Wanted: A Few Good Drinks

Above, our liquor cabinet. It is ready for summer.

Summer is quickly approaching and before we know it we’ll be wearing less clothing and complaining about the heat instead of the cold. I want to make sure we are ready for it by finding an appropriate (or inappropriate!) cocktail to sooth ourselves with all summer long. Last year we had a couple of contenders and my friend Katie served as judge. This year I am turning to you, dear readers, for help. I need ideas for refreshing summer cocktails. Think: fresh fruit, herbs, and infused simple syrups! You know my style, seasonal, local, beautiful! Extra points for original creations, so all of you mixologists should start inventing now. No recipe too simple or too complicated! Post recipes in the comments below or feel free to email me (tim at lottieanddoof.com) with ideas. All ideas should be submitted by June 1st. I’ll narrow it down to 3 finalists and then we can all decide on the cocktail that will help us survive the long, hot, (and fun) summer ahead of us.


48 comments to “Wanted: A Few Good Drinks”

  1. I don’t know how to make it. I don’t know if the proportions are correct. Think of all the fun you might have trying. I read a review of a restaurant out here called Bazaar. I’m in Los Angeles. They serve some frothy smoking signature drink which features liquid nitrogen or some craziness, but then a reviewer mentioned something called the Uva Bella, which this bartender makes to perfection. I googled it and came up with a recipe. Not sure if it originated out here or in New York. I’ve yet to try it, but I’m dying to. Help a sister out, Lottie + Doof! Here it is:

    Uva Bella Cocktail

    5 green grapes, plus 1 sliver for garnish

    2 ounces gin, preferably Plymouth

    1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur

    1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

    Dash orange bitters

    In a cocktail shaker, muddle the grapes. Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and bitters, then ice. Shake vigorously for 6 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a sliver of grape.

  2. Whoa, Kathryn! We’re off to a great start, thanks for that.

  3. Will work on it!

  4. While living in Kenya for a year many restaurants had a delicious drink called a Chini Chini or Dawa
    2 shots vodka
    tablespoon honey
    teaspoon brown sugar
    1 lime
    I like to add a bit of sprite and mint to make it a little more like a mojito.

  5. Love your cocktail cabinet – so cool! One of my favorites during the summer is the Salty Dog! So simple to make yet so refreshing and tasty:

    2 oz. Vodka
    4 oz. Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice or the best store bought version
    Salt for rimming

    Rim a highball glass with salt. Fill glass with ice cubes. Add vodka and grapefruit juice and stir.


  6. I have been a fan of your site ever since my friend made me your bacon pasta!
    I am happy to finally be able to contribute!
    I love love plum sake, and here are several Japanese cocktails using them!
    1)Amazuppa (which just means sweet and sour)
    Plum sake- 25 ml
    Dry gin- 15 ml
    Fresh grape fruit juice 15 ml
    a splash of grenadine!
    shake and serve over ice.

    2)hana fubuki (flower storm)
    plum sake -30ml
    Dry gin- 10ml
    extra dry martini 10ml
    cranberry juice 10ml

  7. Gin and bitter orange, perfect before-dinner-drink.
    Mix a stronger-than-usual gin+tonic with your favourite gin, lots of ice and slices of lime.
    Squeeze red orange (the darker, the better) and add juice to G+T
    Pulp or dices of red orange can be added optionaly, if you like it messy :)

  8. these are great. thanks for the ideas. keep them coming!

  9. I just made some rhubarb syrup and have been liking it with gin, soda water and lime juice.

  10. A refreshing but kiss a@* summer drink……
    1/2 oz ketel one (or any other good vodka)
    1/2 oz amaretto
    fill with 1/2 champagne and 1/2 orange juice
    garnish with an orange wedge

  11. Anything with St. Germain is on my list this summer! There’s a local bar here that makes a great aperitif they call the Cherry Blossom Special, which is a St. Germain cocktail with a splash of Kirschwasser, so:

    1.5 oz. St. Germain
    2 oz. prosecco (or cava)
    2 oz. soda
    Splash of Kirschwasser (about a tablespoon, I’ve found)
    Garnished with a lemon twist!

