Time for a Drink: Stepping into Summer

Let's start the weekend right--with cocktail recipes from Paul Clarke (The Cocktail Chronicles). Want to see more? Hit up the archives. Cheers!

While the weather may not be cooperating in every part of the country, with Father's Day just ahead there's no denying that we're settling into summer. Over the past couple of years we've suggested a number of seasonal refreshers; here are a few to look into as you plan your summer activities.

Tall and Cold: Hot summer day; tall, icy drink. Could there be any more obvious combination? For something dry and crisp, a Gin Rickey is a great place to start, or you can sweeten it up half a notch with a whiskey-based Presbyterian or a classic Tom Collins. For something Continental, a crisply bitter Americano fits the bill, as does the vermouth-based Pompier, or you can take the classic highball in a south-of-the-border direction with a cassis-tinged Diablo or one of my all-time summer favorites, a Paloma. And for something that's mighty refreshing—emphasis on the 'mighty'—break out an ice Absinthe Frappe.

Even more summer libations, after the jump.

What about rum? Perhaps no spirit matches the summer season better than rum. A summer party can kick off with short, crisp rum cocktails such as a classic Daiquiri (or its close cousin, the Hemingway Daiquiri), a Nacional or an El Presidente. To take rum cocktails in a dolled-up direction, try the minty, champagne-topped Old Cuban, or for a touch of something different, a MacKinnon, sweetened with the Scottish herbs-and-honey liqueur, Drambuie. And to really go authentic, drip some cane syrup in your glass along with a squeeze of lime, and break out the Martinique rhum for a Ti Punch, or simply grab a bottle of a nice aged rum and splash some coconut water in the glass for an aptly named Rum and Coconut Water.

Want something more exotic? For a long evening on the patio— or whatever passes for a patio where you live—break out the tall glasses and tiki mugs and put together a flavorful punch. The Knickerbocker, which dates to the 19th century, is a sort of proto-tiki drink, or mix a classic Mai Tai or Fogcutter, or something slightly more contemporary such as a Painkiller.

And the rest—a Southside is a wonderfully versatile cocktail; this combo of gin, lemon and mint is equally comfortable served up in a cocktail glass, or stretched out in a highball glass with some ice and club soda (or if you're going completely decadent, try pouring it into a cocktail glass or champagne flute and adding an ounce or so of champagne). While mixing beer with sparkling water would seem to be a counterproductive move, nothing stretches out the cooling properties of a summer drink—along with the alcohol—better than a Cincinnati Cocktail. And for something extra easy that's also extra tasty and very soothing on a summer night, raid the mint patch for a few fresh sprigs and break out your favorite bottle of whatever for a classic Smash.

Those are a few of our favorite summer refreshers. What are some of yours?

Time for a Drink: Stepping into Summer

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