And The Early Show Saturday Edition's resident mixologist, Food & Wine magazine Wine Editor Ray Isle, stopped by with some great new drinks that will have your summer guests saying, "Cheers!"
Warm weather conjures up images of backyard parties and big pitchers of colorful adult drinks. And Isle put a new twist on some old favorites -- from a White Wine Sangria to an Aphrodisiac Margarita -- that will take your party from fun to fabulous. All are delicious and affordable.
He picked the recipes from the new book, "Food & Wine Cocktails 2009."
PITCHER COCKTAIL: Tangerine Collins
Always serve summer drinks in big quantities and in pitchers. It will give you more time with guests, because you won't spend as much time focused on making drinks. Plus, you can keep the pitcher cool by putting in the refrigerator or on ice.
This is a refreshing riff on a Tom Collins, with tangerine juice and gin.
The small number of ingredients also helps your budget.
Directions: In a large re-sealable container, combine 16 ounces of gin, 8 ounces of tangerine juice, and four ounces of simple syrup. Refrigerate, then fill a glass filled pitcher. Pour into glasses and top with club soda.
PITCHER COCKTAIL: London Dry Sangria
Sangria is always a summer classic. This is a modern version, using a dry white wine (Gruner Veltliner) and gin. Serve in a pitcher so guests can help themselves.
Directions: In a pitcher, combine 12 ounces of crisp white wine (we are using Gruner Veltliner), 6 ounces of gin, 8 ounces of fresh lemon juice, 6 ounces of simple syrup, 10 dashes of orange bitters. Add ice. Pour into glasses and top with ginger beer.
BLENDER DRINK: Aphrodisiac Margarita!
Frozen margaritas harken the start of summer. This is a different take on a lime margarita using pomegranate juice, blood orange juice and passion fruit puree. The best part is that you make six drinks at a time in the blender, so again, you're free to have fun, not stay behind the bar.
Directions: In a blender, combine 8 ounces of tequila, 5 ounces of passion fruit puree or nectar, 4 ounces of lime juice, 2 ½ ounces of pomegranate juice, 2 ounces of fresh blood orange juice, 2 ounces of simple syrup and ice and blend until smooth. Pour the margarita into the glasses. You can also get fancy by putting salt on the rim of the glasses: moisten half of the outer rim of the glass with a lime wedge and coat with peppery salt.
MOCKTAIL: Cucumber Mint Cooler
It's always important to remember non-drinkers at your party, and they'll be thrilled to have a refreshing cocktails of their own.
We've scaled this recipe to make it in a pitcher, as well.
This is a cool, refreshing drink ideal for summer.
Directions: muddle 8 ounces of simple syrup, 40 sprigs of mint and 2 diced cucumbers. Combine with ice cubes, 5 ounces of lime juice. Strain into picture. Serve over ice in white wine glasses, with cucumber and lime garnish.