The dead heat of summer is probably getting to you. The kids are bored. If you have to referee yet another match of “Who was playing with the iPad first?” you are going to snap like a twig. Luckily, there is a respite from this overheated nightmare: crisp, delicious summer cocktails, most of which can be made in a few minutes or less. Drink in hand, you can sneak off to relax under the night sky and long for the first day of school.
It has been about 240 years since the beginning of our country, and we should celebrate. Start with the firecracker, a drink that is as fresh and light as the fireworks people like to set off this time of year. You will not believe the simplicity of this combination. Mix cucumber vodka, watermelon and lime together in a shaker. Add simple syrup and ice, then shake. The result is a perfect addition for a summer barbecue, or any time you want a drink that adds to the evening without necessarily taking it over.
Modernize your mojito with a fresh, fruity addition that looks as great as it tastes. The blueberry mojito is a sparkling cocktail that combines the delicate sweetness of blueberries with the brash tartness of lime and the bitterness of mint. Mix them together with a rum of your choosing and you have a colorful drink that is full of antioxidants. That makes it practically healthy for you. Seriously, there is one full serving of fruit in each cup of blueberry mojito. In fact, go ahead and have two. Your mom always said you need more produce in your diet.
Classic Mint Julep
There are times when you need a cool, refreshing drink, but you do not want to leave the house. This is a time for the classic and timeless mint julep. You probably have the ingredients right now, especially if mint grows wild in your yard. The combination has made little variation over the years, but still puts a spring in your step after a long, hot day. Muddle together the mint and the sugar (or simple syrup, if you prefer). Add bourbon over ice and serve. The mint julep is perfect for sipping while you enjoy the weather from your porch swing.
Peanut Butter Frozen Hot Chocolate
Ah, the difficult choice at the end of dinner. Do you enjoy a nice, cold drink or have dessert? Your stomach insists you must choose. In this case, you do not have to. The peanut butter frozen hot chocolate is so much bigger than a beverage, and much more refreshing than a dessert. On the plus side, this is a drink the whole family can enjoy together. Break out your blender to make this treat a quick family favorite. Throw in ice, peanut butter, hot fudge and peanut butter cups. Yes, peanut butter cups. Blend until the whole house is begging for you to stop, and pour it out in a tall sundae glass. Top with peanut butter whipped cream and enjoy a chilly taste of heaven.
Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade
Ah, the blackberry. It might be the most underappreciated summer berry. Slightly bitter, but juicy and sweet when ripe, the blackberry has been waiting for the moment to kick your cocktail into high gear. Blackberry whiskey lemonade is just the right balance tart and sweet The sweetness of the blackberry blends perfectly with the tartness of the lemon. You can either make a blackberry simple syrup or simply muddle together the blackberries and the sugar. Make the lemonade, add whiskey and top with rosemary for a complexity of flavor that never disappoints.
Cake by the Ocean
You may recall a song that was very popular last year called “Cake by the Ocean.” It got a lot of airplay and inspired this beverage that seeks to bring the best of cake and beachy drinks together. Cake by the Ocean is a dream-come-true for anyone who ever wanted to have their cake and drink it, too. You have probably tried cake vodka. However, if you have not yet added it to fruit drinks to take them to the next level, now is your chance. Combine cake vodka with coconut rum, orange juice and pineapple. The mix has the lightness of a fruity cocktail, with the sweetness of a dessert drink. Cabana and sandy beaches not included.
Death by Chocolate
Are you the kind of person who needs a little chocolate with their chocolate, with chocolate on top? Death by Chocolate is the blended drink for you. Do not go thinking this is a kid’s milkshake, though, since it is so much better. Start with chocolate vodka, irish cream and crème de cacao. Add ice cream and blend it all up. Line a cocktail glass with chocolate syrup and fill it to the brim. Garnish with some shaved chocolate (milk or dark, your choice) and you have a deliciously sinful little snack that will be great for your next mom’s night in.
Ginger, Peach and Honey Iced Green Tea
A fresh cup of iced tea is just perfect after you have spent the day out with the kids. The ginger, peach and honey iced green tea is ideal to prepare in the morning or even the night before. Put sliced peaches and grated ginger at the bottom of the pitcher. Add honey, hot water and tea bags. Once the tea is done steeping, all you have to do is remove the tea bags and chill until you are ready to drink. This tea is so cool with just a slight bite from the ginger, and you will be grateful you made it when you get back home and pour up a glass for everyone.
Raspberry Sorbet Bellini
Can wine become part of a mixed drink? Sure, it can! It is even better when you have a great choice like this raspberry sorbet bellini. It is like a wine float in the very best way. Select your preferred sparkling wine, such as moscato, prosecco or champagne. Scoop a little raspberry sorbet into the glass. Pro tip: go back to your root beer float days to come up with a technique that makes the least mess. Top the champagne flute with a few fresh raspberries and you are done. Wine was never this sweet, and dessert has rarely been this quick or easy.
Iced Caramel Mocha Latte
You might think you could pick up one of these babies at the coffee shop any time you want. Except the coffee shop has never served you an iced caramel mocha latte that looked this scrumptious. It is so simple that you have to try it. Start with coffee ice cubes. Make coffee as you normally would, but freeze some of it into ice cubes. This will make your iced coffees that much more popular. Add hot chocolate mix, caramel topping and whipped cream. The result is not just eye candy, but candy for all of your senses.
Cool Drinks for Hot, Summer Nights
Whew! The kids are finally in bed and you can enjoy some reasonable adult time. These great cocktails will help you to relax and leave behind the stress of your day. They take such a short amount of time to make that you might decide to create a cocktail hour in your home each evening. Then, you can watch the sunset with a cool drink and your spouse as your companions.