Five On Friday: Summer Cocktails!

Friday, June 20, 2014

I promised my friend, new mom April, that I'd share a delicious cocktail recipe, but decided to share five different drinks with TCK readers today as a part of her link up. Since tomorrow is the official start of summer, what better way to herald in a new season than by clinking a bunch of unique and delicious drinks?

1. Roman Holiday
This recipe comes from Katie At The Kitchen Door. I had to look up Amaro. Have you heard of it? I hadn't. The article I found about it likened it to sweet vermouth, which I love, so I planned on just swapping that in the recipe. Then, at our friendly neighborhood liquor store after a happy, energizing day at work, I spotted a gorgeous, almost vintage-looking bottle on the shelf. I must have been caught up in a Gregory Peck daydream because I bit the bullet on Amaro Montenegro.

The drink is a mix of rosemary-infused lemon-honey simple syrup, amaro, and prosecco. I knew April would love this - I learned about rosemary simple syrup from her ages ago!

Love, love, love La Marca. My mom bought it for me and my bridesmaids to sup upon while prepping for my wedding and it is crisp and refreshing and affordable.

It is PHENOMENAL. It's bubbly and refreshing, floral from the lemon and herbs, with an wonderfully rich, bitter undertone from the Amaro. I also highly recomment Food & Wine's excellent article about amaro that includes a very comprehensive run-down describing the different variations. (I know this because, four sips in, I nerded out and searched the whole web for info on amaro. I've used it other cocktails since and my love for it continues to grow.)

2. Tuscan Rosemary Lemon Drop
What to do with leftover rosemary... make more cocktails! The Nest mixed two of my favorite flavors - rosemary and lemon - in a delicious and refreshing beverage.

Their recipe calls for a plain simple syrup. I used more of the fresh rosemary and made a rosemary-infused simple syrup (I used 1/4 cup sugar and water). Then, mix in a shaker:

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce limoncello
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce Rosemary Simple Syrup

I garnished with a slice of lemon. This is delicious. It's tangy and sweet all at the same time, with the great flavor and aroma from the rosemary. Definitely a winner!

This would also be outrageous in bulk for any kind of outdoor summer event. To lessen the alcohol component (or stretch your ingredients), you could also add in lemon-lime seltzer for a more refreshing twist.

3. Ginger Peach Iced Green Tea (non-alcoholic)
This recipe came about because I'm high maintenance. First, I have a tea obsession. It's Republic Of Tea Ginger Peach. Second, I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine so I opt for the decaf version. Lastly, I try to choose green tea when I can for both antioxidants and fewer-tooth-stain reasons. Let's call that "health" instead of "vanity", yes? I decided to DIY a caffeine-free green tea version of this flavor combination.

The ingredients:
12 cups of water
13 tea bags (I used decaf green by Twinings)
3 yellow peaches, pitted and sliced
1" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Lemon & honey to taste

Bring water to a boil in large pot. While water heats, embrace your OCD and tie one of the tea bag strings around the remaining 12 strings. It'll be easier to fish these out of the pool later on.

Once boiling, turn off heat and add tea bags, peaches, and ginger. Steep 10 minutes, then strain out the floaters.

Sample and season with honey and lemon to taste. Cool and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

I took a Tupperware bottle of this to my office and it's a really refreshing pick me up. Best of all, it hit all of my annoying must-haves - decaf, green tea, and the delicious spicy ginger and sweet peaches. I'll certainly be making more batches of this as summer wears on.

4. Mi-Madras
I'm taking a trip to The Cape in August and I cannot wait. A quaint little beach house a block from the beach, a big back yard with a grill, and all the fabulous beach cocktails I can stand. This basically means I'll revert to my college-era drink choices and opt for fruit juices glugged with vodka.

The Madras is one of my favorite cocktails - orange juice, cranberry juice (cocktail), and vodka over ice. I took inspiration from the fizzy Roman Holiday above to try a mimosa-esque twist.

I made a simple syrup from cranberries and orange juice (plus some zest). Once it steeped and cooled, I mixed it with an ounce of vodka and topped off the glass with prosecco (gasp, more La Marca). If you don’t want it to be quite as strong (sue me - I like alcohol in my alcoholic drinks) you could certainly swap club soda for the prosecco.

This drink was fruity, refreshing, and I loved the bubbly fizz. Plus, it's pink and pretty drinks are tastier, right?

5. Maker's Mademoiselle
Of all places, I found this recipe on the Pottery Barn website! It basically adds fresh citrus juice to a Mint Julep and I am now obsessed with this drink.

I didn't make a mint syrup - I simply ripped off a handful of fresh mint and muddled it in the bottom of a cocktail shaker with about a tablespoon of granulated sugar.

I also doubled all of the proportions to end up with two drinks. Finally, I added about 1/4 teaspoon of honey to the cocktail shaker to smooth out the bright citrus flavors.

I served it in my best ever antique store find - I got 11 of these coupes for $50. As such, the proportions of booze/juice to club soda had to be tweaked. I filled the glass about 3/4 with the mixture and then added a floater of the club soda on top. I loved the fizziness and lightness it brought to the drink, but also loved that the bold bourbon and zesty citrus flavors could take center stage.

Three cheers to the summer solstice! Make sure you can check out more cocktail concoctions on my Happy Hour Pinterest board!


  1. I love these drink recipes. They are fruity in the RIGHT way, not with all that sugary syurp crap. Barf. I am bookmarking this - it's perfect for poolside drinks!

  2. Your homemade tea is like what dreams are made of. I bet your kitchen smelled so good after boiling all of that deliciousness.

    And I'm obsessed with your thrift store find of those cups. If you can believe it, I actually don't own martini glasses (THE HORROR) and I need to fix that situation, so I'm on the hunt for a funky, cool glass like yours to sip from.

  3. Lady you are on such a roll with the cocktails! Much excitement about the Makers' Mademoiselle! Cheers indeed.

    re: Elote. We just Make It With Things That Go In Elote. So: Lime juice over the corn after it is cooked. Slather it with mayonnnaise (I just use my hands? Plus it's easier to eliminate the excess). Roll in cheese that has been tossed with a bit of cayenne, voila! I know you're supposed to use cotija but much like pine nuts, we don't just have that laying around. Second choices for us would be parmesan/shredded cheddar/feta.

  4. I'll take one of each, please! Maybe two of the Maker's Mademoiselle...


You can be sweet or spicy, but no sour grapes.

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