Cheers to those who work hard for the money! It’s time to relax and lift a glass, even if it’s just high enough to celebrate hard work and service to our community. Summer is the best for cocktails that feature fresh fruit and natural sweetness. I have so many drinks that I want to share, but I’ve painstakingly picked a few of my absolute favorites for that pool party or patio barbecue with friends. Luckily, Texas’ warm weather nurtures some amazing seasonal treats to help us cool down.
- 3 watermelon cubes
- 1/8 oz. of agave nectar (just a touch)
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 oz. lime juice
- 1 1⁄2 oz. Don Julio reposado
- Muddle the watermelon with the agave in a shaker glass.
- Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a glass filled with ice and haloed with half a rim of salt.
- Garnish with a lime wedge and watermelon cube. (this cocktail works with cantaloupe as well.)
2. White Peach Sangria
How about showing up to a garden or pool party with a couple jugs of sangria? Mr. Johnny Phelps of the forthcoming bar, The Silo On 7th gave me this recipe. There are tons of sangria recipes out there, but I really like this peach doozy. You can use Texas peaches until the first part of August, though frozen peaches will do just fine!
- 1 bottle white wine (I recommend spanish)
- 3 oz. brandy (Yes, all cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac!)
- 2 oz. Paula’s texas orange liquor
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 oz. simple syrup
- 3 oz. peach puree (peel peaches, remove pit and puree in a blender with a small amount of water.)
- SLICED Fresh peaches, oranges, and apples (green and red)
- Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix
- Refrigerate at least 8 hours, or up to 48 hours
- Serve over ice. (Psssst, use nice jugs!)
3. Jalapeño Cucumber Lemonade
Folks have been asking for the recipe since this cocktail first bitch-slapped their taste buds! It’s spicy, but the cucumber comes in and makes everything all better. We add Titos vodka at the W Hotel, but you can totally use tequila if you want. You could also make this recipe in a big batch and just add vodka to each glass.
- 1 1⁄2 oz. Jalapeño simple syrup
- 2 oz. cucumber water (puree cucumbers and strain)
- 1 1⁄2 oz. vodka or tequila
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- Combine ingredients and shake.
- Strain over ice in a highball glass.
- Garnish with a cucumber spear.
4. Fresca Mojitos
Get your watermelon out, grab some rum and mint and get to getting on a few
- 3–5 watermelon cubes
- 5 pieces of mint
- 1 1⁄2 oz. rum (your choice)
- 1⁄2 oz. lime juice (half a lime)
- Muddle melon and add the other ingredients in a shaker glass.
- Just slap the mint before adding the ice and shake.
- Pour into a tall glass and top with club soda.
5. Hendrick’s Goddess
Stay cool as a cucumber with this amazing gin gimlet variation.
- 3 slices english cucumber
- 1 1⁄2 oz. gin (preferably hendrick’s)
- 1⁄2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
- 3⁄4 oz. fresh lime juice (three quarters of a lime)
- 1⁄2 oz. simple syrup
- Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass or serve on the rocks.
- Garnish with a cucumber slice.