Three Summer Cocktails

Here are three cocktails that I make and enjoy in the summer – light and fresh, using seasonal ingredients, without being overly sweet or cloying.

img_1146Watermelon-Mint Martini

  • 1/2 cup watermelon cubes – doesn’t matter if it’s seedless or not, since you will be straining the drink.
  • About eight fresh mint leaves, plus another for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup or St. Germain (optional)
  • 2 ounces vodka

Reserve one cube of watermelon, and muddle the rest in a glass with the mint leaves.  Add the lime & syrup, fill with ice, then add the vodka.  Shake well and strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with the mint and watermelon cube.

NB:  A similar drink can be made with fresh dark cherries.  Muddle about five of them, without their stems.  Proceed as above, omitting the watermelon.


img_1151Basil Gimlet

I’ve been seeing these on menus a lot lately, although, oddly enough, not in Vermont.  The bartender at Verde in the Stratton Village made me one, following my directions, but using elderflower liqueur (St. Germain) instead of simple syrup.  Fabulous!

  • Five or six fresh basil leaves, more or less to taste (my taste says you can’t use too many)
  • 1 quarter of a fresh lime
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup or St. Germain, or more to taste
  • 2 ounces Hendricks gin, or what you have on hand

Muddle basil and lime wedge in a glass.  Add simple syrup, and fill with ice.  Add gin, then shake well.  Strain into a martini glass.  Float a small whole basil leaf as garnish.


img_1153Fresh Peach Woo-Woo

This one is usually made with vodka, although it’s extra special with silver tequila

In the glass of a Boston shaker, put one quarter of a ripe peach.  Add 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 teaspoon peach schnapps, and muddle.  Half-fill with ice, then add 2 ounces vodka or silver tequila and 1.5 ounces cranberry juice.

Shake well, then strain into a glass with ice.  Garnish with a slice of peach.

Thanks to Nina & Tonchy for the spiffy Mason jar mugs.


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