There are few things more enjoyable than an ice-cold beverage during the dog days of summer, except for maybe an ice-cold adult beverage enjoyed beach-side, poolside in the early evening. Although I often enjoy a simple beer on these occasions, I also have my favorite summer cocktails. Here are my top five.
5. French 75 - I have been on a champagne/sparkling wine kick lately, opting for a glass of Prosecco or sparkling rose instead of wine. The French 75 is a concoction of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and champagne. It is the perfect summer cocktail. Served cold, it isn't cloyingly sweet, and you can drink a few without feeling full. I like to think of it as the classier cousin of the mimosa.
4. John Daly (spiked Arnold Palmer) - Everyone is pretty familiar with the half tea, half lemonade drink named after the golfer, and I'm pretty sure we've all doctored it up with booze. Apparently there is a name for that, and the real John Daly isn't happy about it. But whatever you want to call it, this is a great cocktail that pairs two summertime favorites. It's made even better using a sweet tea vodka like Austin's own Deep Eddy Vodka. If you want to nix the lemonade altogether, a frozen sweet tea vodka is also a summer go-to.
3. White Sangria - Sangria by definition is an iced punch made with red wine, fruit juice, and usually pieces of fruit and soda water. The name comes from the color, so calling it a white sangria is really an oxymoron, but using a crisp white wine and summer fruits like strawberries just makes it a lighter, more refreshing summer drink. And anything you can make in batches that tastes better the longer it sits is ideal for summer pool parties. I recently tried Ava's version, called Susan's Sangria. It went perfectly with some of the light appetizers.
2. Michelada - A michelada is beer with tomato juice, lime, salt and some heat. Think Bloody Mary, but with cerveza. I enjoy mine on ice with a dozen really cold raw oysters on the half shell. My favorite place for this treat is the patio at Mambo Seafood. Their micheladas are so good, you can buy the mix by the gallon. For a different take on the micheleda, Yelapa Playa does a prickly pear one that is unique and refreshing.
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1. Caipirinha - I think this my favorite because it brings back memories of my trip to Rio de Janeiro, where they could be found at any of the stands right by the beach. The caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with a sugar cane rum called Cachaca, sugar and lime. Although extremely potent, cachaca is lighter than the average rum making it easier to drink. But it's a definite creeper.
What are some of your favorite adults-only beverages for the summer?