Four Secret Summer Cocktail Recipes to Serve at a Party
The life of a drinker is a good one. It’s a collection of sunset poetry chats on the porch, dimly lit conversations in a dive, and rollicking laughter in a room full of rosy-cheeked friends and family. That’s why culinary storytellers Life and Thyme and mixology geniuses Cocktail Academy just joined forces to launch a new publication called In Good Spirits. It's their wonderful testament to America’s real pastime (which you can pretty much do at all the other “pastimes’ anyway). So in honor of the stylish cocktail culture publication, we here at The Venue Report asked if we could have a few cool summer drinks—and, boy, did they come through.
1. Cherry Sour
A drink that’s likely to invite several more of its friends without hesitation, the Cherry Sour’s a smooth way to pass a breezy afternoon. Not rummy enough for a beach bum and too light for an inland house party, the good-natured beverage is for someone taking in the day with slow gulps while peacefully sipping at the therapy in their hand. Find a grand conversation or dozen on some coastal balcony and wait out the hours for sundown.
Cherry Sour Recipe
2 oz. London Dry Gin
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. simple syrup
4 mudded fresh sour cherries
Directions: Combine all ingredients except egg into a small tin. Crack a fresh organic egg into your big tin. Combine tins, dry shake (without ice) for 6 seconds. Add ice and shake vigorously for 8 seconds. Strain into a 6 oz. Cocktail Coupe glass.
Ingredient Highlight: California cherries are in season during the summer months in California. Harry's Berries is a Santa Monica Farmer’s Market staple.
2. Pinkies’ Out
When you’ve had your fill of pool parties, river dips, and beach days, your friends will begin to crack their eyes at one another. There comes the sneaky suspicion that ya’ll have fallen victim to the summer lag of predictable routine. That’s when the wild, good schemes make their way into the heads of your comrades—croquet in the backyard, box socials with a Gatsby dress code, outdoor movie nights of the black-and-white classics featuring hard-drinking rogues—you know, high class that’s more highball than high brow. That’s when you’ve earned the Pinkies’ Out.
Pinkies’ Out Recipe
2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
0.5 oz. lime juice
0.75 oz. ginger syrup
1.5 oz. fresh Pink Lady apple juice
2.5 oz. club soda
Directions: Combine all ingredients except club soda into a small tin. Add one piece of cracked ice and shake vigorously until it has dissolved. Add club soda to the mixture and then pour into an ice-filled Collins glass.
Ingredient Highlight: Pink Lady apples are the perfect balance between tart and sweet. Pink Lady apples are native to Australia, which is why they are in perfect season during California’s summer months.
Brandyn’s Tip: When juicing fresh apple juice, add 1 tsp. of citric acid for every 32 oz. of apple juice to prevent the juice from turning brown.
3. Trinidad Cobbler
Every time you wind up at a beach house, you think you haven’t felt summer pulse inside you like this, hard and true, since you were a kid fleeing the steps of your school in mid-June. It feels as if every room glows with sunlight and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to fall asleep come autumn without the sound of the waves somewhere out in the distance. It’s days, weeks, or months of this—what feels like your skin cells and muscles replacing themselves. You’ve figured it out. You’ve hit that stride that, as a kid, you assumed all adults lived by. Only much later do you realize you’ve had a Trinidad Cobbler in your hand the whole time.
Trinidad Cobbler Recipe
2 oz. Goslings Rum
1.5 oz. fresh pineapple juice
0.5 oz. fresh lime Juice
0.5 oz. Don’s Mix
0.25 oz. Angostura bitters
Homemade Don’s Mix:
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup granulated sugar
5 cinnamon sticks.
Over medium heat, combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes and then let it cool for an additional 20 minutes.
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin. Add one small piece of cracked ice and shake vigorously until ice is dissolved. Fill a 13 oz. zombie glass with crushed ice and pour mixture over the ice. Garnish drink with a bouquet of mint and seasonal berries (e.g. blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, boysenberries).
Brandyn’s Tip: This drink is for the home bar enthusiast. The Trinidad Cobbler is also known as a “tiki drink,” which is bartender talk for “a drink with a thousand ingredients.” Go crazy with your garnishes for this drink.
4. Pendennis Club
You can’t always live on the coast. You can’t always wind up at a tiki bar. You know that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t trick your nervous system. Invite your most absorbing friends over, play the music loud, and pretend that night will never come again. Have all the ingredients for a Pendennis Club ready in the kitchen and spiral into the unknown accordingly. Give yourself an entire summer in a single day with the loveliest, liveliest, and loungiest goofs you know. This will be the day you look back on and giggle (or sulk) when you’re freezing your buns off next winter.
Pendennis Club Recipe
1.5 oz. Gin
0.5 oz. Apricot Liqueur
0.5 oz. lemon juice
0.5 oz. lime juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
3 muddled peach slices
4 dashes Peychaud bitters
Directions: Combine all ingredients into a small tin. Add ice, shake, and then fine strain the mixture into a 6 oz. Cocktail Coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig.
Ingredient Highlight: Nothing is better than a juicy, ripe peach! Check your local farmer’s market for their offerings. When looking for the perfect peach, pick ones that are soft but not squishy.
Fun Fact: The Pendennis Club in Louisville Kentucky was said to have invented the Old Fashioned
Breezy days, immaculate sunsets, endless nights—is there ever not a perfect time to drink in the summer?
There you have it, four drinks that’ll make your summer what you hope it will be each year, courtesy of the fine folks at Life and Thyme and now In Good Spirits. So, live well, drink better, and cheers—or salud, prost, sláinte, chok dee, and so on!
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