As you prepare to celebrate the start of summer (hopefully the weather will cooperate), it’s time to switch your liquor cabinet and wine stock from the heavier beverages of winter to the lighter, more refreshing ones of summer. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Summer is the perfect time to experiment with different liquors and “additions” to create your own personal cocktails. Drinks during this season are either fresh and crisp or sweet and fruity. With the wide variety of flavored spirits available, it’s easy to branch out from the typical rum, tequila, or vodka mixes by swapping the regular style for flavored liquor.
Anytime I talk with Mike McCarthy at Woodstock Beverage
about liquors for cocktails, he almost always suggests making one with Barr Hill Gin, a Vermont spirit made with just a touch of honey. He also recommends sipping Caledonia Spirits’ elderberry cordial and Whistle Pig rye whiskey, both also from Vermont.
What about wine for summer? Of course! Go for ones that are lighter and fruiter, but not necessarily sweet. This is the time of year when Rosés shine. Most are light and crisp, which make them perfect for summertime. Pino Gris and Pinot Grigio are also light, crisp, citrusy wines that go well with seafood and chicken.
If red wine is a must for you, consider mixing up some sangria. Use a fruity wine, like a Zinfandel, and add your favorite fruits and juices for a summery sipper. You can also give the drink more kick with the addition of a liqueur. Try these recipes for a Summer Gin Fizz and Sangria to help get your summer started.
Summer Gin Fizz
1/4 cup raspberries
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
3 oz Gin
1. Place the raspberries and sugar in a blender or small food processor and puree. Strain the raspberry sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Add more sugar if necessary.
2. Fill two glasses with ice. Divide the raspberry sauce between the two glasses. Squeeze half a lime into each glass, and then add 1 1/2 ounces of gin per glass. Top off the glasses with club soda and stir to combine.
1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup Cointreau
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp sugar
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 cup club soda or ginger ale
Mix all ingredients except the club soda or ginger ale. Chill overnight. Add club soda or ginger ale just before serving.
Head on over to Woodstock Beverage in Woodstock to make these awesome drinks! Tell Mike we sent you!