Summer Sipping - alcohol & otherwise
What do you enjoy sipping when the sun is high in the sky, the breeze is taking a nap & the afternoon is lingering on?
I like to have a frozen Mason jar filled with icy cold gazpacho to perk me up until it is time to think about the next meal. Add a good book, some soft music & a comfortable chair & call it an afternoon delight!
Oh yes, maybe just a teeny weeny bit of something to munch on, not much you know. Oh heck, it is too hot to cook anyway, so just have a little bit more munchy.
So set the scene, share the recipe & call it good.
under the giant acacia tree in our backyard with a roasted chicken from the market, a fragrant muskmelon, and a chilled bottle of Rose. Noise ordinances prevent you from mowing the lawn, and most of the stores are closed (I'm in Europe) -- so Sunday afternoon frequently means you really have nothing else to do but laze around the back yard and read.
Dinner will be a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, feta, mint, and couscous with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
(looking out the window at the gloomy grey - not sure this is a good daydream or not!)
When the weather gets warmer like to sip:
Gin and Tonic
Margarita on the rocks
Dark rum and ginger juice
Blended Chi-Chi (coconut pineapple & vodka)
Fruit Punch (make strong Hawaiian Punch with syrup, Kool-Aid, from Frozen juice section, etc.)
Beer very cold (on ice long enough in a good cooler to get to perfect drinking temperature).
I like ice after it melts and starts to get soft with little holes in it. Can chew it then without hurting my teeth when no one is around to bother. We call it holey ice.
Ginger juice: one pound small fresh ginger pealed with a spoon sliced thin with a sharp knife in one part of sugar and three parts of rice vinegar (often use one cup rice vinegar with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp of salt I sprinkle the sliced ginger in before cover in liquid). Put sliced salted ginger in a quart mason jar. I have an old plastic top that fits and will not drip sticky juice. Shake once a day. Good after a week. Eat the ginger on sushi or with whatever then make drinks with the left over juice. Dark rum is a favorite. Also do all kinds of things like: is also good with soda water, ginger ale, 7-up alone with ice no alcohol is enough often. For a little extra when in the mood add rum, bourbon, or Canadian whiskey with lots of holey ice out of the cooler. Dark rum and ginger juice over holey ice is a favorite so post here to better explain how to make so others can enjoy.
Water. And for some reason, room temp to cool works better for me than icy cold. Perhaps because one can down a large glass quickly without blood vessels constricting in alarm. Little or no solid food in really hot weather. Yogurt, gelatin, soup....
Non-alcoholic: ice water with a slice of cucumber and a squeeze of lime. Or iced green tea. Fizzy water with a glug of hibiscus or bitters and a squeeze of citrus.
Alcoholic: gin and tonic, aviation,margarita, mojito, anything I can concoct with the herbs from my garden. Although now I have a sudden craving to spike a jar of gazpacho with some ice-cold vodka. ;)
Summers in the Yucatan are sultry. All motion is slow. The 13 miles of the Caribbean Sea separating Cozumel looks like glass. I alternate between my hammock and the pool, little veggo (good kitty) always following - he loves being stroked by a moist hand and the cool of the evaporation. My little green table by the hammock under the almond tree holds a lime squash (fresh squozen limes, honey, sparkling water), or agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea), or a chilada in a frosty mug. I plan 2 hours of chores for the following day, always expecting to save half for the day after. Guac and 'ritas are still a few hours off, when the green parrots start moving and screeching in the jungle, under roseate mackerel skies. I'll cook the fish after sunset. A little J.J. Cale wafts from the house - maybe "They call me the breeze". Tomorrow will be the same, thankfully.
(This is the life I lived for years, and I'll be back to it)
Iced tea-lemonade made with a really good, fruit-flavoured black tea and either homemade lemonade, or the concentrated stuff you buy frozen in a cardboard tube.
Sparkling water with ice and a squeeze of lime.
