Lemonade may be a great thirst quencher in the hot, hot heat of summer time, but get creative this year with some drinks that are a bit more fun. Whether you want a new drink to try while out on the beach or backyard barbecue, or whether you like your fruit whole or muddled, these five fruity cocktails are sure to help you cool down. And with the addition of real fruit? You can tell yourself they're a bit healthy, too.
If you love wine, either white or red, easily mix things up by turning your favorite wine into fruity sangria. This cocktail is best served at parties because, in order to make the cocktail, it's easiest to use a few bottles of wine rather than just one glass. Along with the wine, most sangria recipes include some triple sec or Grand Marnier, as well as orange juice and simple syrup. Mix all the liquids together and cover the fruits of your choice—although fruits like oranges, berries, and apples tend to work best—and let sit. Be sure to make the sangria ahead of time, like the night before, so all the fruit can soak up the booze!
The beauty of margaritas is that you can make them with just about any fruit, including watermelon (just make sure they're seedless). Combine your fruit of choice along with 3 parts lime juice, 1 1/2 parts St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, 6 parts tequila, dash of salt, and at least 4 cups of fruit and blend well in a blender. If you don't want any chunks of fruit, you can strain the concoction, but chunks of fruit, like mangos, can be quite a tasty treat, too.
Limeade, or the juice of limes, can be used in more than just margaritas. Mix things up by mashing and then cooking down a fruit, like blueberries or strawberries, with equal parts sugar and water. After straining out the fruit pulp, you can then use the leftover fruity juice as one component of your new favorite drink. When you're ready to imbibe, mix the fruit juice with additional chunks of fruit, limeade or lime juice, and alcohol, such as vodka, or for a non-alcoholic drink, sparkling water.
Despite its name, no, this drink is not a plant. Historically, it was a fermented drink. Today though, rather than wait days on end for your drink to ferment and achieve the perfect tartness, you can just add vinegar to your cocktail. More specifically, here's how to make a tasty shrub. Combine your choice of ripe fruit with an equal amount of sugar (1 lb to 1 lb, for example); let this mixture come up to room temp. Then strain it over a colander and collect the juice. This juice can then be mixed with any vinegar of your choice, although apple cider vinegar might be the most appealing. Give the tart drink a taste and adjust the flavor by adding either more sugar or vinegar, depending on how sweet, or tart, you want the summer cocktail to be, then mix with an alcohol of your choice.
Mojitos are most often associated with mint, as it is typically the primary flavor. But you can switch things up a bit by adding fruit to the traditional white rum cocktail (made with sugar, lime juice, mint, and sparkling water) as well. Ginger simple syrup, along with blueberries, can help you mix up the concoction as well; or even switch out the alcohol to vodka -- your choice. Or, make the traditional mojito, but muddle it with any fruit you'd like!
When it comes to fruity cocktails, the possibilities are endless. Choose your favorite fruit, combine it with your favorite liquor, and chances are, there's a cocktail recipe for you.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she's scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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