I think it’s pretty safe to say that summer is the drinkingest time of year. Nice weather, holidays, camping, cook-outs, etc. they all lend themselves to delicious and refreshing libations, alcoholic and non. For the impending sunny season I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.
My favorite summer drink, and one of the easiest to make is iced tea. A large pot, a gallon of water, and ten tea bags are all you need. Of course black tea is traditional, but green is nice, too. Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, add tea bags, allow to steep until cool enough to transfer to a storage container.
Try a combination of 3 ginger green tea bags, 3 jasmine green tea bags, and 4 regular green for a little spice.
A 3/3/4 ratio of Earl Grey, Constant Comment, and plain black tea is also delicious and refreshing. Try subbing 3 vanilla flavored black tea bags in for the Constant Comment for something a little lighter and smoother.
Want it sweet? A cup of sugar in your tea while it’s still warm does the trick, or if you like honey in your green tea about half a cup per gallon while it’s hot is perfectly sweet, but not over powering.
A little more time on your hands? In a clear—preferably glass—container add 10 bags to one gallon of water and let stand in the sun for the afternoon. Worried about the neighbors stealing your drinks? Make sure the seal is tight and leave this in your car while you’re at work all day. That scorching hot car finally pays off!
Aside from tea lemonade is there another great summer drink. While you can squeeze lemons until the juices run down your leg, I like to let someone else do the work. At your local county fair or other summer festivity there will likely be at least one lemonade stand where you can get your fill of the deliciously simple brew: half a lemon, juiced; store bought ice; water, from a hose; and about half a cup of sugar. Shake to combine using a cup stolen from a Pizza Hut and serve in a waxy paper cup. Few things are as delicious or refreshing as this remarkably simple citrus solution, and nothing beats gnawing on the sugary lemon half sitting on the bottom of the cup when you’re done!
Beer: Most breweries offer some summer seasonal brew or another. I’m going to do my best and report back on what I find, but so far my favorites for this year are the Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Grassroots Ale and Bell’s Oberon.
Liquor: My standby summer drink is something we invented back in my early days of college. Everyone had their own variation on it, this being mine. It is, as of now, un-named, if you have a suggestion let me know. It’s simple, sweet, and utterly refreshing while deceptively strong. Just a few should do you:
Fill a tall glass ¾ with ice
1 shot Peach Schnapps
1-2 shots vodka
Top with equal parts pineapple juice and Vernor’s
Use less vodka or none at all, for a weaker variation of this, and all measures are approximate, I’ve always just eyeballed this.
Summer is also a great time for margaritas, but the store bought mix is either painfully sour or sickeningly sweet and making them from scratch is a bit of a chore. To reconcile my desire for sweet, sweet tequila based beverages and my general laziness I’ve created my summer 2K9 drink of choice, I call it the “Ana-Lucia”:
Fill a rocks glass with ice
Add one shot good tequila, preferable golden
About 3oz. tonic water
A good squeeze of lime juice
Delicious and refreshing in about an eighth of the time!
Enjoy responsibly and all that, more drink recipes to follow!