beverage. It is enjoyed all year round, especially around the holidays. But the best fruit can be found in the summer and autumn months, and fresh fruit makes great Sangria. Here’s how to make a perfect version of the classic Spanish drink.
In a large bowl or pot, combine two bottles of chilled, dry red wine; one cup of brandy; one cup of orange juice and a quarter cup of superfine granulated sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.
Add two oranges cut into rounds; two Meyer lemons, cut into thin rounds; three Key limes, cut into thin rounds; two apples, cored and cut into ½ inch chunks. Refrigerate for one hour until well-chilled, remove and add two cups of club soda. Serve over ice.
Cucumber Lemonade Mock Tail
This cool breezy drink mixes the tangy flavor of lemonade with the cool crisp flavor of cucumber. It’s also a treat for the eyes. A super-thin slice of cucumber pressed against the glass adds an artistic twist to this refreshing cocktail.
Press the cucumber slice against the inside of a chilled highball glass and add ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle one quarter cup of chopped dill, one tablespoon of agave syrup, one tablespoon each of lemon and lime juices and one tablespoon of water until the syrup is dissolved. Add ice, then add the cucumber juice* and shake well.
Strain into the prepared glass and stir in the club soda. Garnish with the dill sprig.
*Cucumber juice can be made by putting chunks of cucumbers in a juicer and straining into a cup or bowl.
Also knows as an “electric blue lemonade,” this summer staple is named for its blue color, representing the clear sunny sky. Add a lemon slice to represent the bright yellow sun.
Mix one ounce of vodka and one ounce of Blue Curacao with two ounces each of sweet and sour mix and 7-Up or another lemon-lime soda. Typically served in a high ball glass, it is now becoming more common to serve in a mason jar or even a pilsner. Garnish with a lemon slice.
Hard Iced Tea
Ahhh! Nothing says summer like sipping a cup of cold iced tea. The sweetness of the tea is a taste that just brings to mind the sunny, warm air of summertime.
But why not add some liquor and make that a HARD iced tea. It is especially great for summer barbecues or nights by the pool.
For the best tasting tea, make it first the typical way. Boil water and pour into a mug with a tea bag. After several minutes of soaking, let the tea cool for several more minutes and then pour into a cocktail mixer with two ounces of vodka (or rum, but vodka is better), a half an ounce of simple syrup, a half an ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a slice of lemon. Shake with ice in the cocktail mixer, then strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.
For an even more intriguing taste, add a sprig of mint.