I love summer, I love the laziness, the long days, reading books, napping, eating lots of popsicles and grilled bread, and cold salads. I love the water and the lingering scent of coconut sunscreen that takes me back to childhood days spent at the pool, soaking up the warmth.
I love, love, love the sun.
But despite my talents at being lazy, with two kids and a fun, new city & state to explore, we’ve managed to stay busy. Trips to the stream, trips to Canada, playing in tide pools, summer concerts, fire pits near the river with good friends, swim lessons, summer camps, dentist appointments, parties and holy cow! It’s August already!!
Even though I don’t get much writing done, I love the fun activities that summer brings. One of my favorite things about summer, especially a hot one, like the one we’re having in Maine this year, is making and enjoying new cocktails with friends. An icy gin & tonic with lots of lime, and a wine spritzer will always be my easy go-tos, but this summer we’ve discovered three new cocktails that are full of flavor, easy to make, and will cool you down on these steamy, late summer evenings.
First is this crazy flavorful Arugula Martini.
It’s one of those cocktails that hits your sense of smell before your taste buds with the aroma of arugula and lime. Then the first sip is like, wow, arugula!!! Peppery and sharp, but it goes so well with the fragrant gin, the lime, the hint of sweet from the St. Germain. We found the recipe in a fun, gorgeous cocktail book called, The Coup: Celebrating Craft Cocktails & Vintage Collections by: Brian Hart Hoffman. If you like arugula, and you enjoy new cocktails, try this now!
The last few summers I’ve been really into rosé. And I like to drink it super chilled. This Sparkling Rosé Spritzer is from bon appétit a few years ago, but it’s quickly become a favorite of ours.
Some rosés can be super dry, which I enjoy, but the lemon and St. Germain in this drink mellow out the wine a bit. Even when I’m just drinking a glass of rosé, I like to put a slice of lemon in it. Of course, I like lemon in everything.
And the last, deliciously fun cocktail we’ve been enjoying this summer is the Varadero Cooler also from bon appétit.
It’s more than just a cocktail, it’s a punch and we’ve discovered it’s perfect for a party! With the rum, pineapple, grapefruit and sparkling rosé, it will make you believe you’re on vacation.
I hope you’re all having a summer made of wonderful memories with friends and family you love. Come join us on the porch here in Bangor and we’ll make you a cocktail!
- 1 handful fresh arugula
- 2 ounces Hendrick's gin (any gin will work)
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 3/4 ounce St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar (or simple syrup)
- Garnish: arugula leaves, cracked pepper
- In cocktail shaker, add arugula, gin, lime, St. Germain, and agave nectar. Shake to combine. Using a wooden spoon or muddler, mash arugula until wilted. Add ice, and shake briefly again. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with arugula leaf and cracked black pepper.
- The recipe in The Coup: Celebrating Craft Cocktails and Vintage Collections, says that it makes 2 cocktails. We think it might be a typo and that it actually makes one. Either way, it's delicious.
- Lemon slices
- Peychaud's bitters
- St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
- Sparkling Rosé
- Place two lemon slices, four dashes Peychaud's, and 1/2 ounce St. Germain in each rocks glass. Add ice. Top off with 4 ounces sparkling rosé
- 1 750-ml bottle Bacardi Superior Rum
- 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 cups fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
- 3/4 cup (or more) sugar
- 1 750-ml bottle chilled sparkling rosé
- Pineapple leaves and grapefruit wedges or slices, optional
- Whisk rum, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, and sugar in a pitcher or large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Stir in rosé. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Ladle punch into rocks glasses. Garnish each with pineapple leaf and grapefruit wedge, if desired.
- Bon appétit serves it in pineapples! I'm not that coordinated. The full recipe with instructions for serving in a pineapple can be found here, http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/varadero-cooler