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What's your hot weather cocktail favorite?

I'm putting together a little gathering in my very hot apartment and need a cocktail that

a)can be mostly prepped ahead of time
b)is served on the rocks, not up
c) can be made in quantity
d)is not gin based

I've done mohitos in the past and, though loved, am looking for something different.

any ideas?

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  1. I'd go for margaritas or mint juelps. Both meet all your criteria and, in my experience, are always crowd pleasers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sku

      I made a huge batch of mint juleps ahead of time for the Kentucky Derby. It was a nice hot day. And everybody enjoyed them. Of course the traditional Southern version of the mint julep is a muddled drink, but, if you are planning on serving a them rapid fire at a party, a pre-made mix with a mint syrup works best. To make a pitcher of juleps, you will need a handle of Maker's Mark, sugar, water, ice and a whole lot of mint.

      Of and make sure you have a good ice crushing blender. They works best with crushed ice.

      See here for recipe and photos: http://nochoiceatall.blogspot.com/200...

    2. Well my immediate response was going to be a Tom Collins, since that is my go-to hot weather drink, but then I hit requirement "d". So, perhaps a Rum or Vodka Collins? You could premix the spirit, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Then simply pour in glasses (approx 3.5 oz) and top with soda. For a Collins I use 4/2/1 spirit/lemon juice/simple syrup.

      Vodka tonics are also quite refreshing in my opinion, although I would again turn to gin first.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ShadowedOne

        Or substitute whiskey and you've got Whiskey Sours with the same collins ingredients. Garnish with an orange and a cherry.

      2. I'm partial to the fruity boozy smoothy - any fruit, ice and rum blended but that doesn't really fit the make ahead. How about lynchberg lemonade?

        1. Highballs are what you need in hot weather. Some that I favor:

          Vodka or bourbon and fresh homemade lemonade
          Moscow Mule -- vodka and good ginger beer with a quarter lemon squeezed into it
          Rye and good ginger ale
          Americano -- Campari, sweet vermouth, soda
          Beton -- Becherovka (a Czech potable bitters) and tonic with a slice of lemon
          Tinto de verano -- a modest Spanish red wine mixed half-and-half lemon/lime soda, ideally something not as sweet as Sprite or 7 Up
          Blanco tequila and Squirt grapefruit soda, kind of like a highball version of a Margarita.
          Mimosa. Fabulous if you use fresh squeezed OJ, not at all worth doing otherwise.

          Moving off the highball reservation:

          Blender drinks. I don't care much for them, but a frozen piƱa colada can be fantastic if you use fresh pineapples instead of canned juice. A mess of prep work, but worth it. Someday I'm going to take this a step further and make my own cream of coconut from fresh coconuts. I won't distill my own rum, however: that's just crazy talk.

          Tiki drinks. I love the original Trader Vic's Mai Tai, which can successfully be done in batches, but making them properly requires an ice shaver (aka Snow Cone machine, one of which I bought just for the purpose of making this drink).

          Punches. These are perfect for summertime crowds, like a nice Sangria. I posted my favorite recipe on the Boston board recently.

          5 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            MC Slim- I can't count the number of "Palomas" I drank in Chicago when I was living there. That's what the Chicago area Mexicans call the cocktail made with Cazadores Reposado Tequila and Squirt grapefruit soda, over ice in a highball glass. I loved them! However, I've been unable to find the squirt here in the Boston area- Do you know anywhere that sells it?

              1. re: hill food

                Squirt is hard to find, but I have access to Jarritos Toronja/grapefruit pop (aka the Minnesota term for soda or soft drink). Would that work in a Paloma? It sounds like a great summer drink!


                1. re: hill food

                  No! A diet drink in a cocktail, bleah!

                  I swear i think I've seen Squirt at Market Basket, but a better option would be the Jamaican grapefruit soda Ting, which I buy from the international foods aisle of my local Stop and Shop, in a glass bottle for about 99 cents. (Sometimes it's on sale for less.)

                2. re: phipsi102

                  I think I've seen Squirt (hmm, or maybe it was Lilt) at the British Shoppe on Rte 1 in Peabody. But Hansen's grapefruit soda is easily available at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and often in the "Wild Harvest" section of Shaw's.

              2. If mojitos were a sucess, How about Caipirinhas. Similar, but diffferent. They're a little harder to do in bulk, but i think it's doable. I'd muddle 1/8thed limes and turbinado sugar( about 1 1/2-2 tbsp per lime) in a mixing bowl and add the equivalent of 1 lime and sugar into each glass, fill with ice(crushed is best, but cubes will do) and add about 2 1/2 oz cachaca, and a splash of soda.

