It's cookout season across the country, and you know what that means: burgers, beer and your brother-in-law's guitar-playing, in which he tends to loudly indulge after three or four High Lifes.
Now, we love a good burger, but there are times when beer just doesn't suit the spirit of the occasion. That's why we've complied this list of five easy summer cocktails that go perfectly with grilled meat, old friends and even instrument-toting relatives.
As the favorite drink of cult filmmaker Ed Wood, the Vodka Gimlet has what we like to think of as a storyteller's heritage. Our suggestion? Add muddled cucumber and basil, and go catch up with someone you haven't seen in a while. (Spoiler alert: That someone is vodka.)View recipe: Cucumber, Basil & Lime Gimlet
With its rich, crimson color and a name seemingly lifted from a wistful romance novel (Nights in Summerlin -- can't you just see it in an airport bookstore?), we think that this sweet rum-and-watermelon conspiracy would lend a mannered air to any evening of paper plates and foot-longs. Garnish it with an orchid for the full white-tablecloth effect.View recipe: Summerlin
For those in the rewarding (read: unenviable) position of hosting the big cookout, cocktails involving muddled this and floral-garnished that are nice to read about but are pretty much unthinkable to prepare in batches of, say, forty. That"s where this vermilion tequila vixen comes in: She's simple, summery and straightforward, so line up the cups. But don't substitute the cheap stuff: Easy doesn't mean indifferent.View recipe: Patrón Pomegranate
The original recipe for the Rickey called for bourbon and was invented at the end of the 1800s in a Washington, D.C., tavern popular among Congressmen. While it's tasty, this refreshing version of the drink that features gin would cool you down even if you were campaigning in a top hat and three-piece suit in July.View recipe: Gin Rickey
Grapefruit juice gives this simple classic a tart edge that its cousin the Screwdriver strangely lacks. It's also a great pitcher/punch-bowl/gallon-jug (if you really don't care what people think) cocktail, so prepare a big batch and share the wealth.View recipe: Greyhound
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