The increasing heat makes me want to sip tasty, refreshing cocktails all day long. I am partial towards recipes that use fresh herbs like mint and basil. For me it gives the extra level of deliciousness and flavor. Below are a few recipes that I definitely want to try. Do you have a favorite summer cocktail? What’s your favorite add-in?
- 2 cups sugar
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 24 lemons
- 2 cups vodka
- In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the sugar and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
- Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup; discard thyme. You should have 2 cups syrup. Cover with plastic; chill.
- In a large serving pitcher, stir together lemon juice, vodka, and chilled syrup; garnish with thyme. Divide evenly among eight tumblers filled with ice; serve immediately
- 1 1/2 cups vodka
- 2 English cucumbers; 1 peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 left whole
- 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
- 2 bottles (750 mL each) sparkling water
- 1/2 to 1 cup Ginger Simple Syrup
- Put vodka and chopped cucumber in a nonreactive container. Refrigerate 1 hour. Strain; discard cucumber. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use, up to 2 days.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining cucumber lengthwise into wide strips; discard seeds.
- Fill eight tumblers with ice. Add 3 cucumber strips and 3 tablespoons infused vodka to each glass. Squeeze, then drop, a lime wedge into each. Top with sparkling water; stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons syrup.
- 2 1/2 cups bourbon, preferably Maker’s Mark
- 1 cup packed fresh spearmint, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
- 2 to 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
- Ice cubes, for serving
- Combine bourbon and mint in a large pitcher, cover, and refrigerate 12 hours or up to 1 day. Strain, discarding mint. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Divide julep mixture among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish each with a mint sprig.
Cook’s NoteThe strained mint-infused bourbon can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in advance.
- 7 cups water
- 6 orange pekoe tea bags
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup Bacardi 151 or other high-proof golden rum
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
- Bring 4 cups of the water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the tea bags. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it, and allow the tea bags to steep for
- Remove and discard the tea bags. Add the sugar to the saucepan and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining 3 cups water and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher, and add the lemon juice and rum. Chill thoroughly before serving.
- Serve over ice, in tall glasses garnished with mint sprigs.
- 7 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, fruit cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 teaspoons superfine sugar
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) silver tequila
- 24 basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- 3 ounces (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) triple sec
- 6 cups small ice cubes
- Place 24 watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover, and freeze at least 1 hour (up to 2 days).
- Puree remaining watermelon and the sugar in a blender until smooth. Pass through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl. (You should have 3 cups.)
- Place tequila and basil in a glass pitcher, and crush with a wooden spoon. Stir in watermelon juice and triple sec.
- Place watermelon cubes in glasses. Using a cocktail shaker, mix 3/4 cup margarita with 1 cup ice. Strain into a glass. Repeat. Serve garnished with basil.