It’s summertime and when the weather’s fine, it’s often cause for celebration with some seasonal cocktails. Local retailers and restaurants have put out their summer cocktail supplies, recipes and drink menus.
Here are some recipes, tips and insight for how to plan your own summer cocktail experience.
“People are inventing cocktails every single day that they do, instead of being told what to invent now because they have so much to work with,” said Vicki Mathes.
She is a team member at Total Wine & More at Southcenter and has been in the beer, wine and spirits business for 16 years. One can find all the ingredients for the cocktail recipes Total Wine & More provided, plus all of the beverages needed for the entertaining purposes, weekly classes and tastings. They even have a humidor filled with specialty cigars.
“Cocktails go by seasons, just like clothing or anything else,” Mathes said. “Since it’s gin season again, gin sales are up. People are wanting to try gin if they’ve never had it before.”
For the 20-something set, Manhattans are all the rage.
“Manhattans are really big again,” she said. “They’ve come back like Capri pants when I was little. I would say Manhattans are assumed to be one of the most popular drinks and rye whiskey has made a huge comeback.”
Mathes attributes the drinks’ popularity to the media and shows like “Mad Men.”
For something more tropical, or at least representative of a hot zone, tequila season will never leave.
“Once the weather gets warmer (it’s) tequila season, margaritas all that,” Mathes said. “People shop for tequila, like they shop for a fine bourbon because they’re making so many fine tequilas today with specific flavors.”
Mezcal tequila, which is made outside of Jalisco, Mexico, has made a real comeback, she said. The Mexican government mandates only tequilas made in Jalisco to be called tequila.
A lot of Mezcal Tequilas have an earthier flavor, Mathes said.
If you’d rather be served an exotic libation than serve one yourself, there are plenty of restaurants in Tukwila with ample drink and happy-hour menus.
Bahama Breeze is packed and lively during its early evening and late-night happy hours, lunch and dinner.
The restaurant, located next to Westfield Southcenter Mall, recently introduced their new Legendary Island Cocktails. They are five drinks from five tropical locales.
“Our most popular drink is the Frozen Bahamarita,” said Ashley Lee, head bartender. “We probably have 20 signature drinks that are unique to other restaurants.”
Bahama Breeze has a deck, with seating, a stage, additional deck bar, live music stage and fire pit that transports visitors into a tropical setting.
DRINKS WITH ALCOHOL
Cucumber Mint Gin Fizz
Total Wine & More, Southcenter
1 1/2 oz Greenall’s Gin
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Sensational Simple Syrup
1/2 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
4 mint leaves
2 oz Fever Tree club soda
Add 1/2 cup peeled and chopped cucumber and 4 mint leaves to a cocktail shaker. Muddle to extract all of the juices. Fill the shaker with ice and add Gin, lime juice, and Sensational Lime Syrup. Shake well. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with Fever Tree club soda and garnish with mint leaves and a cucumber slice.
Lime in a coconut
Total Wine & More, Southcenter
1 oz Largo Bay Silver Rum
1/2 oz Drillaud Coconut Liqueur
1 oz Largo Bay Coconut Rum
2 oz Club Soda
2 dashes of lime juice
Pour both rums and coconut liqueur into a glass with ice. Stir. Add soda water and two heavy dashes of lime juice. Re-stir and garnish with a lime.
NON-ALCOHOLIC SUMMER DRINKS
Combine in a saucepan
1. 1 cup sugar
2. 1 cup water
3. rind of two lemons, cut into pieces
Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Boil about 7 minutes. Cool.
1. 1 cup lemon juice (5 to 6 lemons)
2. 4 cups ice water
Pour over ice in pitcher or tall glasses
Makes 6-8 servings
A bit of grenadine syrup makes pink lemonade
Add some bruised mint at bottom of glasses for minted lemonade
RED FRUIT PUNCH
½ cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup cherry juice
2 cups pineapple or pear juice
Cover and chill until flavors are well blended. Just before serving, add 1 quart of carbonated water or ginger ale
Makes 10 servings
Fill a punch bowl with a lemon-lime soda and add scoops of lime sherbet. Delicious and refreshing.
SHARE YOUR IDEAS
Do you have your own favorite non-alcoholic summer drink? Please email the recipe and include your name to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish those in July.