    Serve in a collins glass filled with ice. Be sure to stir in the St. Germain in thoroughly. Since it’s heavier than wine, it sinks to the bottom unless you mix it well. So excited to try that Uva Bella one above!

  12. Whoa! These all sound so good. Thanks for all of the good ideas, folks.

  13. I’m going with Anvil’s Top 100 list….#89 Suffering Bastard

    1 oz gin
    1 oz brandy
    1/2 oz. Rose’s Lime
    2 dashes Angosture Bitters
    4 oz Ginger Beer

  14. I love Pimm’s: such a great summery mixer. I think Pimm’s Royals are a very fun, festive yet easy party drink:

    * 1 1/2 oz Pimm’s No. 1
    * Champagne
    * Lemon /Orange
    * Cucumber

  15. Strawberry Sotol
    1.5 oz Hacienda de Chihuahua sotol
    .5 tarragon syrup
    .5 lemon
    barspoon balsamic reduction
    10 black peppercorns
    1 strawberry

    In mixing glass muddle the strawberry and black peppercorns. Add remaining ingredients and ice, shake vigorously, then double strain using fine tea strainer into chilled cocktail glass.

  16. vodka, ginger beer, and lots of lime…..the moscow mule i believe. SO refreshing and purely summer.

  17. hendricks and sazerac? nice!
    i recommend the corpse reviver #2 (recently rediscovered recipe). i had it for the first time at slow club in san francisco and loved it.

    1 oz gin
    1 oz Cointreau
    1 oz Lillet blanc
    1 oz fresh lemon juice
    2 drops absinthe

    Combine in a shaker with cracked ice; shake and strain.

  18. lovely liquor cabinet! I see some of my favorites in there–Hendrink’s & Laphroaig, especially.

    last year for Memorial Day, I tried my hand at an interpretation of the strawberry-basil margaritas I’ve enjoyed at a bar here in Houston. the basic formula is fresh basil muddled in tequila + strawberry simple syrup + limes + a splash of Cointreau. very summery!

    also a big fan of the easy gin shandy (lemonade + gin + ginger beer) which I bet would be extra lovely with your homemade ginger beer.

  19. Laurence says:

    May 26th, 2010 at 7:42 am

    There is this easy drink called a Diamant I love which we drank under the Montréal sun:)
    Mmmmm the memory of this drink is enough to make me cry while I pack my bags to leave my lovely Holland to come back home…

    1/2 glass of cider, 1/2 of litchi liquor.
    Served cold cold cold.

  20. It’s definitely not a summer drink, but I like to see Laphroaig standing tall & proud in yr liquor cabinet. :)

  21. This one sounds so humble and pedestrian after some of the other drinks listed above– but it’s been a staple at my family’s summer gatherings for as long as I can remember. It’s simply 2 parts lemonade to 1 part red wine, blended with ice. No specialty ingredients, no particularly careful measuring, superfast to make, very refreshing.

  22. I went to Poppy in Seattle and sipped the best drink with the best name – A Dog Named Turnip. I wanted to recreate it but haven’t done so yet. The vague ingredient list was a honey-ginger syrup, apple jack (calvados?) and allspice dram (allspice bitters?) all shaken in a cocktail shaker. Maybe lime would be good too. I think it would make for a perfect drink anytime.

  23. I recently visited Chicago. I went to Floriole, The Publican and The Violet Hour. All were excellent. Thank you for the suggestions!

  24. Also, the Washington Post’s booze columnist just posted an article about habanero- and jalapeno-infused liquor (that you infuse at home yourself) and some delightful accompanying drink recipes. Not sure of the link, but you should see if you can find it!

  25. My favorite summer drinks (or for the week anyway – I like to audition lots of options) are the Red + Black from Back Forty and Moon Safari from The Breslin, both in NYC.

    Red + Black: tequila, fresh strawberries, fresh lime juice over ice. Rim with sugar and freshly cracked pepper. I top it with a bit of sparkling water for the fizz.

    Moon Safari: blanco tequila with fresh pineapple, tarragon and fresh lime juice.

    I actually posted about both of them this week, if you want to see the pictures of them too … great timing!

    Can’t wait to see what you guys pick. Wish I could be there for the tastings!

