We’ve distilled this summer’s best crop of drinks down to the finest the season has to offer (at least, until we uncover some more…but we’ll meet you back here for that later in the summer). So whether you’re mixing for a crowd, glued to the grill, or just looking for something to change up your tippling routines, we’ve got you covered.
From master mixologist Julie Reiner’s new book The Craft Cocktail Party, this excellent party cocktail is about as simple as it gets, especially for the sheer volume of tropical bliss it packs. Just don’t forget to plan ahead.
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into one-inch pieces
- 1 750-milliliter bottle of vodka or white rum
- Extra pineapple wedges for garnish
- 1. Place the pineapple pieces and spirit in a large, nonreactive metal or glass container with a lid. Cover and let it sit for one week in the refrigerator, stirring once daily.
- At the end of the week, strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, allowing the fruit to sit in the strainer for 30 minutes to extract all the precious liquid.
- To serve, pour 3.5 oz of the pineapple-infused spirit into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge, or—if you really want to impress an aesthetically-inclined guest—an orchid blossom.
Pro Tip: Don’t be tempted to double-duty the pineapple used for the infusion—all its juicy, tart flavor has been infused into the alcohol, rendering it an uncomely garnish and a disappointing snack.
Strawberry Peppercorn Smash
Take advantage of the waning days of strawberry season with this juicy number that’ll have you feeling like you’re strolling a garden of earthly delights.
- 2 – 3 strawberries, sliced, plus 1 extra for garnish
- 3 basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 oz. raw simple syrup (1 part raw sugar to 1 part water)
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 6 – 7 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1. In a shaker, muddle the strawberries, basil and simple syrup, then add the bourbon, lemon juice, and black pepper.
- 2. Fill the shaker with ice, then shake and strain the liquid into an ice-filled rocks glass.
- 3. Garnish with a strawberry and a few fragrant basil leaves.
Pro tip: Swap the basil for mint if that’s what you’ve got in your garden (or it looks better at the farmer’s market).
Dark and Stormy Punch
Serving a thirsty crowd? The geniuses over at Tasting Table have revealed the simple, easy way to master any punch: the spectacular formula of 2:1:1:1. That’s 2 parts spirit, 1 part sweet, 1 part sour, and 1 part sparkling (wine, water, soda). Let that be the last math you ever need to memorize, and let’s take it for a spin:
INGREDIENTS (based on your crowd size)
- 2 parts dark rum
- 1 part freshly brewed mint tea
- 1 part fresh lemon juice
- 1 part ginger beer
- Just mix and enjoy. Mic drop.
Ginebra y Algo Más
Shake up your G&T routine with a novel Argentinian gin made with yerba mate tea. Traditional botanicals take a backseat to the floral, velvety, and fresh notes of the mate, as well as peppermint, eucalyptus, and pink grapefruit. This lively G&T recipe brings out those flavors with just enough grapefruit to refresh, but not compete with the G and the T.
- 4 oz. premium tonic water (it’s gotta be the best to get the most out of your G&T)
- 2 oz. Principe de los Apóstoles Mate Gin
- 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- Thyme sprig & grapefruit peel for garnish
- Fill a shaker two thirds of the way with ice. Add the gin and grapefruit juice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into a high-ball glass with ice.
- Top with the tonic water and give a quick stir. Garnish with the thyme and grapefruit peel (after giving the grapefruit a quick squeeze around the rim for aroma) and serve.
Charred Spring Onion Gibson
Put that grill to work on your drinks, too, by using it to update this Gibson (and all your martinis, for that matter) with fresh and flavorful spring onion. Scallions will work here, too, if your farmer’s market begins to cycle out those succulent little bulbs.
PICKLED SPRING ONION INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 12 small spring onion bulbs, roots cut off and 1″ of green left on
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounces dry vermouth
- 1 pickled charred spring onion bulb
To make the pickled spring onions:
- 1. Bring the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and garlic to a simmer in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
- 2. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Toss the spring onions with the oil and place them on the hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes or until they turn deep golden brown and char a bit; turn and repeat on the remaining side. Remove the onions to a heatproof bowl and pour the pickle juice over them. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and chill. They stay crunchy and flavorful for up to 1 week.
To make the cocktail:
- Add the gin and vermouth to a glass. Add cracked ice and stir for 25-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass and garnish with a pickled onion.
Pro Tip: Throw a bit of leftover pickling liquids into salads for a vinaigrette with cojones.