It’s pouring rain outside as I write this, but we’re hoping for a sunnier weekend, and even if that doesn’t happen this week (and it likely won’t, due to the fact that we have both our community parade of garage sales AND W’s very first soccer tournament AND an outdoor birthday party to attend) inevitably there will be some sunny occasion over the next few months that calls for a cocktail. And so for our series of posts on easy/fun/totally doable gatherings, Jan and I decided to round up a few simple drinks that will make your stoop the one on the block to hang around on. (I’m trying hard not to resort to the phrase “easy summer entertaining”, but you get the gist.)
And speaking of casual summer parties, there’s a reason they call it a mixer – the idea is that you mix things up, and mix people up, and mix drinks up… right? and the same goes for the mix tape, doesn’t it? I miss the mix tape – in the eighties, we’d spend hours compiling mix tapes that conveyed how much we cared about our friends/boyfriends/friends’ boyfriends. Mike made me a few mix tapes – I think that’s how I knew he liked me. So since most gatherings involve music (at our house, anyway), I decided to look to our CD collection for cocktail inspiration and make a mix tape for you – of songs and cocktails to go with them. Why not?
Whiskey in the Jar by Thin Lizzy/Metallica: because who doesn’t love drinking whiskey out of a jar on the front porch when it’s hot outside? While you’re at it, fan yourself with a rolled-up newspaper.
(To make ginger syrup, simmer 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and a few slices of fresh ginger. Chill.)
One Mint Julep by The Clovers (also Ray Charles): this song makes me want to invite a few friends over to lounge in the grass or swing in a hammock (if we had enough for everybody), drink blackberry mint juleps in bare feet, and eat pie.
Orange Crush by R.E.M.: here’s a dreamy sweet treat: squeeze a good juicy orange over a scoop of good vanilla ice cream (or use Orange Crush); add a shot of vanilla vodka for the grown-ups.
Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) by The Doors: this is a good excuse to make a whiskey sour, which seem to be trendy these days. (Maybe it’s Mad Men?) To make one, shake 2 oz. whiskey, 1 oz. lemon (or Meyer lemon! or grapefruit!) juice and 1-2 tsp. sugar with ice; strain into a glass. Or mix them up by the pitcherful in the same ratio. Oh don’t ask why…
It’s Martini Time by Reverend Horton Heat: I’m not a big martini-maker, but now I’m wondering why that is. I acquired a pair of martini glasses at a second hand shop; now I must retrieve my shaker from the tub toy area and put it to proper use. For a raspberry-lime martini, muddle raspberries with sugar, then add 1 – 1 1/2 oz. regular or raspberry vodka, 1 oz. lime juice and a splash of raspberry or cranberry juice or soda. If you like, shake it all up first and strain it into a glass with a fresh raspberry.
The B Side is over at Rolling Spoon – Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys, Lemon by U2, Horchata by Vampire Weekend and Little Cream Soda by The White Stripes – with cocktails!
As always, Jan came up with a bunch of fun summer drinks – some not so boozy. They’re definitely worth perusing too – along with your own mix tape.
What’s your favourite summer cocktail? And song to go with it?