Summer’s not over yet, friends. Let’s celebrate these warm days and long nights with a cool dozen delightful summer cocktail recipes from some of the best mixologists around.
Editor’s Note: these recipes call for some of the bartenders’ favorite brand name spirits. You can, of course, substitute your own favorites.
Umstead Mai-Tai (photo above)
Recipe courtesy of The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, N.C.
1 oz. Pineapple juice
1 oz. Orgeat cream
1 oz. Malibu rum
1 oz. 10 Cane
.5 oz. Cointreau
.5 oz. Lime juice
Small batch grenadine floater
Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add pineapple juice, orgeat cream, Cointreau, lime juice and rum. Cover and shake until very cold. Short shake and pour into rocks glass. Float grenadine in corner of glass and top with ice. Garnish with pineapple wedge, orange slice, pineapple wedges, lemongrass, and cherry.
Recipe courtesy of Eddie Garcia, Jade bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
1.5 oz. Skyy Citron Vodka
2 oz. watermelon liqueur
Splash orange juice
Splash fresh lime juice
Cantaloupe balls for garnish
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake and strain into chilled martini cocktail glass. Garnish with cantaloupe balls.
Recipe courtesy David Conley, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa.
1.5 oz. White Rum
.5 oz. simple syrup (equal parts water and granulated sugar, heated to melt the sugar)
Juice of 1/2 lime
6 mint leaves with a sprig for garnish
Splash of soda water
Slap the mint (to release the oils and aroma), and add all ingredients except for the soda water into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Only shake a couple of times. Instead of floating the club soda, pour the drink into the glass on top of the soda water, allowing it to evenly filter throughout the drink.
Recipe courtesy The Newes from America Pub at Kelley House, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
1.5 oz. light rum
1 oz. dark rum
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. orange juice
.5 oz. grenadine
Dark rum floater
Shake all the ingredients together (minus the dark rum floater) with ice. Strain into a large glass with fresh ice and top with a dark rum floater, a cherry, and an orange slice.
Recipe courtesy Greg Fournier, Harbor View Hotel, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
1.5 oz. Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka
.5 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
.5 oz. house-made sour mix
Mix together the vodka, elderflower liquor, and sour mix. Serve over ice and top with club soda and garnish with mint and lemon slice.
Recipe courtesy Zachary Blair, Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, N.Y.
2.5 ounces of 44 nectarine potato vodka
2 ounces of homemade watermelon basil juice
.5 ounce of Cynar artichoke bitters
Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve straight up. Garnish with salted lemon and watermelon rind.
Summer on the Rocks
Recipe courtesy Travis London, celebrity chef and founder of Healthy Chic Eats.
2 oz. Seagram’s Escapes Classic Lime Margarita
1 oz. Grapefruit-infused Tequila
.5 oz. simple syrup
Handful of Blueberries
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Lime slice for garnish
Muddle berries with lime margarita, tequila, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake and strain into glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with lime slice.
Recipe courtesy Sarah Santos, Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills, Plymouth, Mass.
2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
5 oz. Homemade lemonade (1 part fresh lemon juice, one part water, one part simple syrup)
2 Fresh thyme sprigs
Muddle 4 blackberries in a cocktail shaker, and add gin and lemonade. Shake with ice and strain over fresh thyme into a highball glass of fresh ice. Garnish with a thyme skewer of fresh blackberries.
Recipe courtesy Taylor Hall, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa.
1.5 oz. Titos vodka
.5 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
.5 oz. St. Germaine liquor
1 rosemary sprig
Muddle rosemary with juices in a shaker glass, and then add vodka and top with ice. Shake and double strain over fresh ice in a highball glass. Top with a rosemary sprig.
1000 Islands Iced Tea
Recipe courtesy Sabrina Starr, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, Clayton, N.Y.
.5 oz. Clayton Distillery Vodka
.5 oz. Clayton Distillery Gin
.5 oz. Clayton Distillery Bourbon
.5 oz. Clayton Distillery Peach Whiskey
.5 oz. Clayton Distillery Lemonade Moonshine
4 oz. Raspberry iced tea
Splash pink lemonade
Add liquor and iced tea to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and pour. Top with a splash of pink lemonade.
Red’s Good Time
Recipe courtesy Owen Joseph, Sea Crest Beach Hotel, Falmouth, Mass.
1.5 oz. Absolut Citron
.75 oz. guava puree
Splash of Sprite
Splash of club soda
Mint, to taste
Pour ingredients over ice in a 10-oz. highball glass. Stir and top off with Sprite and club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Recipe courtesy Erik Thiess-Kusiak, Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Skaneateles, N.Y.
1.5 oz. Fidencio Unico Mezcal
.75 oz. Cointreau
.5 oz. Patron Citronage
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz Cranberry Juice
Lime slice for garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, and serve straight up with a lime garnish.