This Summer, Show Off Your Mixology Skills Armed With These 12 Delicious Cocktail Recipes
By: Shopna Obheroi on Mar 30th, 2016
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Few things in life are as divine as a chilled glass of cocktail, with a dash of fruits, bubblies, wines and juices thrown in, on a hot summer day! When the warmth of the afternoon starts driving you nuts, it is a good time to uncork the bottles and get ready to shake, stir, and muddle them up into some gorgeous cocktails. You could use these herbs to jazz up your cocktails!

Here are 12 great, easy-to-put-together cocktails that will have your guests in high spirits and earn you the distinction of a bartender par excellence.

Champagne Punch
Image credit: Martha Stewart

Simple in its classic combination of champagne, brandy, your favorite cordial, liqueur and fruit, this punch is a toast to the senses and great to beat the heat with. Ready in seconds, this is perfect for lazy afternoon luncheons when celebration is in the air. The fruity flavors combine with the champagne adorably, while the liqueur has just the right consistency to make the drink rich and smooth.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons grenadine

3 tablespoons Cointreau

2 tablespoons brandy

1-3/4 cups champagne

Raspberries, apples, or other seasonal fruit

Directions:

Fill a small ice bucket halfway with ice.

Pour grenadine, Cointreau, brandy, and champagne over the ice.

Stir gently, and ladle punch into 2 wide-mouthed stemmed glasses.

Garnish punch with raspberries, apples, or any other fruit in season.

Recipe Source: marthastewart.com

Tequila Sunrise
Image credit: Martha Stewart

This two-toned beverage, light on top, appears to be like the rising sun over the horizon, and certainly spreads as much cheer! The trick is to take a highball glass, fill it half with ice and pour tequila, orange juice, and either grenadine or pomegranate juice over it, waiting for it to settle at the bottom. If it mixes up, the sunrise effect will be lost. An extremely popular cocktail, this comes in many variations, with the tequila and orange juice giving way to other beverages, especially lime and club soda in the non-alcoholic twist.

Ingredients:

4 cups orange juice, preferably fresh (from about 8 oranges)

2 cups tequila

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice

Directions:

In a large pitcher, combine orange juice and tequila. In each of six glasses, place 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice, then ice, then tequila mixture.

Serve, stirring just before drinking.

Recipe Source: marthastewart.com

Pineapple And Mango Rum Cocktail
Image credit: Martha Stewart

This exotic tropical, fruity classic is also the least fussy of cocktails, comprising seasonal fruits and the ever-available rum. A luxurious blend of flavours, this delicious cocktail is ready in a flash, yet makes your guests feel extremely special and welcome. Let this fruitilicious treat drive the summer blues away!

Ingredients:

2-1/2 small ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups), plus 1/2 mango cut into slices with skin, for garnish

4 ounces best-quality golden rum

4 cups fresh pineapple juice (from a 4 1/2-pound pineapple)

Fresh tropical fruit, such as dragon fruit and star fruit, for garnish

Directions:

Puree mangoes, rum, and 1/2 cup water in a blender.

Pour 2 ounces puree into each of six 12-ounce glasses.

Fill glasses with ice, and top off with pineapple juice.

Garnish with tropical fruit.

Recipe Source: marthastewart.com

Watermelon Punch
Image credit: Martha Stewart

Few things speak as joyfully of the summer season as watermelons! This sparkling cocktail has the kick of vermouth, a fortified wine. If you want a non-alcoholic version, substitute it with club soda or seltzer. This chilled glory is often served in the scooped hollow of a watermelon, which will offer a rustic look. Edible pansies add an extra festive and cheerful touch to the cocktail.

Ingredients:

3 cups seeded watermelon, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

1-1/2 cups white vermouth

1-1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar

3 cups crushed ice

Edible pansies, for garnish

Directions:

Place watermelon, vermouth, and sugar in a blender; process until watermelon has been liquefied, about 10 seconds.

Add ice; process 3 seconds more.

Garnish with pansies, and serve in chilled glasses.

Recipe Source: marthastewart.com

Evening Shade
Image credit: Saveur

Combining the hues of a sunset sky, this extremely delectable medley of colours, fruits, and beverages packs a hearty treat for cocktail lovers. With cucumber as its chief ingredient, this keeps the summer heat at bay. Lime, peach, and pomegranate swirl with the whisky and liqueurs in this drink, offering an unmistakable zing.

