Summer is full of busy activities: socializing, outdoor events, days at the pool, afternoon barbeques, and long evenings all make for perfect opportunities to cool down with a frosty beverage. From serving a crowd, to small flavorful sips at home, Serendipity has compiled a list of the best beverages to try this summer.
1 – Pitcher Drinks
For a small crowd, break out the large pitcher and put together an easy breezy make-ahead cocktail that simply needs a glass of ice to serve. We love pitcher friendly cocktails. They are small batched and customized for the occasion, they are much easier than mixing individual drinks by hand, and when made in a decorative pitcher, they can double as a pretty, and convenient centerpiece too. Cheers to that!
2 – Tequila Cocktails (That are Not Margaritas)
Lately, tequila has been making an appearance in more than just margaritas (and occasional late-night regrettable shots!) The plant-based blue agave tequila has maintained a steady a cult following over the past few years, with aficionados sipping tequila straight to find the desirable mineral, citrus, and woodsy notes. Luckily, for those of us who may not be as adventurous with our tequila palettes but are still looking for new ways to enjoy the quintessential summer liquor, there are tons more cocktails being revived, or newly concocted using tequila. Try any of these to get your tequila on, minus the salted rims.
3 – White Whiskey
Whiskey is so last summer. This summer look for cocktails made with white whiskey. What is white whiskey, you ask? White whiskey is simply whiskey that has not aged, which is essentially how bootleggers would make moonshine during Prohibition. (Aged whiskey gets its deep brown color by aging in oak barrels.) Both national and local distilleries are experimenting with white whiskey by not aging at all, or by “lightly” aging. The flavor is neater, less intense, slightly buttery, and perfect for unintimidating summery cocktails.
4 – Bittersweet
The last few years it seemed as though every bar menu was full of herbal-sweet cocktails, like mojito variations, and fruit infused liquors. This year we are scaling back on the sweet and looking to bitter. Bitters are an extract of seeds, botanicals, and often fruits. Originating as a medicinal elixir in ancient times, it has moved to a mainstream essential in today’s liquor cabinet. They are highly concentrated and are used by the dashes as flavor enhancers for nearly any cocktail. Much as a chef looks to his spice rack, mixologists look to bitters. Bitters can be simply served as a bitters and soda garnished with summer fruit, or seen in classics like an Old Fashioned, and in newer recipes like the take on a paloma, the Palomaesque. Other bitters cocktails to try this summer include:
5 – Iced Tea
Classic, herbal, green, fruited, and spiked variations of iced tea will be a summer thirst quencher. With so many flavors of tea, and the popularity of variations like macha and white tea, expect to see the summer classic get a spiked adult makeover, or simply a flavor upgrade with summer herbs and fruits. The versatility and familiarity of iced tea makes it an easy-to-serve beverage for parties and easy to leave one batch “virgin” for non-alcoholic drinkers. (Iced tea also looks mighty pretty with fresh herbs and citrus in a pitcher, as we mentioned in #1.)
Happy summer sipping!