While working on a blog for my one of my clients, I thought, “hey… you need to do some writing for yourself, so why not blog a list about something you like”. That was followed by, “ummmmm, like what”, which was followed by a lot of other boring inner monologue we’ll leave off the page. With the influx of good weather this week here in Portland combined with our love for Happy Hour and relaxing, it seems appropriate to build a list from things that enjoyed with summer weather. Without further ado, I present my list of cocktails for the long evenings of summer.
- Gin & Gin(ger) – this is new to me but it combines two of my favorite things: gin and Reeds Extra Ginger Brew. In a tall glass filled with ice (pint glass works well), pour 1 ½ – 2 ounces of gin (Bombay Sapphire for me), add Reeds Ginger Brew to top it off, and then garnish with a lime wedge. This slightly spicy cocktail finishes off a full dinner and provides a slight internal warmth to match the evening air. For a little added flavor, sometimes I’ll splash bitters over the ice before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Tequila & Squirt – I love making tacos and this goes well with freshly grilled steak with onions and cilantro tucked into a corn tortilla. I was introduced to this wonderfully simple concoction by my wife’s aunt, Tiá Esperanza. She made it by the pitcher for the three of us to enjoy… I make it by the glass as a form of self-governance. Start with a pint glass, ice, tequila of choice (I’m partial to Tequila Cazadores Reposado), Squirt (or any grapefruit-ish soda), and garnish with a lime wedge.
- Gin & Soda, Two Limes – when I lived in Sacramento, California, I got into lifting weights. At the time, I was 160 pounds of bones and sinew. My friend, Gordon, got me into lifting which actually allowed me to look a lot more normal. More importantly, though, he introduced me to what may be the most refreshing summer drink I’ve had. Sacramento is bloody hot from April to October. After working out, we’d hit the local taco truck for some cheap, king sized burritos, and head back to his house to sweat and be tired. On one of those hot, 115˚ Northern California days, he poured me a simple gin with soda and a pair of lime wedges. It was refreshingly cool with the right hint of lime to round off our cheap and delicious Mexican food.
- Strawberries and Lemonade – my wife and I came up with this recently. It’s not new and I’m sure that Red Robin has a fancy name for it, but it’s one that we decided to pair with vodka while grilling steak. In a large glass, place 3-5 frozen strawberries, add 1 ounce of preferred vodka, ½ ounce of your preferred lime or lemon vodka, and fill the rest with lemonade. The strawberries act as your ice and don’t dilute the drink over time – instead, they enhance it. Don’t dump those strawberries when you make your second drink, though. Just add more frozen berries, vodka and lemonade, and you’re back in business.
- Healthy Rum Smoothies – ok… these are actually called daiquiris, but it makes me feel better to call them smoothies (or “Hey! They’re called Healthy Rum Smoothies, ok?” using Archer’s voice). Recently we got an overripe cantaloupe that, after cutting up, we decided would be better used as a smoothie component than actually eating. We got that one right! Our last batch of Healthy Rum Smoothies included frozen cantaloupe, frozen blueberries, silver (light) rum, Grey Goose Le Melon Vodka, and mango juice. When blended together, the combination of melon and blueberry made a delightfully sweet and refreshing drink that bordered on being a meal unto itself. The mango flavor of the juice all but disappeared under the sweet melon.
So… if you need me this summer, The Likable Scribe can be found under the shade of my neighbor’s tree while grilling in my backyard, butt firmly planted in a camp chair and one of those cocktails in my hand while I complain about the hot weather to my wife.