  26. I’m a big fan of combining whatever fresh fruit and herbs are on hand with some liquor. It’s watermelon season here in Cairo (where it’s kind of always summer) and I’ve been whipping up pitchers of Watermelon Mojitos.
    2 parts watermelon pulp and juice
    1 part white rum
    1 part sparkling water
    I muddle the mint and watermelon in the bottom of the pitcher, add the rum, and then the sparkling water. A fun twist on everyone’s favorite summer drink…

  27. Blackberry Mojito (or I guess any seasonal berry that’s a good combo of sweet and tart would do)

    Mash 1/2 cup berries with juice from 1 lime and about 10 chopped up fresh mint leaves. Top with 2 ounces of rum. Stir, pour over ice in a Collins glass, add some soda water.

  28. Oh wait – I forgot a key part in the blackberry mojito recipe. Mash the berries, mint and lime juice with about a tablespoon of sugar.

  29. Fun assignment!! I am always in charge of coming up with “THE” drink of the summer so here are two big hits.

    MInted Vodka Lemonade
    3c Absolute Citron
    2c fresh mint
    2c fresh lemon juice
    1 1/3c sugar

    Put all ing in a big glass jar. Stir together and bruise the mint with a wooden spoon(I know it sounds mean) Let steep in the fridge for several hours. Strain into a pitcher,add a little water or club soda to taste. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs. Enjoy!

    2010 Drink
    Pond Water
    1/3c simple syrup
    1c vodka
    1/2c Limoncello
    1/2c fresh lime juice
    limes slices and thyme sprigs for garnish

    Mix together in a lg jar. Serve over ice with a splash of club soda. Garnish with thyme and lime.

  30. A couple of favorites from Beretta, a truly wonderful SF restaurant:

    white rum, lime, cane syrup, maraschino, grapefruit

    rum, honey, lime, prosecco

    improved whiskey cocktail
    rye, bitters, dubonnet, absinthe, maraschino

    I’m sure you could play with those ingredients and produce something fab.

  31. Last summer a truck stacked with crates of limes came through our street. Lucky for us, one crate jumped to its freedom. Neighbors collided as they picked up lime after stray lime. We ended up with quite a bounty. Without an idea, we turned to Joy of Cooking. There’s a recipe for rosemary infused limeade. It was very good. Set up a tall glass with ice and join vodka with limeade mixture…another twist of lime for presentation-sake and you’re all set.

  32. These are all such good ideas! Nice work, everyone. I want a drink.

  33. Hi Tim! I hope I’m not too late. It’s not original to me, but I’ve been loving the “Silent Encore” (chartreuse, lime, basil) that I found via Drink Well http://thedrinkwell.blogspot.com/2009/09/silent-encore_21.html

    There’s nothing that makes me feel more summer than fresh basil! Good luck! Wish I could be there taste testing with you…

  34. Yes, I’m loving all the basil that’s been mentioned!

    I had this a few weeks ago at a great Melbourne bar, to mourn the passing of our summer.

    I believe it was called a Red Ruby.

    Mash 3 very ripe strawberries with a teaspoon of caster sugar and pass through a sieve into a cocktail shaker.
    Muddle with 3 torn basil leaves, a hearty splash of balsamic vinegar and pinch of freshly cracked black pepper.
    Add in some ice cubes, pour in 2 oz vodka or gin (depends on your preference, I used Hendrick’s and LOVED it) and shake. Serve with a slice of strawberry, a basil leaf and another pinch of black pepper on top.

    Summer in a glass. Yum!

