Cheers to summer 2015: Party-startin’ drink recipes to sip in the sun

Another hot-and-sweaty season is upon us – and it’s time to throwback a few cold ones. From pick-me-up coffee concoctions to a cocktail that’ll tickle your pickle, these are the must-make recipes of summer 2015.

1. The Amethyst

 Summer-staple sangria takes the backseat when you break out Black Box Pinot Noir to serve as the base of this fun-and-fruity cocktail. Chilled red wine meets citrus and sparkling wine for a fizzy-fresh drink with zip, designed by Cocktail Guru Jonathan Pogash.

1½ oz Black Box Pinot Noir
¾ oz crème de cassis
½ oz honey syrup
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
Sparkling wine

Strawberry slice, garnish

Shake all ingredients (except for sparkling wine) with ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with strawberry slice on rim of glass.

2. Rise & Shine Coffee Cocktail

When you need more than a mimosa to get you back in the game after a long night of pride partying, opt for this easy-to-prepare energy bev crafted from liquid coffee concentrate, handcrafted at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen in Winter Park, Fla.

1 oz Fernet
¾ oz Amaro
¾ oz Grand Marnier
½ oz simple syrup
1 Barnie’s Blend BREWSTICKS

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist.

3. Ancho Berry Margarita

 All bets are off when the blender comes out – hello, margies! – but it’s easy to go green this summer with this made-by-hand margarita-on-the-rocks recipe born at the Living Room Bar and Fireplace at the Inn & Spa at Loretto in Sante Fe, N.M.

1½ oz. Roca Patron Silver Tequila
½ oz Cointreau
½ oz fresh lime juice
Macerated Blueberries:
6 oz Ancho Reyes Chile Liquor
Tbsp sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries

Rim martini glass with raspberry chipotle sea salt and serve.

4. Cherry Blossom Sour

If you missed the iconic Cherry Blossom blooms in the nation’s capital this spring, have a taste of the next best thing from the AC Hotel Washington D.C. in Maryland (eh, it’s close enough), which boasts a beverage-first culture that we all can agree is pretty boss.

1½ oz Sloop Betty Vodka
¼ oz St. Germain
¼ oz simple syrup
¼ oz cherry brandy
¼ oz Oloroso sherry
1 oz lemon juice
1 mint sprig, garnish

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake 10 to 20 times. Double-strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with mint sprig. For added flavor, rim glass with vanilla sugar. To make, split one vanilla bean in half, remove seeds and whisk in a bowl with ½ cup of sugar.

5. Del Frisco’s Grille Dutch Mule

Spicy, sweet and a little bit sour, this recipe courtesy of Del Frisco’s Grille is just what the doctor ordered when you want something a bit more sophisticated than a so-last-year shandy.

½ oz Nolet’s Gin
4½ oz ginger beer
Red grapefruit slices, garnish
Mint sprigs, garnish

Fill wine glass ¾ full with ice. Add gin and ginger beer. Place grapefruit slice in glass and top with mint sprig.

6. Ink Bomb

Arguably the most innovative cocktail on this list, this squid-ink shot from Death Ave. in NYC isn’t for the weak of stomach. Cocktail enthusiasts can harvest their own ink by cleaning store-bought cuttlefish at home.

1 oz Tsipouro grape pomace brandy
¼ tsp cuttlefish ink
Splash of sour mix
1 tsp fresh lime juice

Serve with grilled seafood.

7. Senor Scott

Hot, sweet and salty simultaneously, this sparkling collins cocktail – created by Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada – is the perfect pairing for an outdoor summer meal derived south of the border.

2 oz quality silver tequila
1 oz. Aperol
Blood Orange DRY
Slice of lime
Paper thin strip of bell pepper
Cinnamon salt

Rim half a collins glass with lime and cinnamon salt and fill halfway with ice. Add tequila and Aperol and stir. Top with Blood Orange DRY and stir again. Garnish with red bell pepper and slice of lime.

8. You Look Smashing

Spyglass Rooftop Bar sits 22 stories atop Archer Hotel, serving small bites and crafted cocktails with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building and the New York City skyline. You’ll already look smashing up there, but this cocktail in hand won’t hurt either.

2 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon
6 blackberries
3 mint leaves
1 lemon wedge
¼ oz maple syrup

Serve in rocks glass.

9. Basil POM Bomb

No need to feel guilty for indulging in a few of these crisp cocktails from POM Wonderful and bubbling with antioxidants!

1½ oz Bombay Sapphire gin
1½ oz POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
¾ oz agave
3 basil leaves, muddled
Top with Perrier or other sparkling water
Sliver of lime, garnish
Pomegranate seeds, garnish

Serve in short glass or wine glass.

10. Tickled Pickle

Caution: May cause cravings for hoagies and chips.

2 oz VDKA 6100
¾ oz lemon juice
¾ oz simple syrup
1 oz sour pickle brine
1 oz Australian lager beer
Combine all ingredients (except beer) in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tumbler glass. Top with a heavy splash of lager beer. Stir gently, garnish with skewered mini pickles and dust with cayenne pepper.

Mikey Rox

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He currently lives in his van, saving money and traveling the country. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels.

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