                4 Replies
                1. re: chazzerking

                  I second Caipirinhas, but with out the splash of soda.

                  1. re: Faune

                    Yeah, I drink 'em without the soda too, but for a party, unless you want a pile of drunks, it's safer to cut them a little.

                    1. re: chazzerking

                      I read that when you drink alcohol mixed with a carbonated drink you get drunk quicker.

                      "Will some drinks get you drunk faster than others?

                      Mixed drinks that contain carbonated beverages will get you drunk faster than mixed drinks that don't have any carbonation. Example: A "Vodka And Tonic" will get you drunk faster than a "Cape Cod."

                      Note: Carbonation speeds up the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream."

                      (scroll down)

                      1. re: Faune

                        The thing is if you drink the same volume of liquid and one is all cachaca and the other has soda, you'll still get drunk faaster drinking the all cachaca. the differential would be if you drank the same volume of alcohol diluted with the same volume of a non-carbonated mixer, or a carbonated one, you'd get drunk marginally faster on the carbonated one. but not nearly the same difference if it wa straight alcohol

                2. I just like to sip Pama liquer and seltzer. Very refreshing on a hot day. We just made a batch for the Big Apple BBQ last Sunday.

                  1. If it's summer, it must be time for Pimm's Cups. We go through bottles of the stuff every summer, and though there's all sorts of different preparations and variations, the basic recipe can't be simpler: 1 part Pimm's to 3 parts lemonade or lemon soda (like San Pellegrino Limonata), over ice, garished with mint and borage leaves (or a spear of cucumber if you can't find borage, which can be tricky).

                    Variations: you can make Pimm's Cups with ginger ale/beer (I use Barritt's, the g.b. of choice for Dark and Stormies...which would also be an awesome choice of cocktail), or lemon-lime sodas. Here in New England, where Polar sodas are king, one of my favorite Pimm's Cups is made with Polar Orange Dry, either alone or mixed 1:1 with the ginger beer. (Hmm, we just bought a box of the Polar Cranberry Dry, I wonder how THAT is in a Pimm's Cup...)

                    If you don't want it to be gin-based, you need to lay hands on a bottle of Pimm's No. 6 (which is vodka-based) as opposed to Pimm's No. 1.

                    Greatest summertime drink EVER!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      The Pimm's Cup is a great one to mention: love that drink, despite a former boss, a Brit, who disdainfully referred to it as "a lady's drink" (that guy was a tool).

                      I was not aware that the original Pimm's Cup cocktail recipe called for borage leaves, had not in fact ever heard of borage. Do you happen to know of a source for them in Greater Boston?

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        As I've mentioned in other threads where my taste for the foofy drink has come up -- I will drink anything, anywhere, that is served in a ceramic coconut -- I am six and a half feet tall and built like a linebacker gone to seed. I don't get messed with in bars.

                        The idea behind the cucumber replacing the borage leaves is that borage smells just exactly like fresh cucumber. It's quite uncanny.

                        As far as I can tell, the deal with borage is kind of like the deal with purslane -- you have to grow it yourself. I have never seen the leaves for sale anywhere around here although obviously someone must grow them, because I occasionally see things that have borage in them. (Russell Orchards up in Ipswich sells a lovely cream cheese with borage.) Allstonian says her mom used to grow it in her community garden plot, so the seeds must be available somewhere. In fact, we should try to grow some in the herb garden out on the stoop next year.

                        Answer: Pimm's Cups made with a 50/50 mixture of Polar Cranberry Dry and Polar Orange Dry are best described as frickin' awesome.

                    2. can somebody tell me what pimms is? I've always heard of it -and find the name really lovely- but i have no idea what it is

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sixelagogo

                        Those things are a real blast from my personal past! I used to drink them all the time at this Cajun restaurant/bar that I used to hang out in- it was definitely served with a garnish of cucumber. Anyway, according to Wikipedia, it (the No. 1 Cup) is a spiced gin beverage:
                        "Pimm's may not always be available, especially outside the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Bartenders who wish to make a Pimm's Cup without its main ingredient usually mix one part gin with one part red Vermouth and 1/2 part to 1 part of triple sec or Orange Curacao."


                        It's a great drink, it truly is, especially in hot weather- I'm definitely going to have to revisit it this summer. Thanks for the reminder, folks!

                        1. re: sixelagogo

                          Pimm's is basically an infused liquor with a lot of sweet floral notes. Pimm's No. 1 is based on gin and Pimm's No. 6 is based on vodka. They stopped making Pimm's Nos. 2-5 back in the '70s, unfortunately.