  35. Whoa, Susan, that sounds excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Rum Punch!

    3oz Lime Juice
    6oz simple syrup
    9-12 oz rum (I used spiced rum, the clear Captain Morgans stuff)
    12 oz water
    dash of grated nutmeg
    a few dashes of Angostura Bitters
    a dash of grenadine (optional)

    Mix it up and serve with ice. Spent an entire summer in the Caribbean doing archaeology by day and drinking these by night. :-D

  37. Oh summer cocktails… now I can’t wait for the sun to break through these Portland clouds. My favorite non-originals are the rosemary-cucumber-tequila cocktail the Sueño, which is just sweet enough, and totally herbal-refreshing:


    and this sweet-but-light peach basil sangria:


    Freestyling on my own, I’m fond of fruity spins on Tom Collinses, like this:


    or made with a rhubarb syrup:


    I also recently made a pineapple mojito, which I think will get top billing this summer:

    ~1/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks
    1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
    1 handful mint leaves
    2 shots rum
    1 1/2 shots lime juice
    soda water

    Muddle together the pineapple, mint and sugar (use the handle of a wooden spoon if your muddler is in the shop), until the pineapple is reduced to bits and small chunks, and the mint is well-bruised and torn a bit. Add the rum and lime, shake with ice, taste, and pour into ice-filled glasses. Top off with soda water.

  38. Tim, I had one of these at Portland, Maine’s “Harvest on the Harbour” last Fall, and loved it.

    White Cranberry Cucumber Spritzer

    In a shaker, muddle a 1″ piece of peeled cucumber.
    Add: 1 1/2 oz. Twenty 2 vodka
    3 oz. white cranberry juice
    Fill shaker with ice, shake hard, and double strain over fresh ice. Top off with Sprite or 7-UP.

    By the way, I’ve tried the Milk Liqueur (divine!), and Lemon Olive wafers you’ve blogged about.. Those wafers are dangerous. I ate every single one of them although I had truly intended to share.

  39. The Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara is serving up two of my favorite summer cocktails.

    Cucumber Martini:
    Hendrick’s gin, cucmber juice, & lime juice. Up or on the rocks. I prefer it up.

    chili infused tequila, orangejuice, lemon juice, & pixie tangerine simple syrup

    Finally a perfect drink for a hot afternoon while grilling out:

    The Martinez, for 1
    from Tom Perini’s Texas Cowboy Cookbook
    1 shot tequila
    splash of controy
    splash of pickled jalapeño brine
    1 – 2 pickled jalapeño rounds
    1 lime wedge
    1 cold Mexican beer of choice

    Combine all ingredients, reserving the beer. Sip the martinez slowly adding beer to the mix as you work your way down. Laura of Cloves and Cream taught me this one.

  40. hi!
    1 oz white rum
    1 glass of fresh pineapple juice
    brown sugar

    mix and enjoy the caribbean mojito!

  41. The first thing I noticed in you cabinet is that you have Campari, so I’d advise you to try the ‘spritz’, a typical drink we have in the region around Venice with the aperitivo, very refreshing and summery:
    a little campari and fizzy white whine (usually prosecco), served with an orange or a lemon rind and plenty of ice. Optionally you can add some fizzy water to make it even more refreshing and lighter.

    I can’t remember how many times I cycled home with my daddy in the hot summer countryside, after drinking with him a spritz and eating a couple of boiled cuttlefishes with it. It was summer itself to me.

  42. Pimms, Buderim Ginger Refresher and soda water.

    Simple, gingery, bubbly, cold and fresh… basically wonderful.

  43. Phew…just made it!

    This is going to be my drink of choice this summer. Cool and refreshing!

    Garden Cocktail

    1 1/2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
    4 1/2 oz Cucumber purée

    To make cucumber purée, blend 1 cucumber, 3 oz Fresh lemon juice and 4 oz simple syrup. Shake all ingredients well and serve over ice. Garnish with sliced cucumber.

  44. Karin's mom says:

    June 1st, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    you want farm picked strawberries when Karin come back from home?
    Mom Winters

  45. of course i do!
    please and thank you! xo

  46. Thank God you did this so I have ideas of what to drink all summer long. My new thing is old school mint julep. Need to buy silver glasses.

  47. I wrote about our wedding punch on my blog last year. It was pretty dang good!

    Michael and Erin’s Punch Drunk Love (makes one drink)

    Gin 1 oz (30 ml)
    Dubonnet 1/2 oz (15 ml)
    Tonic 5 oz (150 ml)
    Lime juice 1/3 oz (10 ml)
    Lime to garnish

    To read the story behind the creation, check out this post: http://www.thingsworthmaking.com/search?q=punch+drunk

    I love that you include drinks in your recipes, Tim!

What do you think?