Calling all summer cocktail lovers! Or those of you that find yourself craving a crisp, refreshing beverage on sweltering summer days and nights. I have asked my secret weapon experts in home, food and restaurants to share their secret weapon ingredients of choice for summer cocktails. If you would like to make them kid-friendly you can substitute club soda or seltzer for most... Perfect for summer parties or a party of ONE!
Blackberry Rhubarb Sorghum Mint Juleps created by Danielle Rollins
Danielle Rollins is a mother of three, contributing editor for Veranda, author of Entertaining with Style and one of my dear friends who I always go to for entertaining tips! I love the twist on a classic mint julep, the blackberry is one of my favorite summer fruits.
Blackbery rhubarb simple syrup:
2 stalks rhubarb
½ pint fresh blackberries
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 fresh lime
Teaspoon of Sorghum (a grain based sweetner. Substitute honey or syrup if you do not have sorghum)
3 oz Bourbon
2 oz Blackberry rhubarb simple syrup
Splash of Lime Perrier or Lime soda water
Preparation For Blackberry Rhubarb Sorghum Mint Juleps:
Peel the tough outer layer off 2 rhubarb stalks with a carrot peeler. Cut into several pieces
Place rhubarb and ½ pint of blackberries in a pan
Add equal parts water and sugar (approximately 2 cups each) and bring to a boil. Let steep and cool
Pour the simple syrup into a container through a sieve and throw away the rhubarb and blackberries.
Preparation For The Mint Juleps:
Muddle fresh mint, the juice of one lime and about a teaspoon of sorghum in a glass, preferably a silver julep cup.
Fill glass with ice and add about 3 oz of bourbon and 2 oz of the blackberry rhubarb simple syrup
Top it off with lime Perrier or lime soda water
Garnish with powder sugar dusted mint leaves and a blackberry or two on a bamboo skewer
1. Put simple syrup into an empty wine bottle to save. It will keep about 1 month refrigerated. It makes a great sweetener for ice tea and lemonade too.
2. The silver julep cups are ideal because it keeps the drink cold and silver is a natural antibacterial so it makes drinking mint juleps kind of sort of good for you.
Yes, Chef Cocktail created by Marcus Samelsson
Marcus Samuelsson, winner of Top Chef Masters Season 2, is an Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised chef and owner of Red Rooster Harlem. It's one of my favorite restaurants. This drink is part Ethiopian, part ginger beer. There's a bit of Cocci Americano which is a citrusy and cinnamon packed aperitif which gives a little spice and bite.
Makes 1 cocktail
.75 ounce pineapple juice
1.75 ounce Mint infused SKYY Vodka
.75 ounce muddled mint
.75 ounce honey
.75 ounce ginger beer
.75 ounce Cocci Americano
Lemon wheel (wedge) topped with Berbere
(Berbere is a spice mixture usually including chili peppers, garlic, ginger, dried basil, korarima, rue, white and black pepper and fenugreek. It serves as a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia)
Muddle the mint with the honey
Combine the muddle mixture with the rest of the ingredients and place them in a cocktail shaker
Double strain the mixture over a rocks glass full of ice
Finish the cocktail off with a lemon wheel that has been lightly dusted with Berbere
Morimoto's Tsubaki Summer Cocktail
The fresh sushi and artistic presentation at Morimoto is simply amazing and the perfect compliment is this summer cocktail. Executive chef Masaharu Morimoto is a master of fusing traditional Japanese dishes with Western ingredients and a visit never disappoints.
Makes 1 cocktail
1.5 ounce Morimoto Ginjo Sake
1.5 ounce Fresh Watermelon Puree (watermelon juice, orange juice, simple syrup)
1.5 ounce St-Germain Elderflower Liquer
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
Shake over ice and strain in Martini Glass. Garnish with fresh watermelon ball
Mondrian SoHo Rooftop's Watermelon Mojito
A favorite way for New Yorkers to spend the summer is on an amazing rooftop and the Mondrian SoHo has created a pop-up bar (called Soaked) that has such refreshing fruit-infused cocktails and the best view of downtown in the city.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ½ ounce Banks Rum
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
6-8 mint leaves muddled
¾ ounce watermelon juice
Mint Sprig garnish
Watermelon chunk garnish
Muddle fresh lime juice, simple syrup, watermelon juice, and mint. Add rum and shake well with ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and watermelon chunk.
Mr. C's "Mr. C" Summer Cocktail
The Cipriani Family has such a long and rich history of creating dining experiences - I've been such a fan for many years! Their newest venture, Mr. C, is a Beverly Hills luxury hotel that blends old-world simplicity with European glamour. It is the perfect place to escape and unwind in a poolside setting with a refreshing drink in hand.
Makes 1 cocktail
1x Cipriani Prosecco
4x Fresh Mandarin Juice
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Stirred over ice
I love that each of these drinks inspire a completely different escape to the most exotic of sunny locales with each sip - cheers to summer and where it will take you!