                        2. My DH makes something he calls 'Summer Cocktail', which he used to serve "tons of" when he worked at a bar in The Hamptons, daaahling.

                          1 part vodka
                          2 parts cranberry juice
                          splash Sprite or 7 Up
                          Sqeeze lime wedge and drop in drink

                          Serve on the rocks

                          Very refreshing!

                          1. D) is a real killer. All my best drinks for hot weather are gin based.

                            For the general public, though not the OP, I'll throw in this one:

                            Equal parts of
                            Tonic water.

                            Juice of 1 whole lime per 4 ounces of Gin.
                            1 fresh mint leaf per 4 ounces of Gin
                            1/2 tsp sugar or honey per 4 ounces of Gin.

                            Ice in volume equal to the rest combined.

                            Put in blender and crush. It will be green and white.

                            Pour into frost-chilled thick glass mugs and sip while you sit on the screened porch and watch the sun beat down on the tobacco fields.

                            I guess you *could* use vodka or bourbon or... in this, if you must, instead of the precious gin.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fussycouple

                              that hazy gin night over 15 years ago really left an impression on me..after all these ideas, i might have to rethink my aversion to the stuff

                            2. From Bon Apetit's April 2008 issue, we tried Gordon's Cup and even the less-seasoned drinkers went back for seconds. I didn't intend being a bartender all night either so the ease with which I could batch this really added a positive note to it.

                              2/3 of 1 lime, cut into six wedges
                              2 1/2"-thick rounds of peeled cucumber
                              1/4 cup gin (we started with Plymouth but moved quickly to Beefeater)
                              1-1/2 TBS Simple Syrup
                              1 cup cracked ice
                              Pinch Salt

                              Place lime and cucumber in cocktail shaker; mash with muddler until lime and juiced and cucumber pulpy. Add gin and Simple Syrup, then ice. Cover shaker; shake vigorously three times. Pour drink over rocks. Optional: Salt rims of glasses prior to filling (like a margarita.)

                              1. Caipirinhas would be my choice, though, like Mojitos, I have never found a reliable recipee to make a good one more than one at a time.
                                If serving on the rocks is not a dealbreaker, you might consider Pisco Sours. Very easy to prepare a batch in advance, hardest thing being squeezing key limes. Pisco seems to have a similiar price point with Cachaca. Multiple recipees and blending proportions abound, my favorite (for 5-7 people) being:
                                1 cup Pisco (Ocucaje-Peruvian is better/cheaper than Chilean)
                                !/3 Cup simple syrup
                                !/3 Cup fresh squeezed lime juice (key limes being better than persians)
                                Mix above ingredients, store in fridge until ready to add to cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and one egg white (can be omitted though part of classic recipee). Shake, pour and top with drop of bitters if desired.

                                1. Nothing fancy here, but these are my favorite go-to's for a crowd:

                                  Vokda and iced tea (unsweetened) - a big hit that I learned from my upstate NY friends
                                  Vodka and Lemonade


                                  Vodka w/ 1/2 part iced tea and 1/2 part lemonade

                                  Can obviously be made in batches, but I would not ice the batches to avoid the watered down effect

                                  1. Recently served Blackeyed Susans at a party & they were such a hit I had to whip up another batch before the night was over. They meet your criteria - made them ahead of time (gallons in my case), served in highballs over ice and there's no gin! Rather than garnish them with fruit, I like to float some 151 rum in the center so it resembles the flower & gives it a lil something extra!

                                    1 part Grand Marinier
                                    1 part Mount Gay rum or any light rum
                                    1 part Vodka
                                    Pineapple Juice
                                    Orange Juice


                                    1. Campari and soda. Don't forget the lime.

                                      1. Lemonade and bourbon. If you have some mint growing, toss some leaves in. In a half-gallon container, mix equal parts bourbon, lemonade and ice. Better the lemonade the better the drink!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: chefguy

                                          cynar with seltzer and twist of lemon.
                                          i start craving them right when it turns warm.

                                        2. I finally had the sorreee in my hot, tiny apartment and want to thank you all for the tips...i landed up going with an alternate mohito lemongrass syrup +mint+rum+prosecco in a wine glass....worked well, but still was too mohitoesque for me (though with a spearamint plantation running loose in my ubertiny guerrilla garden, a neccessary trim).

                                          However: I did finally try a Pimms cup whillst in NYC over the weekend. While this one was not served with a cuke, I did love the flavors and it went down excruciatingly fast...it was made with ginger ale and I expect to be trying it again in the future (though this time with a cuke)

                                          Thanks for all yer suggestions!