Aww…the kiss of the sun on your face and the feel of a warm summer breeze. This is what makes summer! Summer is about fun and frivolity, hanging with friends and family, laughter, warm summer nights staring up at the stars, long days of daylight and vacations to far-away exotic lands. It is a shame that summer has such a short lifespan. Though it makes me sad when the leaves start to turn and the autumn chill is upon us, we can always look back at what made for a perfect summer, and that is the Summertime Cocktail!
With all of the wonderful things you can do in summer, the number one item in my book, is the Summertime Cocktail! What is a Summertime Cocktail? Before we can venture into what a summertime cocktail is, we must first look at the word “cocktail”. A cocktail can be called many things, such as, libation, drink, adult beverage, a tipple, potion, concoction, and I’m sure there are more that I haven’t even thought of. In the summer, you just don’t want beer, though sometimes there is nothing better than an ice cold beer, you want a more celebratory beverage and that is the Summertime Cocktail! Cocktails in the summer are fruity, cold, very colourful, friendly and sexy!
Some of my favourite cocktails have been discovered on summer vacations to some far-away lands. I have been blessed to travel to wonderful places, such as, Bali Indonesia and the British Virgin Islands (BVI), just to name a couple. These are places that I never would have thought I would visit. I have met wonderful people and have made friends that we cherish. Seeing how other people live, what they eat and enjoying their signature beverage is what makes a destination memorable.
We were lucky and able to visit Bali this past year. The villa we stayed at while in Bali was spectacular and the staff could not have been more pleasant, friendly and all around family. We had a great bartender that would test his mixology skills by creating some of the most-lovely summer libations! Each drink that he made was different from the fresh fruits he used to the different spirits. They were sexy, intoxicating and aromatic with sweet fruits and flowers that adorned the beverages.
One night my girlfriend and I wanted something different. Something cold and refreshing, so our bartender made us these yummy mango “martinis”. Needless to say, after imbibing in a couple of these, we were very joyful! LOL Unfortunately, we could not pry the recipe out of him.
Now I will be honest and say that fruity drinks tend to be a little too sweet for me and very filling, for some reason all of our bartender’s drinks were not, they were light and refreshing. I think the key to amazing cocktails is to use good quality liquor, not anything like bug juice!
So I think the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on, was a 10-day catamaran sailing trip in BVI (British Virgin Islands), in fact, we have done this trip twice so far. To sail through the islands, dazzle at clear blue/green water, snorkel over a ship wreck and see such marine life as beautiful sea turtles and fish was absolutely amazing and mind-blowing. There are no words to describe this gorgeous place!
One of the best places we visited was a world renowned island that houses a bar called the Soggy Dollar Bar. This bar is located on the island of Jost Van Dyke and is owned by Kenny Chesney. They call it the Soggy Dollar bar as the only way to get onto the island is to moor your boat and swim your way to shore, thus, your money gets soggy and so do you!
The bar and the island just beckons cocktails. In fact, Van-Dyke – van’ dīk means to stagger, weave, or wander in a zigzag course of one drunken or irresolute. See it beckons cocktails! With a name like that, I definitely wanted to try the island’s specialty, the “Painkiller”. This concoction originated and was perfected at the Soggy Dollar bar in the 1970’s. It is a smooth, full flavored rum libation that has become the spirit of the Caribbean!
You need to be careful when imbibing with a Painkiller, this cocktail will sneak up and bite you in the behind, or will leave you a-half-seas over (drunk), and swimming drunk is never a good idea especially when you have to swim back to the boat!
When mixing up a Painkiller, be sure to use a premium rum as, Pusser’s Rum, otherwise, the flavor is just off. This recipe is as close to the actual Painkiller you can get, as the Soggy Dollar Bar keeps the “real” proportions a secret!
The Caribbean is definitely the proprietors of Summertime Cocktails! The year round sunshine, warm breezes, crystal clear warm waters, toes in white sand beaches and island music is all you ever need for summertime. The Caribbean is known for its many iconic cocktails. Cocktails that have been transformed and made famous through-out the world. Some of the more iconic potions are the Rum Runner, Mojitos, Daiquiri, Rum Swizzle, Piña Colada, Dark and Stormy and Blue Curaçao to name a few!
One of my favourite after dinner drinks is the “Bushwhacker”. It can be found on numerous islands in the Caribbean, made a little differently at each stop, so that bartenders can put “their spin” on the yummy concoction. The Bushwhacker is a cocktail invented in 1975 at a bar called The Ship's Store/Sapphire Pub in Sapphire Village, Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I say my favourite after dinner drink, because it is like drinking dessert in a tall glass and all of its creamy goodness!
- 2 oz. Coconut Rum
- 2 oz. Vodka
- 2 oz. Bailey’s
- 2 oz. Kahlua
- 2 oz. Amaretto
- 2 oz. Cream of Coconut
- Chocolate Syrup
- Whipped cream
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- Drizzle chocolate syrup in a hurricane glass.
- Combine all ingredients (except the whipped cream and nutmeg) in a blender, blend with ice, pour in the glass.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.
Recipe by: Rum Therapy
I have always wanted to own a bar. A place where people go to on a regular basis and hang out. I have taken a bar tending class and thoroughly enjoyed making different types of cocktails and think I would be really good at it. And, if I had the money, I would open a bar.
If fruity cocktails aren't your thing, another adult beverage for summer is the Margarita! The Margarita warrants year round appeal. I myself, think I make a fantastic classic-style Cadillac margarita. Yes, my husband, Brian, makes good ones too as mentioned in an earlier blog, but after practicing a couple of times, I am now the margarita maker in our house!
Cadillac Margarita Recipe:
This recipe makes one cocktail. I use a regular 1 oz. shot glass and not the one that is the extra-large one that was purchased on a vacation, you know you have one.
- 1 ounce of good Sauza tequila (you can go more or less on the amount depending on your preference)
- 1 ounce of triple sec
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier
- 1 lime-freshly squeezed, I use a lemon/lime squeezer to make sure I get all of the juice out of the lime. (this is what I think is the key to a great tasting margarita) https://www.williamsfoodequipment.com/progressive-prepworks-lemon-squeezer-gt3949
- Wedge of lime to run around the rim of the glass
- Margarita salt or kosher salt works well too. Sometimes the salts will have a little bit of lime flavor to them, this adds a little kick to the beverage.
- Margarita glass
- Lime for garnish
- Take a wedge of lime and run it around the rim of the glass then dip your glass into the salt.
- Squeeze a fresh lime into the shaker. Add tequila and triple sec. Shake over ice.
- Float the Grand Marnier on top. If you have never “floated” before, take a spoon and turn it over so that the “bowl” is facing up, slowly pour the Grand Marnier over the spoon. Or, you can just pour it into the margarita, either way works for me.
- Garnish with lime and Wa-la!
Recipe by: Diana
So if you are looking for Summertime Cocktails and can’t get away to some tropical land, no need to fret. Set-up your Summertime Cocktails at the beach, a lake or your own backyard! Don’t forget to serve some food, we don’t want anyone doing a Van-Dyke! ;)
I love summer and festive cocktails and better yet if they have a tale to tell. So get your drink on with festive cocktails and remember, it’s 5:00 somewhere!