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4 Refreshing Summer Drinks for You and Your Kids

cocktails
Flickr user Dinner Series

We’re looking at temps in the 90s this week, so crank up the AC and make yourself one (or more) of these to beat the heat. (There’s a virgin recipe for each one as well, so the kids — and your lightweight Aunt Betty — can feel equally cool.)

These recipes don’t have to be followed to a T. If you like a little more or less of something, go with it.

I tend to ‘wing it’ when I’m behind the bar. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making drinks…just enjoy (responsibly)!

1. Sangria:

1 bottle merlot/pinot noir
2-3 tablespoons blackberry brandy
2-3 tablespoons triple sec
1 tsp. cinnamon
sliced oranges, lemons, limes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries
¼ cup orange juice
splash club soda (optional)

Pour everything but the club soda into a large pitcher. Stir with a wooden spoon. The longer it sits, the more the fruit will infuse the mixture, the better it will taste. To serve, pour a glass over ice with a splash of club soda, if desired. You can keep extra sliced fruit aside to garnish.

For white: use pinot grigio and peach schnapps instead of red wine and brandy. Omit cinnamon.

For kids: use grape juice (red) or lemonade (white) in place of first four ingredients.

2. Summer sparkler:

1 ½ oz. Gin
4 oz. lemonade
splash of orange and lime juice
top with club soda

Shake all ingredients except club soda with ice. Pour into glass and top with club soda.

For extra flair, muddle some diced cucumbers in the gin (Hendrick’s gin works especially well for this), then strain the gin into the shaker.

For kids, omit gin.

3. Frozen strawberry daiquiri:

1 ½ oz. of rum
½ oz. fresh lime juice
6-8 frozen strawberries (or fresh strawberries and a handful of ice)
simple syrup to taste

Add everything into the blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and at your desired consistency. If it’s too thick, add more liquid. Too thin, add more ice/frozen strawberries.

For kids: Substitute lemonade, strawberry sorbet, or vanilla ice cream for rum.

4. Water(melon) Cooler:

1 ½ oz. vodka
1-2 cups of cubed seedless watermelon
Handful of ice
sugar to taste

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high until smooth and at desired consistency. (Again, if it’s too thick, add more watermelon, too thin, add more ice.)

For extra flair, add mint or basil (sounds weird, I know, but it’s good!)

For kids, omit vodka.

An extra tip for you summer drinks, freeze orange juice or lemonade in ice cube trays to use in your drinks! A great way to brighten up a cocktail without diluting it!

Have a great summer cocktail idea? Share it below!

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