Gin and tonic (also with ice and a squeeze of lime).
Fruit salad topped with yogurt and a bit of granola (for 3 meals a day, when it's really hot).
Maybe a salmon patty with tzaziki and salad if I'm hungry.
Aperol Spritz - Aperol liqueur, champagne/sparkling wine/prosecco and sparkling water, in whatever proportions you like. Chill them all before mixing!
1 bottle of lager beer
1 5.5 oz can of clamato
Shot of Worcestershire sauce
Shot of Tabasco sauce
squeeze of lime
serve in a salted, ice cold beer mug
watermelon juice w/ a dash of salt
Perrier lime flavor
Smirinoff watermelon vodka with club soda
Three Olives grape vodka with club soda.
Mmmm. I need a michelada
Campari and soda
Sauvignon blanc spritzer
Gin & tonic
I try to stay away from the stronger cocktails since I am less of a summer sipper and more of a hot weather guzzler, particularly with bright and fresh-tasting beverages. For long-term guzzling on my Manhattan fire escape, I usually do nothing stronger than a Pimm's cup with a bit of gin in the evening, but more often than not, it's rosewater lemonade for me all summer long.
Some great ideas here already. I've been looking for non-alcoholic recipes for summer drinks lately. Here are some of the things I've been experimenting with:
Agua fresca (basically just fruit pulp, water, and sugar. I find it helps to steep the puree overnight then strain. I've only made strawberry agua so far, but this will be happening more often.
Shrubs (fruit muddled with vinegar for a few days then strained). I've done this once with cider vinegar and loquat. The concentrated syrup mixed with soda water is wonderfully refreshing, and I'm told that the vinegar is good for the hot weather. Will be trying this with summer berries soon.
Horchata (sweetened rice water). Very light and fresh. I steeped a puree of ground rice, cinnamon, and raw almonds in water, then strained, added a touch of vanilla and some simple syrup. This is nice like this right out of the fridge.
Ginger syrup, hibiscus syrup: both prepared by simmering large quantities in water, then using the strained liquid to make a simple syrup. Mixed with either fresh water or soda water.
A Radler. Half strong beer, half lemonade.
Gin and tonic. Lime wedge required.
Still a sucker for a wine spritzer.
In addition to tall, cool drinks (iced tea and coffee, gin and tonic, etc.) and chilled rosé, I love a rosé pêche - like a kir, but rosé wine with a splash of crème de pêche liqueur. And Lillet Blanc with an orange twist.
A Tropitini is my summer drink of choice:
One ounce each of Bacardi Lemon, Absolute Citron and Blue Curacao
Splash of pineapple juice
Splash of 7-Up (I use diet)
Spash of sweet and sour
Fill a martini glass and a shaker with ice. Pour the above into the shaker and shake for at least 30 seconds. Pour the ice out of the martini glass and fill with the Tropitini.
OMG is this stuff good! And when I order it in a lounge, all the women in the room want to order one because of its lovely blue color. Two's my limit, however. They're potent.
Lots of mojitos with the amazing mint in my garden (I wish I knew if it was a specific variety, I would recommend it to everyone)
cranberry juice with lime
cucumber lemon water
sassy water (cucumber ginger lemon mint)
lots of water kefir with either crystallized ginger or dried fruit in the second ferment (ginger being my favorite)
It ferments the sugar you put in it- the end result has very little sugar in it and is a probiotic drink. You can flavor it and make it carbonated by doing a second ferment without the "grains" in it but adding dried fruit for flavor. If you Google "water kefir" it you can learn lots about it.
If you were close by I'd share some of my grains with you- they multiply like mad.
All these drinks are sounding so good...I am writing them down so I can google what they are...I must say, I have never heard of over 60 per cent of them. Will be so interesting to search them out. Thanks to all for sharing. Liking all these "waters" you are talking about too!
