With so many flavorful fruits coming into season, summer is the ideal time to flex your bartending skills and mix up a few cocktails. Peach, melon, berries, as well as tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, should all be on your radar the next time you’re planning on breaking out your cocktail shaker. These summery tipples are easy to make, and their bold yet well-balanced profiles make them immensely food-friendly. Also, what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a refreshing drink to clink with your mother’s?
Spiked Mango Lemonade
Bright tropical flavors are as summery as they get, but this spiked mango lemonade is so delicious, you’ll want to drink it no matter the season. You can make a boozy mango lemonade two ways: use mango juice or pick up a fresh mango and make the puree at home. Sip on spiked mango lemonade with grilled fish and shellfish, jerk chicken, or spicy vegetarian kebabs.
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ cup vodka
½ cup simple syrup
1 ripe mango or ¾ cup mango juice
If you’re making your own puree, cut the mango and place the pieces in a blender with ½ cup of water, then blend well. Add the puree to a large pitcher, and pour in the lemon juice, vodka, and simple syrup. Mix well. Top with soda water and enjoy over ice.
Here’s a bonus tip: try swapping lemon for lime for an equally tasty, thirst-quenching drink.
Passion Fruit Daiquiri
While I love a well-made daiquiri, there’s something incredibly satisfying about jazzing up this classic rum cocktail with a punch of fresh fruit. And the sweet-tangy, vaguely citrusy taste of ripe passion fruit works beautifully in a daiquiri. Passion fruit daiquiris are excellent partners for chicken tikka, whole grilled fish, and many Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.
2 ripe passion fruits, halved
2 oz white rum
½ oz triple sec
¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
Scoop out the passion fruit and place the pulp in a cocktail shaker. Pour in the remaining ingredients. Add ice, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass.
Grilled Peach & Bourbon Smash
If you’ve been looking for a way to add an extra dimension to your cocktails, grilled fruit is the answer. Popping ripe in-season fruits like peach on the grill before mixing them into your drink caramelizes the sugars, intensifying their sweetness while saturating them with a lovely smoky flavor. A little vanilla extract highlights the vanilla notes in the bourbon, tying this gorgeous cocktail together. This is a favorite libation with barbecued meats (especially those with sweeter or spicier marinades).
½ peach halved
4 mint leaves
1 tablespoon honey
2 ounces bourbon
¼ barspoon pure vanilla extract
Grill the peach halves over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Put the peaches, lemon, mint, honey, bourbon, and vanilla extract in a cocktail shaker, and muddle.
Fill a glass with ice and strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Garnish with mint, if desired.
Spiced Pina Colada
For coconut lovers, pina coladas are close to perfection, but here’s a little secret to take your pina colada game up to the next level: use spiced rum instead of white rum. Adding that subtle note of spice to the pina colada makes it an all the more tantalizing drink. If you’re eating anything spicy, the spiced pina colada will help tame the heat.
2 oz spiced rum
1 oz golden rum
3 ½ oz pineapple juice
1 oz coconut cream
½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Fill a cocktail glass with crushed ice, then strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple.
Want more cocktails to try? Check out some of our Cinco de Mayo favorites!