caipirinhas, and mojitos are woderful in the summer. I make my mojitos with half basil and half mint for a different taste. Also, I've gotten a bunch of positive feedback from a new drink I created called a Cosmorita, that is made with good reposada tequila ( I like Don Julio or patron or Sauza Hornitos) cranberry juice, grand marnier and Rose's lime juice and a lime wedge for garnish. To make , (for 2 drinks) in a shaker filled with ice, add 1/2 cup tequila, 2/3 cup cranberry juice, 1/8 cup grand marnier or triple sec and 2 Tbsp. Rose's lime juice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass garnish with a thin wedge of lime notched to hang on the rim
In hot weather, I tend to prefer drinks that aren't too strong, so I can continue sipping, and balance is important: overly sweet drinks cloy very quickly. That leads me to highballs like the Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, soda), Moscow Mule (a quality ginger beer, vodka, and half a lemon), the Beton (Becherovka, a Czech potable bitters, and tonic with a slice of lemon), vodka or bourbon with fresh homemade lemonade, sangria (many good recipes on this board), tinto de verano (basically cheap red wine mixed half-and-half lemon/lime soda). Mojitos are pleasant enough, but seem kind of tired, and they are the bane of the busy bartender's existence.
If I want something stronger, I often lean toward clear-liquor based cocktails: caipirinha, Pisco Sour, an up Margarita (my current recipe is 1 fresh OJ, 2 simple syrup, 3 fresh lime juice, 4 Marie Brizzard Triple Sec, 8 pure-agave blanco tequila, salt rim), Tiki cocktails like the Trader Vic's Mai Tai, the traditional Daiquiri (fresh lime juice, a little bit of sugar, light rum, served up).
Here's my recipe for a rum punch cocktail. I made it again recently, and can aver that you don't need to be in the Caribbean for this one to work:
MC Slim JB's Cane Garden Bay Beach Pacifying Punch
Chill two oversized cocktail glasses
Pour the following into a shaker full of cracked ice:
2 oz light rum
1 oz gold rum
1 oz dark rum
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz of passionfruit nectar
1 oz cranberry juice cocktail
1 oz fresh lime juice
Healthy dash of Grenadine
Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, strain into cocktail glasses, garish with twist of lime.
Imagine yourself sipping this on a beach in Tortola.
Repeat as necessary.
i just ran across this recipe from a chicago tribune online article while researching acai:
(i would think any good vodka or rum would be great in this)
Here's Debbi Peek's recipe for her "Now and Zen" cocktail, which captured top honors in the National Skyy Spirits World Cocktail Competition.
1 ounce Skyy Citrus Vodka
1/2 ounce Zen Green Tea Liqueur
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce Monin Lemon Grass Syrup (sold at monin.com and some liquor stores)
1 ounce Organic Acai Berry Juice (sold at Whole Foods)
Garnish: Lemon grass and lemon twist.
Combine all ingredients except garnish in mixing glass. Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon grass stick and lemon twist. Makes one drink.
I dont have the recipes on me, but...
Old Fashioneds are great if you like bourbon
Gimlets are very refreshing (vodka or gin)
Pimm's Cup (the unscientific recipe)
Cut up some strawberries/plums/grapes/whatever juicy fruit you fancy, and put them in a glass or pitcher
Mix some Pimm's with equal parts lemonade & gingerale
Garnish with a cucumber wedge