Summer officially begins this week, making it the perfect time for another focus week on cocktails.
This year's main cocktail muse is Jeffrey Morgenthaler, who early this month published his first book, The Bar Book, which focuses on the techniques of making cocktails while also sharing recipes and other bits of cocktail lore. I reviewed his book today and also included recipes for his Sidecar and Spanish Coffee.
Tomorrow, I'm sharing cocktails with ginger flavors, including a couple of drinks made with ginger syrup using Morgenthaler's great technique (Penicillin, Ginger Mojito and Ginger's Lazy Summer Afternoon). Wednesday, I mix a drink that combines smoky Islay Scotch with the summery Italian Aperol (June Sunrise). Thursday is gin day, pitting American and British gins in a taste-test to find the best Gin & Tonic. I'll also share a Berlioni made with barrel-aged gin. And Friday I'll share a couple of tiki cocktails, tropical fruit-forward, rum-based drinks (Mai Colada and Beachcomber).
In addition to this week's new drinks, here are some more ideas for summer cocktails:
- Put a new spin on the classic margarita with apple and ginger in the Apple Margarita. Tequila lovers may also like the classic Improved Tequila Cocktail made with Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters.
- If mezcal is more your thing, try the Smoky Paloma made with peppercorn-bacon bitters. The Nicolas from our line of Dallas Drinks is another sophisticated mezcal drink made also with amontillado sherry.
- Gin & Tonic is my favorite drink, and I've done some variations of other drinks inspired by it, like this G&T Martini.
- The British classic Pimm's Cup is also welcome in the summer. For a unique twist, try the Pimm's Cup imposter, the American Hustle, inspired by the recent film.
- Speaking of the movies, several of this year's Oscar Cocktails would be great for summertime, like the Captain Phillips, an African riff on the Screwdriver, the Nebraska, a minty beer cocktail, and the Her, a colorful gin drink made with summery Aperol. Don't forget the Oscar bonus cocktail for Blue Jasmine with tea-infused vodka and blue curaçao.
- If classic cocktails are your thing, I recommend The Last Word, a tart mix of gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime.
- Then there's the Mint Julep, a classic summer staple.
- Here's last year's list of summer cocktail suggestions.