Welcome to our summer drinks guide. We’ve pored over hundreds of recipes to select the best cocktails of the 2015 season. The recipes are broken down by category: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, and beer.
We hope you enjoy our selections and get a few ideas for your summer drinks program.
These are the best gin cocktails:
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
1 ½ oz. Koval dry gin
¾ oz. Honey mint syrup*
¾ oz. Fresh-pressed carrot juice
¾ oz. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. Chilled Perrier
Measure gin, syrup and juices into a mixing glass. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Pour drink into a Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish with a baby carrot and mint sprig.
*For Honey mint syrup:
(Makes about 10 oz.)
8 Sprigs fresh mint
¾ cup Clover honey
¾ cup Water
Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while stirring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 45 minutes. Strain and store refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen, www.liquidkitchen.com.
1 oz. Death’s Door gin
¾ oz. Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur
¼ oz. Green Chartreuse
1 oz. Lemon juice
¼ oz. Simple syrup
3 Large basil leaves
Add all ingredients except soda to mixing tin. Shake and strain over ice in a highball or Collins glass. Top with a splash of soda water and garnish with a basil leaf and lemon peel.
The mixologists at The Local Peasant in Sherman Oaks, CA, and Woodland Hills, CA, created this recipe.
1 ¼ oz. Zwack Hungarian herbal liqueur
¼ oz. Gin
1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Simple syrup (2:1)
Mint sprigs and peach slices for muddling and garnish
Muddle one slice of peach and 2 mint leaves in the bottom of a Collins glass. Add Zwack, gin, lemon juice and simple syrup and stir with a bar spoon. Top with seltzer and garnish with additional peach slices and mint sprigs.
New York mixologist Sother Teague created this recipe.
2 oz. Caorunn gin
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. Fresh pear juice
½ oz. Honey
Rinse a Martini glass with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain and garnish with lemon peel.
Matt Sopata of the Metro Oyster Exchange in Virginia Beach, VA, created this recipe.
Eve’s First Kiss
¾ oz. Gin
¾ oz. Herbsaint anise-flavored liqueur
½ oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Rosemary syrup
¼ oz. Crème de Banane liqueur
Combine ingredients and shake. Strain and serve in Georgian glass; garnish with one dropper of Crème de Mure.
John Stanton of Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago created this recipe.
A Preferred Blur
1 ½ oz. Copperworks gin
¾ oz. Giffard Banane du Bresil liqueur
½ oz. Capaletti Aperitivo
½ oz. Lemon juice
Dash rhubarb bitters
Shake ingredients together and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Chad Phillips of Pennyroyal in Seattle created this recipe.
The Bee Spa
1 ½ oz. Tanqueray gin
½ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Honey syrup
2 dashes Lavender bitters
Combine all ingredients in tin and shake thoroughly. Serve over ice in a Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish with a lemon twist and lavender sprigs.
The mixologists at Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans created this recipe.
Honeydew Cucumber Sour
1 oz. Martin Miller’s gin
½ oz. Fresh-pressed lemon juice
1 ½ oz. Freshly extracted honeydew juice
¼ oz. House-bended clover honey syrup
Dash of Regan’s No. 6 orange bitters
Cucumber slices for garnish
Combine ingredients, shake and pour into glass with ice. Add sliced cucumber for garnish.
The mixologists of Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, AZ, created this recipe.
The Bronx Cocktail
2 oz. Gin
½ oz. Dry vermouth
½ oz. Sweet vermouth
Splash orange juice
Splash triple sec
Put all the ingredients in a shaker along with ice and shake vigorously for a few seconds. Strain the mixture into a chilled glass and garnish with a cherry or an orange twist.
Christopher Donovan, co-owner of The Glunz Tavern in Chicago, created this recipe.
Sparkling Gin Cup
2 oz. Brockmans gin
½ oz. Elderflower liqueur
¼ oz. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¼ oz. Simple syrup
Muddle strawberries, then combine gin, liqueur, lemon juice and strawberries in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a strawberry and lemon twist.
The mixologists at Brockmans created this recipe.
1 oz. Nolet’s gin
1 oz. Cocchi Americano
2 oz. Coconut water
¼ oz. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Coconut nectar
Splash simple syrup
Basil leaf for garnish
Add the gin, Americano, coconut water, lemon juice, simple syrup to a pint glass full of ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Drizzle the coconut nectar on top. Bruise the basil sprig and rim the glass with the oils, garnish and serve.
Tucky Dias, lead bartender at Cucina Enoteca in Newport Beach, CA, created this recipe.
1 oz. Portobello Road gin
1 oz. Dubbonnet
¾ oz. Aperol
¹⁄5 oz. Myers’s rum
Combine ingredients in mixing glass and stir. Strain into chilled glass and garnish with a grapefruit peel.
Jake Burger of Evelyn Drinkery in New York created this recipe.
What I’m Drinking Now
Co-owner of the Park Cafe in Charleston, SC
Our beverage director at the Park Cafe recently introduced me to an edible spray company out of Vermont called Alice & the Magician.
I was skeptical at first—I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept—but then I started testing the products and immediately became a fan.
My first (and favorite) drink that I’ve created with the sprays is called Alice’s Rose. I started with the Pamplemouse Rose grapefruit liqueur because it’s one of my favorite mixers; I also added Scotch for depth. I chose the sage citrus spray as a garnish for the drink; the sage adds a tangy, botanical element while the citrus adds a light, fruitful finish.
I like this cocktail because it comes to you in a small rocks glass and it’s clear and very unassuming. Then you smell it, and the sage and citrus really pull a punch when you’re not expecting it. But as you drink, it mellows out and changes flavors and becomes a light citrus cooler.
It’s perfect for the warmer months, or really any time of the year.
1 ½ oz. Hendrick’s gin
¹⁄3 oz. Pamplemousse Rose grapefruit liqueur
¼ oz. Dewar’s Scotch whiskey
¼ oz. Jam Ginger drinking vinegar
Alice & The Magician exotic citrus sage edible fragrance
Combine ingredients and stir. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon wheel. Top with two sprays of the citrus sage fragrance.