Ingredients:

12 oz. lime juice

3 slices cucumber

2 oz. peach purée

1-12 oz. corn whiskey, preferably Mellow Corn Bottle in Bond

34 oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur

12 oz. PAMA pomegranate liqueur

2 sprigs lemon balm

Directions:

Muddle lime juice and cucumber in a cocktail shaker; add peach purée, whiskey, liqueurs, and ice.

Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass filled with cracked ice; garnish with lemon balm.

Recipe Source: saveur.com

Blueberry Jam And Prosecco Cocktail
Image credit: Saveur

This unusual combination of vodka, wine, and blueberry jam is an ode to taste and goodness. Its sweet, dark base makes it rich and heady for those relaxed evenings by the beach. The Italian wine, Prosecco, gives the drink just the right tang to prevent over sweetness, while the lime dominates with a pleasant sourness.

Ingredients:

1-12 tbsp. blueberry jam

34 oz. fresh lemon juice

1-12 oz. vodka, preferably Ice Fox

3 oz. Prosecco

5 blueberries, to garnish

Sprig of fresh thyme, to garnish

Directions:

In a cocktail shaker, combine the jam, lemon juice, and vodka with ice.

Shake vigorously for 15 seconds and then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

Top with prosecco and garnish with the blueberries and thyme.

Recipe Source: saveur.com

Watermelon Mint Martini
Image credit: Delish

A delicious concoction with a dash of the ever favourite martini, this is a blend of two cool heartthrobs: watermelon and mint!

This fun-to-prepare and easy cocktail is a wonderfully refreshing energizer. Watermelon is rich in water and fibre, which makes it a perfectly heart-friendly, low-fat ingredient.

When combined with muddled mint, both the flavours fill your mouth with a burst of joyful taste! For a non-alcoholic version of this drink, use a combination of more fruit juices, chiefly lime and grape, and seltzer or soda.

Ingredients:

6 mint leaves

1 tbsp. simple syrup (see recipe below)

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 cup watermelon cubes

½ cup vodka

Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

Directions:

Place mint leaves, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker; muddle the mint, pressing and twisting to release its oils.

Add watermelon cubes and muddle until they're juiced.

Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until very cold.

Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses.

Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

To make simple syrup:

Combine granulated sugar with water in a glass jar; seal tightly. Shake until dissolved.

Refrigerate until needed.

Recipe Source: delish.com

Greek White Sangria
Image credit: Delish

An assortment of citrus delights, this white sangria is a delightful tribute to its classic cousin. With apricots, oranges, mint, and lime leading the pack, wine and liqueurs giving it its popular smoothness, this divine  drink is fit for the Greek Gods! In the non-alcoholic variant, the alcohol is replaced with thinly sliced apples, oranges, lime, and grape and cranberry juices, along with a large portion of seltzer water and a dash of ground cinnamon.

Ingredients:

2 bottle dry white wine (like Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay)

½ cup orange liqueur (like Cointreau or Triple Sec)

½ cup Greek brandy (like Metaxa)

1 cup apricot nectar

½ cup superfine sugar

2 lemons

2 limes

2 oranges

2 cups club soda

Fresh mint sprigs

Directions:

Combine wine, liqueur, brandy, apricot nectar, and sugar in a large 4-quart glass jar and mix well to dissolve sugar.

Stir in sliced fruit.

Refrigerate for several hours until well chilled, or preferably overnight, for flavors to blend.

When ready to serve, stir in club soda and mint sprigs.

Recipe Source: delish.com

Classic Pinacolada
Image credit: Food Network

Some things in life are too perfect to change, like this classic pinacolada. With pineapple and coconut combining in a tropical blast, this pinacolada has been savoured by connoisseurs of beverages for a long time now. Creamy, cool and comforting, the white and dark rum create ripples of frothy potion. An interesting non-alcoholic twist to this drink is made with just coconut cream, pineapple juice, and frozen chunks - good enough for  children, too.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cup ice

1/2 cup diced pineapple, frozen

2 ounces pineapple juice

2 ounces Coco Lopez coconut cream

1-1/2 ounces white rum

1 ounce dark rum

Pineapple slices

Directions:

Put the ice, frozen pineapple, juice, coconut cream, and the white and dark rums into a blender. Blend until smooth and frosty.

Pour the drink into 2 glasses and garnish the rim with pineapple slices.

Recipe Source: foodnetwork.com

UItimate Margarita
Image credit: Food Network

An ethereal blend of flavours, enhanced by Triple sec, a bitter sweet liqueur made from dried orange peels, and beers, the margarita is easily prepared and served, requiring no elaborate preparations. The salted rim adds to the glorious taste, making it a perfect cocktail for happy times. The ‘virgin’ or non-alcoholic version has frozen strawberries, orange juice, and a dash of ginger juice to reproduce the flavour of the margarita syrup.

