To refresh yourself with friends during the vacations or a summer weekend, it is important to choose your drink with care. Among the different summer drinks available, from the cold soda (light of course) to the fruit juice, I have selected for you some essentials that, year after year, are always as successful during the summer season.
1. The Spritz
You’ve probably already heard of the Spritz, a cocktail that comes straight from Northern Italy (from Veneto, to be precise). The history of the drink dates back to the 19th century, when the territory was occupied by Austrian soldiers. The local wine served in the taverns was not appreciated by the soldiers who wanted a less alcoholic drink. Adding soda water to the wine became a habit and this mixture was a phenomenal success. The Spritz (splash in German) was born.
Today, we add to the basic recipe which combined white wine and seltzer a more or less bitter alcohol and a slice of citrus fruit (lemon or orange). An olive can also be added to your glass. There are many versions of this refreshing aperitif drink, such as the Patxaran from Spain.
Learn how to do a Spritz at home, it’s easy !
Note that the drink is quite sweet and bitter. It does not appeal to everyone, but it remains an ideal choice when you want to enjoy a good moment with friends at the end of the day.
2. The Rosé
It’s impossible to think of a summer alcoholic drink without mentioning rosé. It is, in fact, a basic table drink in this season. First of all, you should know that this wine is not a mixture of red and white wine. It is a beverage created from specific grape varieties using three methods: direct pressing, skin maceration or the bleeding technique. There are both mass-market rosés and PDO or prestige wines. But in all cases, it should be drunk well chilled. Depending on the choice, different aromas can be found, from the very floral to the more caramelized, through the fruity.
It can be consumed as an aperitif or during a meal, but it must be at the right temperature (it is really an imperative) so that all these aromas can be savored, i.e. between 8 and 10° for ordinary wines and between 12 and 14° for the grands crus.
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We don’t always think about it, but champagne is not only reserved for special occasions. This drink can also be enjoyed in summer temperatures. Imagine, you are on the terrace with your friends after a day of work… To relax, you serve a glass of chilled champagne. This nectar is available in a rosé version, an excellent idea for the summer, but also in an extra-brut version very low in sugar.
To mix the pleasures, you can also discover a non dosed champagne (or zero dosage) which also contains very little sugar. Purists will also appreciate champagnes aged in oak vats, which are undoubtedly more expensive, but with unusual flavors (spices, almonds) that are very well suited to the summer heat.
I’ll give you a few tips to enjoy your champagne in summer: put your bottle in the fridge several hours before serving it (put it in the fridge before leaving for work, for example), don’t fill your glass (leaving a free space allows the beverage to develop its aromas) and prefer to serve it with a champagne bucket (the drink will stay fresh).
If you have planned your moment of relaxation well in advance and you have bought your bottle well before the D-day, remember to keep it in the dark. Light is bad for champagne and the summer sun is a real enemy.
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4. The Mojito
It’s impossible to talk about summer drinks without talking about the Mojito! This Cuban cocktail is traditionally composed of rum, lime, soda (or sparkling water), cane sugar and mint leaves without forgetting the crushed ice.
The history of this cocktail remains rather nebulous. For some, its origins date back to the 16th century. One consumed then local rum (the tafia) associated with mint leaves. At the beginning of the 20th century, lime was added. The name of mojito is then given to this drink in reference to the culinary preparation mojo containing lime. From 1920, the mojito becomes the emblem of Cuba and begins to conquer the world. It arrived in France in the early 1990s and seduced lovers of exotic flavors.
To get the most out of your drink, you can make it yourself (it’s not very complicated, there are many recipes on the net). Serve it in a big cool glass and don’t forget the crushed ice cubes (I insist on the fact that the ice must be crushed for more flavor).
5. The Cosmopolitan
The Cosmo is a clever mix of vodka, lime, triple sec (like Cointreau or Grand-Marnier depending on your taste) to which we add cranberry juice (otherwise known as cranberry juice) for the beautiful pink color. We add for the decoration (and the taste too) an orange peel and a slice of lime.
We find the first traces of this cocktail in the 1930s, made then from gin. Vodka dethroned gin in the 1970s and became the basis of this drink, which enjoyed phenomenal success with the Sex in the City series.
The drink seduced women with its beautiful pink color and then conquered men. Today, Cosmo is served chilled after mixing all the ingredients in a shaker. For this, you can keep the different components in the refrigerator before using them or add ice cubes before consuming the cocktail (you can use real ice cubes this time, I won’t tell you!). Cranberry juice can be quite acidic for some, so prefer syrup, but then the drink will be less refreshing.
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So now you know what to drink in summer. But be careful, all these drinks contain alcohol. So drink with moderation!