For alcohol, I just put a couple of Heinekens in the freezer until slushy, add some Clamato Picante juice, & a couple of slices of lime & some sea salt. Have never ventured into much else. Would like to sip on a really good wine, but have yet to find any that I can afford that taste good.
You all have got me interested in trying some new things.
Not too sweet & not too dry, a hard combination to find indeed. I have Turning Leaf pino on my list...have heard that suggestion about Turning Leaf a long time ago, stating it was a good brand at a very good price. Thanks for jogging my memory.
Yes indeedy, I will let you know & we shall share a toast.
Summer is always time for a rose wine, which I find can be very affordable. I also learned years ago, from a neighbor who came from England, that you can find a much better $8 bottle of bubbly than an average $8 bottle of wine. Aim for a cava and you'll be in good shape. You can make a fantastic champagne spritzer with it, especially with a sprig of thyme as a stirrer.
Great site to visit, yes indeed, it supplements this thread well.
I can pop a top with the best of them, but when it comes to those sweet oozy drinks, it gets me to twirling around like a top & then settles like some dark swamp water in the pit of my stomach. So, in my wiser age, I choose to stay away from those & choose something very simple, Maker's Mark & water is what I will often choose or perhaps Antique Weller & water.
Had a Martini many years ago & thought I had arrived, but no one has been able to duplicate that taste for me. Perhaps it was the time, the place & the person that made the drink so good. Does anyone have a perfect recipe for a Martini????
Like they say, it must be five pm somewhere. I'll drink to that, for old times sake.
Thanks everyone, I wish I was sitting on the dock of the bay somewhere & we were all gathered 'round drinking our favorite drink.
vegetable juice cocktail (tomato juice based zinged with Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce)
bloody mary (made with above)
red beer (made with above)
Year round I like it garnished with celery, pickled green beans, pickled asparagus, or stuffed green olives. And especially combinations. I like a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Find about 6oz straight neat before a meal cleanses my palate. Or between even between meal courses similar to pickled ginger when eating sushi. Straight on the rocks is tasty also. Alcohol is not required to enjoy this one and in fact dilutes the taste so to is better without. While like with.
To make use a big can of V8 cold (V8 tastes good, while inexpensive generic vegetable juice can turn out fine). Poor in a glass container that seals with a top - I never keep tomato juice items in an open can as gets funky if look in with a flashlight. Add about five dashes habanero pepper sauce (I like habanero better if do not have about 15 dashes Franks or other cayenne based sauce), five to ten dashes of Worcestershire, and about 1.5 tsp of A1 steak sauce (Blazing Blends Worcestershire and Steak Sauce for $1 at the Dollar Store tastes decent if want to save a few bucks). Optionally add the juice of half a lime. Stir. Can settle in fridge, if does shake or stir before use.
Mixed with vodka as a Bloody Mary is tasty any time of day. Red beer made with this mixture is possibly better to me than straight beer with about one part vegetable juice cocktail to three parts of ice cold PBR or Miller Lite is a good combination (ice optional). Always like vegetable juice cocktails best garnished so have something flavorful with good texture to eat when drinking as find adds to the experience.
Oh yes, V8 juice is a great starting point for so many refreshing ideas. Great "pick me up" anytime of the night or day.
I like lime or lemon or both. Be adventursome & try all kinds of pickled things. Find a pickled thing you like & learn how to make it...save some money & drink with the best of them.
Also, add different spices as you think of them...be careful with those though, can throw the whole taste off.
I would be glad to! I don't know how to hyperlink to it but it is Claire Vath's recipe on suite101.com. Depending on your lemons and the type of alcohol you choose to use, it takes about 3 months for it to infuse and age and be really smooth. Definitely worth the time and effort though. It makes a good sized batch, about a gallon.
There is a farmer (Polly's) in our downtown (Town Square Park) farmer's market who makes an absolutely divine blueberry drink. It is absolutely wonderful and I have never had it anywhere else.