Madame Barfly: Summertime and the Drinkin’s Easy


For every season there is a drink. Just as beer nuts ditch cold-weather porters and quads to settle their summertime cravings for IPAs and light brews, cocktail sippers also change their choice of beverage with the heat. Fruity, delicious cocktails enjoyed on the porch are to summer as sipping bourbon by the fire is to winter. Here are some suggestions for satisfying your boozy summer urges.

Sit back, sip, relax, and let your work day fade away. Feel the summer breeze in your hair and smell that floral ozone. Ahhh.

Summer Rain This is a fantastic summer drink — mildly sweet and oh-so refreshing! Start by muddling some skinned cucumber and basil in a glass. If you don’t have a muddler lying around, use the tail end of an ice cream scooper. Mash the cucumber into a pulp, then add ice. Pour in 1.5 ounces of pisco — a clear brandy reminiscent of tequila, but cleaner and more floral. Add 1.5 ounces of elderflower liqueur and 1 ounce of lime juice. Add a splash of orange juice and top it off with club soda (optional). Mix well to fully incorporate the mashed cucumber and basil at the bottom of the glass. Serve with an orange slice garnish.

Pimm’s Porch Cup Pimm’s No. 1 is an underused classic. This dry gin liqueur made with fruit juice and spices has all the floral notes of gin, but it’s heavier, sweeter, and finishes with a kick. Start off this cocktail by tossing some cucumber, lemon wedges, and sugar at the bottom of your drinking glass. Muddle well and add ice. Pour in 1.5 ounces of Pimm’s and 1.5 ounces of your favorite gin. Top it off with a splash of lemon lime soda. Pro tip: Maine Root all natural soda is excellent. Mix well. Drink. Repeat?

Blueberry Mojito Blueberries make a lovely addition to the now-familiar Cuban cocktail. Throw a few sprigs of fresh mint, 5 large blueberries, sugar, and a splash of lime juice at the bottom of your glass. Muddle into a sugary paste. Add ice and pour in 3 ounces of white rum. Top it off with club soda, or tonic if you like it sweet. Mix ’n’ serve.

Creamsicle Who doesn’t love a Creamsicle during the summertime? Muddle an orange slice, add ice, then pour in three ounces of orange-flavored vodka. Finish the cocktail with some standard cream soda or Maine Root’s sarsaparilla. Mix — you know where this is going.

Old Fashioned Summer The Old Fashioned never truly gets old, but for the sake of summer, maybe add some additional fruit. Toss a slice of orange, a cherry, and a pineapple chunk into your glass. Add sugar and a few dashes of bitters. Muddle well. Add ice and 3 ounces of bourbon. Stir. For a little something extra, top off with orange soda.

Iced Tea With An Adult Twist Brew your favorite black tea, sweeten it to your liking and then some — your tea will have to be sweet enough to counteract the booze and bitterness of the other components. I recommend a strong Earl Grey — let it steep for 10 minutes before straining and cooling. Sweeten generously: It’s a summer treat after all! Grab a rocks glass, fill it with ice, and pour in 2 ounces of gin. Add about 3 ounces of tea and top it off with freshly squeezed lemon juice.•

Contact Amanda Drane at

Amanda Drane

Author: Amanda Drane

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