OUR FAVOURITE SUMMER COCKTAIL RECIPES WITH A TWIST
We take our favourite summer classics and give them a twist so you can step up your cocktail game this summer
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Alev Takil
17 August 2020
The summer season is kicking with full force as temperatures spike, vacationers flee to tropical coasts and backyard grills are firing up everywhere. To celebrate a refreshing summer, we bring you some of the all-time-favourite cocktails. If you think you know how to make these classic refreshments, think again.
This summer you can master the craft of cocktails to perfection as we bring some delicious twists and unexpected alternatives to everybody’s favourite traditional recipes.
THE MIGHTY MOJITO
Summer brings out some of the tastiest and most colourful produce at farmers’ markets. As gardens blossom with fresh mint leaves, mojitos become the perfect summer cocktail at any holiday destination or after-work happy hour. Homemade mojitos are quick and easy, refreshing and vibrant with tart tasting notes of a bright summery flavour. We bring a twist to the classical recipe. Follow this guide for the ultimate refreshing mojito naturally sweetened with honey instead of sugar.
White rum (50ml).
Fresh lime juice.
DIRECTIONS: Muddle fresh mint leaves between your palms. Combine the honey, lime juice, rum and mint in a cocktail shaker. Use a cocktail muddler to release some more of the mint flavours but be gentle not to break the leaves into too many tiny pieces. Add ice and shake for about 15 seconds until chilled. Fill tall glasses with ice, pour the liquid over a strainer and top up with club soda. To garnish before serving, use fresh lime slices and mint leaves.
THE TWISTS: If you are looking for something new to spice up the traditional flavour, experiment with mojitos by adding a little something extra. Fresh cucumber slices will add refreshment. Add a splash of coconut water/milk for a tropical taste. If you’re looking for extra sweetness, try fruit such as berries, mango, orange or pineapple. Should you seek a bit of a kick, muddle in a tiny bit of serrano pepper or jalapeño pieces to infuse some spice.
GIN & TONIC
This classic is many people’s go-to. Easy to make and always refreshing, this one never fails to quench your thirst even if you don’t have cocktail equipment available. While the recipe may seem quite straightforward, many components compliment the drink apart from the seemingly trivial mixology. The glass is important – to get all fragrant botanicals of the gin enhanced, you must choose a tumbler or red wine glass with a hood opening. To taste the quality of the gin, you must go as cold as possible – it is vital to chill your glass and add plenty of clear ice to avoid dilution.
Fresh lemon wedges.
DIRECTIONS: For the best G&T it is crucial that you get the order of ingredients right. Chill your glass as much as possible before adding ice – remember to pour out the excess water. First add the gin, then the tonic and stir well before garnishing. Experts recommend the following ratio: add 50ml of top-notch quality gin and three-quarters tonic per glass. Since it is the garnish that really enhances the taste, try to avoid flavoured tonic waters.
THE TWISTS: Don’t be afraid to go a bit adventurous with your G&T mixology. The garnish is half the fun and we have the most complimentary suggestions. You can never go wrong with adding a bit of a citrus taste so the classic lime wedge is always a refreshing idea. To bring out floral notes, add some thyme elderflower or rosemary. Strawberry goes well with basil, while a lime and chilli combination is something a bit more unconventional. The lovers of that spicy and a bit warmer taste will also enjoy a garnish of star anise, pink grapefruit or orange peel. If you like refreshing summer taste, try a garnish of mint, black peppercorns and cucumber pieces.
Pro Tip: Look out for the gin flavours – if your choice of gin has hints of ginger and juniper for example, garnish with a slice of ginger as well, to emphasise on the tasting note.
A summertime legend among cocktail drinks, Pina Colada will have you feeling like you are on a sunny Caribbean island where nothing but the current moment matters. The drink was made for the very first time in Puerto Rico back in 1952. The classical recipe extends to rum, pineapple and coconut cream. The cocktail is sweet and enjoyable among the summer heat.
Pineapple (around 6 chinks).
Bacardi Carta Blanco rum (50ml).
Fresh pineapple juice (50ml).
Coconut cream (1 tablespoon).
Sugar (1 tablespoon).
DIRECTIONS: Making Pina Colada is simple. All you need to do is place the ingredients in a blender and blend until reaching a smooth consistency. The tropical cocktail is served in a chilled glass. For best taste, try pouring into a frozen glass. Finally add the garnish and serve. The most suitable garnish for Pia Colada is a pineapple leaf – it’s classical, appealing and complimentary. Cheers!
The bitter-sweet aftertaste of this refreshing cocktail turns it into the perfect summer triple. Aperol consists of rhubarb and oranges, which give its distinctive flavour and bright colour. It originates from Italy. Aperol is a combination of white wine or fizzy Prosecco with sweet liqueur – an infusion of roots and herbs. It is best served as aperitivo with friends at the end of a workday, since Aperol is unconventionally light liqueur containing only 11% alcohol.
DIRECTIONS: To enhance the flavour and Italian heritage of Aperol Spritz, go for a fifty-fifty ratio. There is a common myth that the 3:2:1 recipe is the way to make it, but our half-and-half suggestion really brings out a balance of the sweet taste and sour flavour. Fill a tall wine or balloon glass with ice. Add equal parts of Prosecco, then Aperol. Top up with a splash of soda water and garnish before serving. To make the classic Aperol drink really pop out, garnish with a slice of orange and olive on a stick. For better impression, make that a blood orange. The citrus flavour really compliments the bitter-sweet aftertaste, while emphasising of its vivid appearance.
THE TWISTS: Different mixologists recommend interesting alternatives to enjoying the classic Aperol. For a Japanese twist, mix 150ml sparkling sake with 35ml Aperol, a splash of fresh lemon and yuzu juice. If you don’t like Prosecco, replace it with white wine mixed with Aperol (or Campari) and top up with soda water and lemon garnish. For a “Cloudy Prosecco” with a refreshing chrisp taste, mix two parts Aperol, three parts Malibran and one part soda. Sgroppino is another way to drink Aperol as both a digestif and an aperitif – combine 50ml Aperol with 100ml Prosecco and two scoops of fruit (grapefruit, orange or lemon) sorbet. For a truly fragrant and zesty taste make yourself the Aperol smash alternative where one part whiskey, one part lemon juice and two parts Aperol mix together with a citrus cut straight through the alcohol taste.