These three simple summer cocktail hacks — and four summer inspired recipes — will take your barbecue to the next level!
Trick out your ice cubes:
Put flowers, berries, or sprigs of mint in your ice cubes to make drinks more festive (and delicious!)
Freeze apples, lemon slices, grapes, and other fruit to keep your drink cool. You’ll end up needing less ice, which means you’ll have less dilution and more fruit flavor! This easy trick works especially well in sangria. You can also freeze wine or juice into ice cube trays, for a similar effect.
Lavender-infuse your Cocktails:
Make Lavender Simple Syrup– Add 3 tablespoons organic lavender to our simple syrup recipe here, and add some flair to your cocktails. Then use extra lavender mixed with salt to rim your cocktail glass
Use other fine herbs to rim your cocktail: Finely chop herbs that complement your cocktail and mix with either salt, sugar, or your favorite spice. Dampen rim of glass with lemon or lime and dip in the fresh herb mixture.
Chill Bottles Quickly:
Need to put a chill on that wine, fast? Wrap the bottle in a wet paper towel and place it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Or use our VacuVin wine chiller sleeve ($13.99). This tried-and-true product does what it says: chills wine down in 5 minutes. Great for on the go too. Throw a bottle in this sleeve and arrive at your party with a chilled bottle.
Cool your wine with ice and salt by placing the wine or liquor bottle in a bucket of ice and simply adding salt. The salt helps to chill the wine faster than ice on its own, thanks to the magic of thermodynamics.
Now for some delicious recipes…
Try a quintessential British summer time drink with:
The Pimm’s Cup
1 1/2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
lemon slices and cucumber slices
Orange slice, fresh borage and/or mint leaves, apple slices, strawberry for garnish (optional)
Half-fill a Collins glass with ice and a few slices of cucumber (and other optional garnishes.) Add measure of Pimm’s, then top up glass with lemonade or soda. Stir gently and add additional ice if necessary. Garnish with slices of lemon and cucumber.
For a refreshing twist on a summer classic, try:
Cucumber-Rosemary Gin and Tonic
3 sprigs rosemary
2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
4 oz. tonic water
Peel and slice half a cucumber, slice a lime into eight wedges. In a highball glass, add three slices of peeled cucumber, 1 sprig rosemary, juice from a lime wedge and 1 ounce gin. Muddle with the back of a spoon.
Strain through a strainer into a second highball glass. Add several cubes of ice, and three slices of unpeeled cucumber. Top with remaining gin and tonic, and serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.
Nothing says summer quite like watermelon:
Boozy watermelon Jell-O shots
4 (3 oz.) boxes of red Jell-O
2 (1 oz.) boxes of unflavored Gelatin
4 Cups of Vodka
1 Large Watermelon
Cut a watermelon in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving a half inch layer of red flesh which will soak up extra vodka. You’ll end up with two empty watermelon “bowls.” Mix the flavored Jell- O with unflavored gelatin and add 4 cups of boiling water. Whisk together for 2 minutes, until all of the gelatin has dissolved. Then add 4 cups of vodka, and whisk just to mix everything together. Divide the Jell-O mixture between the watermelon “bowls.” Refrigerate for 4 hours or until the Jell-O is completely set. Cut each half into 1-inch slices, and into smaller wedges.
If you love rose in the summer, you need to try:
3.5 oz rich fruity rosé
1 oz raspberry-flavoured vodka
1 oz pink grapefruit juice
Chilled cherry soda
Maraschino cherry or lime to garnish (optional)
Pour the wine, vodka and juice into a tall tumbler half-filled with ice. Stir gently then top up with cherry soda to taste. Garnish with the maraschino cherry.