“I don’t normally drink with strangers, I normally drink alone. But you’re so nice to ask me, and I’m so terribly far from home…” Lyrics from ‘Something Cool’ by June Christy
1. Mourvèdre, Brandol, Provence
I’d never been one for ‘blush’ wines – give me a bloody sangiovese any day and I’m happy. But after reading about Provence, and tasting some true rose wines, there’s nothing I’d rather sip near the water – it perfectly compliments any briny, oceanside air. Lighter than red, and simply more special than white, a rose compliments a summer aperitif perfectly.
2. Aperol Spritz, Italy
This is the slightly bitter, bright orange beverage you’ll see on any table in Italy, well, probably any outdoor cafe in Europe during the summer. To enjoy your own, mix about 1 oz of Aperol, 3 oz prosecco, and a splash of soda water. Try it with an orange, or even an olive.
3. Lillet, France
Lillet is still considered a tonic, since it contains a small amount of quinine. It’s is mostly made up of Bordeaux wines with a small amount of macerated citrus liqueurs from the peels of sweet oranges and green oranges. It’s concentrated a bit, so it’s usually served simply over ice with a slice of lemon or lime, or even orange.
4. Pisco sour, Peru
Pisco can be taken on it’s own, but it’s much more easily enjoyed as a pisco sour. To make this Peruvian cocktail (mostly enjoyed by tourists, really) combine fresh squeezed lime juice, a simple syrup, egg white, and Angostura bitters over ice, and shake!
5. Bellini, Italy
The Italian darling, this is a summer cocktail you must remember. Super sweet peach nectar is perfectly offset by the driest of proseccos you can find. Serve in a champagne flute and enjoy…many.
6. Michelada, Mexico
For the adventuous, who have always dreamed of combining a bloody mary and a beer – Mix a Mexican cerveza with some lime juice, a splash of tomato juice (or Clamato), and assorted sauces, spices, and peppers. It’s actually quite thirst quenching. I love savory over sweet sometimes.
7. Victoria Bitter, Australia
One of the most popular beers Down Under, from the state of Victoria, of course. Doesn’t mean it’s the best beer, but it’s one you’ll find everywhere, and drinking one screams summer and memories on Oz.
8. Dark n stormy, Bermuda
One of my favorite year-round go-to’s, the Dark n Stormy is actually a registered trademark of Gosling’s rum from Bermuda. I can just picture sipping the fresh, strong, biting brew watching a tropical storm form over the Atlantic.
9. Arak, Middle East
Yes, alcohol is forbidden for most Muslims, but the Middle East make its moonshine, too. Arak is a strong alcohol made from grapes, that is usually about 50% alcohol. It is served much like absinthe – pour a glass 1/3 full, over ice, then add cold water to fill the glass. It will turn opaque. Sip if you dare!
10. Original Sin, Hard Cider, New York
Hard cider can be a fun alternative to a refreshing beer on a hot evening. Especially if you’re one of the many looking to go gluten free. One of my recent favorites (beside my home-brew in the basement ) is Original Sin cider. It’s quite widely distributed, and it is easy to remember the name.
Cheers, and stay cool this summer.