Entertain Cocktail Party Guests with These Spirited Summer Drinks
Warm weather and life outside puts everyone in the mood for refreshing cocktails and entertaining family and friends. We've come up with some drink recipes that will surely impress your guests as they soak up the sunshine. These sippers are perfect for bringing to the beach, porch, patio or serving by the pool during your spring and summer soirees. Don’t forget to mix them up with a wide variety of made-in-Virginia spirits and produce from local farmers markets. Cheers to a successful season of entertaining.
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 large orange, sliced
1 large lemon, sliced
1 lb. fresh whole local strawberries
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, rinsed
One 750-ml bottle Pimm’s No. 1
2 cups Virginia gin
4 1/2 cups soda water or seltzer water
Ice cubes for serving
Make Cucumber Simple Syrup: In a small bowl, combine the diced cucumber with the sugar. Mix until the cucumber pieces are completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Mix The Punch: In a large punch bowl, combine the orange, lemon, strawberries and half of the mint. Pour in the Pimm’s, gin, soda water and cucumber simple syrup, and stir until combined. Serve in glasses with ice, and garnish with the remaining mint.
Spiked Rosemary Lemonade
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 rosemary sprigs
1 lemon wheel
2 ounces Virginia vodka
1/4 ounce rosemary simple syrup (method below)
2 ounces lemon juice
2 ounces club soda
Make Rosemary Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and 1 rosemary spring, and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat. Steep 30 minutes, then remove rosemary sprig and cool completely. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Mix The Lemonade: Place 2 rosemary sprigs, a lemon wheel and ice into a cocktail glass. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add vodka, rosemary syrup and lemon juice and shake. Poor into glasses, and top with soda.
Pointers for Hosting the Perfect Summer Cocktail Party
Ice, Ice Baby: Ice tends to melt rather quickly in the sweltering Virginia summer heat. You can never have too much ice on hand at a cocktail party. Don’t rely on your ice machine alone. Buy several bags of ice, and keep them in the freezer or a cooler. This will ensure you avoid having to leave your guests and run to the store for more during your gathering.
Mix-It Up: Serve cocktails that can be pre-mixed before the party or even the night before. Guests tend to arrive all at once, and it can be hectic greeting them with a smile while tediously mixing individual drinks one by one. Instead, have a punch or cocktail pre-mixed in a pitcher sitting in ice. When you get a drink request, it will be much quicker to simply pour the mixture into a glass and then add any necessary garnishes or toppers like soda water. This will also make things easy for guests to make a cocktail themselves when they come back for more. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the pitcher and refill promptly when necessary or replace with others you are storing in the fridge.
Fresh Is Best: Summer is the ideal time for relying on fresh and local fruits, vegetables an herbs. Don’t pick frozen varieties or fruit juice. Instead, using farmers market produce will make your drinks taste fantastic and show guests you are going the extra mile.
Plastic, Please: Summer parties often occur on a patio or by the pool, which means lots of bare feet. It may not be as fancy, but always choose plastic glassware. There are plenty of trendy varieties available nowadays, and avoiding injuries and stitches should be a top party priority.
Hydration Station: Cocktails combined with summer heat can send guests south pretty quickly. Help your party go strong into the evening by having plenty of bottled water and seltzers available. Display them prominently at the bar so guests won’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Recommended Distillery: Filibuster Distillery
Spirits of Distinguished Character
All you have to do is take one sip and you'll discover something that may surprise and delight you. Filibuster is unlike any other bourbon. It's handcrafted in small batches. Why? Because it's worth it.
80 Maurertown Mill Rd., Maurertown, Va, 22644