Barbecues, beach parties and lazy days in the park: Summer is just about in full swing. Thankfully, that means plenty of al fresco drinking.
It also means that the simpler the prep, the better. Forget complicated eight-ingredient cocktails served up. Instead, go for drinks that are as easy to throw together as a fresh-off-the-grill hotdog. Oh, and ice. Be sure you have all the ice.
Having a few friends over to enjoy the balmy summer night? Forget making one Margarita at a time when you can craft an entire pitcher right off the bat. Throw together some tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and orange liqueur and you’ve got your party-time cocktail game on lock. Just be sure to have enough ingredients on hand for a second—or third—batch.
It’s hard to ask for a more summery beverage than a Gimlet. Vodka (or gin), lime juice and sugar are a natural combination. But when you add in a twist of cucumber and basil, the classic takes an extra-refreshing turn.
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Hold onto your seats! It’s time to hop aboard the tart train. One of the easiest cocktails to throw together at a moment’s notice—as long as you’ve got a bottle of gin or bourbon on hand—the Rickey combines three simple ingredients: lime juice, soda and booze. Use the traditional gin for herbaceous undertones, or go for bourbon, which gives the drink a sweeter, maltier depth.
Limes are truly the citrus of the season. And this frozen treat employs the even tarter key limes to get the job done. A twist on the Daiquiri Hemingway himself would’ve indulged in during his Cuba days, this blended cocktail also combines white rum, simple syrup, maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. Perhaps it will inspire you to start writing your own novel.
Whether you prefer the smoky flavor of Scotch or just need to keep something in mind for dad on Father’s Day, this single malt–spiked drink can always be trusted. The base is a blend of hearty Glenlivet and Rock and Rye. Lemon juice, Campari and grenadine give the drink a thirst-quenching summer twist.
Do your friends expect more of your cocktailing skills than a simple pitcher of Margaritas? Have no fear: As always, Dale DeGroff is here to help. His take on the beloved Planter’s Punch uses white and dark rum, fresh fruit juices, including pineapple and lime, as well as allspice dram, grenadine and orange liqueur. Sure, it’s not as simple to put together as some other drinks. But the end result is big, boozy and, arguably, worth the effort.