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A Summer Cocktail Need


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normally with the appetizer at a small dinner party I would make my quests a martini with maytag olives - but it is summer and I want a clear, crisp but more summery drink to serve before dinner and before wine- I have seen descriptions for a Pegu Cocktail that sounds promising or a cocktail with cucumber - also I would like to make a small pitchure for ease of serving if possible.

TIA- not an expert on making cocktails, just drinking them

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A Pim's Cup is served with a cocktail (1 jigger or two of Pims served with Ginger Ale/Sprite/Fuzzy Water, garnished with cucumber) but it is still on the sweetish side -- tasting a bit like an elegant, watered down, alcoholic Coca-Cola, IMHO.

Have you considered Sangria? Beautifully served in a pitcher, you could mix-up a bunch of dry red wine with your fruit juice of choice and sliced citrus -- VERY refreshing when its hot!

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I like the idea of sangria...

I would suggest a drink with Campari. A summer drink, easy to make ahead of time, and serve them from pitcher's.

I dont know exact measurements, so its to taste really. Very easy to make, just freshly squeezed OJ - Ice - Campari - and if you want, some soda water.

Looks nice, tastes great.

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Ha, sadistick...I was going to say a Negroni...not clear but definitely crisp:

Equal amounts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth served over ice. Garnish with a nice slice of orange. Definitely not a sweet drink, I found them to be supadupa in the summertime.

that said, I also think you could do an elegant sangria with carefully tiny-diced fruit and a good spike of brandy.

Also not a clear drink, though. How about a mojito? Too sweet?


Edited by markemorse (log)
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Here's my favorite light summertime drink. And it looks absolutely gorgeous in a pitcher:

Peach Sangria

2 ripe peaches, peeled & sliced (in winter, I use frozen)

1 lemon, sliced thinly, seeds removed

1 orange, sliced thinly, seeds removed

3 T sugar (or to taste, depending on size of lemon)

1/4 c Peach Schnaaps

750 ml dry white wine (about the size of one standard bottle)

Combine all and chill well, at least one hour. Serves two very jovial people at two generous glasses each.

As is immediately apparent, there is no brandy, so this is a pleasant, light, fresh-tasting summertime drink.

And on occasion I have, at the end of the evening, fished out any remaining peaches (now wonderfully marinated) and served them over pound cake and ice cream for dessert.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'd go with mojitos. The mint and lime combination is very refreshing, they're cold, and rum is nice in the summer. Instead of sweetening them, spike each glass with a spear of sugar cane---each guest can sweeten his beverage as he'd like by crushing the cane against the side of the glass to release the cane juice as necessary.

And of course the classic summer drink is gin & tonic.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Bitter Lemon Cooler

1½ oz dry vermouth

1 oz gin

1/4 oz grenadine

1/4 oz fresh lemon juice

bitter lemon soda

Shake & strain into collins glass over crushed ice. Add bitter lemon soda and lemon twist.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Here's the single batch directions for the White Sangria recipe at Amada. White sangria is particularly refreshing in the summertime.

For the fruit:

2 oranges, sliced into small wedges

2 pears, cut into small cubes

2 Granny Smith apples, cut into small cubes

6 oz. (3/4 cup) Simple Syrup

6 oz. (3/4 cup) Triple Sec

4 oz. (1/2 cup) Brandy

Macerate fruit pieces in syrup, triple sec and brandy (at least four hours and preferably overnight). Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. When finished, fruit should be a bit “soupy” from the juices being drawn out.

For the wine:

1 750 ml bottle dry white wine

4 oz. plain simple syrup

4 oz. Spanish Brandy

2 oz. Torres Gran Orange liqueur, or Cointreau

Optional garnish – Sprig of fresh Rosemary (for the aromatics only).

Mix wine, simple syrup, brandy and orange liqueur. This is the base wine product for the sangria. Keep refrigerated until serving.


Ladle 6-8 oz. of fruit and juices into a large pitcher. Fill with base wine product until almost full. Top with 4 oz. of club soda and stir to combine. Ladle a small amount of fruit into ice filled wine glasses. Pour in wine and garnish glass if desired.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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try mixing white grape juice with gin and a little lime; it'll have a nice refreshing acidity to it...and it's pretty clear. go about 1:1 white grape to lime. welch's works great here.

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How about a classic daiquiri, or a lime syrup version?

1/2 oz lime simple syrup

1/2 oz lime juice

2 oz rum

You can easily batch this and serve it on the rocks.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2


I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Here's something I've been drinking this summer -- it's refreshing, it makes a good aperitif, and it's (relatively) low in alcohol. You could mix the base up in advance, refrigerate it, then pour it over ice and top with the champagne as you serve it.

For one drink:

1 oz. gin

2 oz. Lillet Blanc

1 oz. fresh squeezed, strained orange juice

5 or 6 basil leaves

Dash orange bitters

Put all the ingredients in a shaker with lots of ice and shake. Strain and pour over new ice in a collins glass and top with an ounce or so of dry champagne or sparkling wine.

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That's a good recipe!

As to making summery cocktails: I tend to go in a more vegetal than fruity direction for summer; less sugar seems appropriate. I might suggest one of the following:

1 oz. gin

1/2 oz Cynar

1/2 oz dry vermouth



or, if you have a juicer handy:

1 1/2 oz. gin

1 oz. cucumber juice

1 oz. watercress or arugula juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

1/2 oz. lime juice

splash of celery or lovage juice

seltzer (or better still, Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda!) to top

For a less complicated drink:

1 oz gin

1/2 oz cucumber juice

1/2 oz simple syrup

1/2 oz lime juice

muddled mint

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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