Summer Cocktails

Published on May 30th, 2010 in: Issues, Recipes, The Summer |

By Jemiah Jefferson

Whaddya know—it’s summer again! And if you’re bored with drinking the usual longneck beers and dodgy box-wine sangria, give these party-worthy drink recipes a try. All of them have been extensively vetted by the author and her pals during the chillier months of spring, but a touch of hot weather should only improve the sipping experience.

blushing mimosa


1 bottle of dry cava-type sparkling wine (cheaper is better)
2 oranges
2 lemons
2 limes
Ice cubes

Pour wine into four tall flutes or highball glasses, stopping when the glass is half-full. (Let the carbonation settle so that you know you’re getting your full measure of champers!) Juice orange, lemon, and lime into a small bowl, and pour the resulting mixed juice over the wine. Toss in thin slivers of the juiced citrus, then top with cubed ice until glasses are full. The drink should mix itself. Salut!


4 oz. Cointreau orange liqueur
Club Soda (note: do not use tonic water)
Ice cubes or crushed ice
Orange slices (as desired)

Pour 1oz (a shot glass) of Cointreau over ice into tall glasses. Top with fizzy water. Garnish with a slice of fresh orange. Developed under a bout of H1N1 flu during a spell of 107°F heat in summer of 2009, and likely responsible for saving the lives of neighbors from a delirious, Torchwood-maddened, cabin-fever-inflicted maniac. Cocktail later vetted by healthy volunteers, so no, it wasn’t the codeine cough syrup that made it seem tasty.

robert palmer double fun


24 oz. very cold black tea (Lipton, Red Rose, or other nondescript brand)
4 oz. triple sec
1 lemon
Ice cubes

Brew the tea the day or night before (sun tea works wonderfully) and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Fill tall glasses with ice cubes. Pour 1 oz. (a shot glass) of triple sec over the ice, then top with tea. Add a lemon wedge as garnish. Additional boozes can be added as desired; bourbon, vodka, or tequila work well. Another swine-flu-fever inspired cocktail; dump cold water over your head, then comb your hair back and dance like a sexy robot model. (It was really hot, people.)

SNAZZY (Serves 4)

8 oz. chilled vodka
20 oz. blood-orange soda (recommended brand: Safeway Organics blood-orange Italian soda)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries or huckleberries
Ice cubes or crushed ice

Pour a handful (about 1/8 of a cup) of frozen blueberries into each of four tall glasses. Fill glass with ice. Pour 2 oz. (a full shot glass) of vodka over ice. Top with soda. TIPS: Make your own blood orange soda by crushing four blood oranges into a pitcher, top with soda water, and let meld for one hour in the fridge. If blood orange soda is unavailable or just plain not your thing, regular orange soda will do, but it won’t be special. Also very good with orange cream soda, regular cream soda, or ginger ale.

Snacky treats go well with all these cocktails, especially enjoyed out back while BBQ is happening. I recommend pan-sauteed asparagus spears with red chili garlic sauce, grilled jicama, or fruit (make sure it’s stout fruit like apples or pineapple), or your standard burgers and hot dogs with plenty of hearty mustard.

Please drink responsibly, and if it gets hot where you are, buy a kiddie pool now. You’ll be glad you did.

3 Responses to “Summer Cocktails”

  1. Kaz:
    July 15th, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The Snazzy is just that! It’s such a wonderful surprise and treat on a hot summer day, or evening in the shade. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Amanda:
    July 27th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    No Hendrick’s? Nary a gin drink in the bunch? Have I taught you nothing?

    To be fair my offering doesn’t have gin either.

    Moaning Popscicle

    Put 2 shots of vodka in a highball glass
    Fill with tonic
    drop in a popscicle for a swizzle stick

  3. jemiah:
    July 27th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    It was before I became educated, my dear Amanda. Don’t worry; I’ve seen the light. And can add a new one:
    -tall glass
    -scrape the sides of a cucumber with a fork, then slice thinly
    -alternate slices of cucumber with cubes of ice
    -pour in 1 shot of Hendrick’s Gin and 1/4 shot of dry vermouth
    -squeeze 1/4 lemon on top
    -pour in plain, lemon, or lime soda water to the top
    -let it sit for 5 minutes

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