Ingredients:

1 lime, halved

Coarse salt 

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from about 4 limes

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

1/4 cup Triple Sec

1 cup gold tequila 

Ice

1/2 can good-quality lager-style beer

Lime wheels, for garnish

Directions:

To salt the margarita glasses, rub the outside rims of 4 big glasses with a cut lime and press them lightly into a plate of kosher salt, to coat.

Combine the lime juice, sugar, orange liqueur, Triple Sec, tequila, and a big handful of ice in a cocktail shaker (or blender).

Shake the margarita really well, for a good 20 seconds, add a splash of beer and strain into the salt rimmed glasses filled with ice.

Garnish with a lime wheel.

Recipe Source: foodnetwork.com

Pomegranate Daiquiri
Image credit: Delish

A rare drink that you can store in the refrigerator for upto a week, this is a melange of fruity liqueurs, rum and juices, combining to create the perfect taste. A Daiquiri is a family of cocktails whose main ingredients are rum, citrus juice (typically lime juice), and sugar or other sweetener. The rich red colour makes for a terrific presentation and the pomegranate seeds provide just the right pop of tang that plays on your tongue in delight. With the portions given you can make upto 12 glasses and serve them fresh as directed each time.

Ingredients:

3-½ cups pomegranate juice

1-½ cups plain or raspberry-flavored light rum

1 cup cassis or cranberry liqueur

⅓ cup fresh lime juice

Ice cubes

Pomegranate seeds, frozen green grapes, or kiwi slices

Directions:

Combine pomegranate juice, rum, cassis, and lime juice in a large pitcher.

Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 1 week ahead.

In a blender, combine 1-1/2 cups juice mixture and 1 cup ice cubes. Blend until slushy.

Pour into large martini or wine glasses; garnish as desired.

Repeat with remaining juice.

Recipe Source: delish.com

Berry Mojito
Image credit: Delish

This wonderful blue cocktail will transport you to a haven by the waves of the sea! This cocktail is starkly distinct in its colours and flavors from the traditional mojito. Using fruity liqueurs like the raspberry and vanilla-infused Chambord and the blue Mediterranean Curacao, famous for its dried citrus peel zing, the berry mojito is the coolest offering you can make to your guests this summer. It turns into a perfect mocktail when substituted with non-alcoholic raspberry syrup, citrus zest, lime, and a hint of vanilla extract. Pour it over crushed ice in tall glasses to create a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

Ingredients:

5 fresh mint leaves

1 tsp. granulated sugar

4 wedges of lime

2 oz. Bacardi Razz

¼ oz. Chambord

¼ oz. blue Curaçao

1 splash club soda mint

Raspberries and blueberries

Directions:

In a tall glass, crush mint with a fork. Add sugar and lime juice; stir.

Add Bacardi, Chambord, and blue Curaçao; mix.

Top with club soda and garnish.

Recipe Source: delish.com

Lovely Food Pairing Suggestion

- Make summer months the perfect time to chill with friends over these gorgeous drinks that will surely enliven the senses. Serve up these cocktails and mocktails with delicious snacks comprising soft cheeses, fruits, berries, sushi, potato chips, eggs, and topped crackers.

 

- Because of their saltiness and smokiness, cold cuts complement these cocktails well. Serrano ham, salami, terrines and prosciutto are superb combinations  with them.

 

- Seafoods are also very popular and scallop based dishes, lobster, crab and oysters make for some great accompaniments. Fresh white baked fish and tuna salads are also famously paired with cocktails, as are shrimps and prawns.

 

- Mexican and Thai fare also makes for exotic food pairings with cocktails. Chorizo-based dish, roasted chipotle salsa, stuffed jalapeno peppers chicken empanadas, spicy enchiladas and seafood paellas are hot favorites at cocktail brunches. Quesadillas, skewered meat, kebabs, and spicy grilled meat and chicken breasts served with tangy salads  are excellent options too.

You could also try these homemade cocktails and mocktails to get the party started.

Which of these cocktails are you going to try your hand at? How often do you play bartender or mixologist at your do? We would love to hear about your experiences. Share with us in the comments below.

 

Head to our Instagram page now, for more such delicious posts!

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Shopna Obheroi
Life is a beautiful journey for those who believe in the power of goodness and happy thoughts. For Shopna, an army wife, it has been a roller coaster of smiles and sniffles, spiced up with lots of travel, entertainment, friendships, laughter and learning along the way. A language enthusiast and passionate about English literature, she has been an...   Read more
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