There's no better way to beat the heat than to cool off with a refreshing alcoholic beverage. Below are a few of my summer favorites, with a few non-alcoholic options for those who don't drink. Surf's (and glasses) up!
Green Tea Cocktail
6 green tea bags
4 cups of water
a handful of fresh mint leaves (*if you don't have fresh mint, use a 2 mint tea bags and 5 green tea bags)
1/2 cup of sugar, plus more to taste
half a bottle of white wine (preferably pinot grigio)
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 lime, cut in half
Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and add mint leaves tea bags. Let tea bags steep for 2 minutes and remove from water. Let mint leaves steep for another 15 minutes. Remove the mint leaves from the tea and transfer tea into a pitcher. Add sugar and the juice of one lime half, stir, then refrigerate for 30 min. Remove from refrigerator and add triple sec and wine and stir. Slice remaining lime half and float inside the pitcher. Serve over ice.
**for a non-alcoholic option, substitute wine for white grape juice and honey for Triple Sec.
Cucumber Mint Cooler
4 cups of water
1 half a cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 1/2 cups of vodka
1 cup of sugar
Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and add mint leaves. Let steep for about 20 minutes. Remove mint leaves and pour water into a pitcher. Add sugar, vodka and cucumber slices and stir. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, then serve.
**for a non-alcoholic option, replace vodka with water.
Sugar Water T's White Sangria
1 peach, pitted and sliced
1 bunch of white grapes, halved
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 granny smith apple, cored and sliced
1/2 cup triple sec
1/2 cup Calvados or apple brandy (any fruit-flavored brandy can be substituted)
1 bottle of white cranberry peach juice
1 bottle of white wine (preferably pinot grigio)
In a pitcher or large punch bowl, combine fruit with brandy and triple sec. Cover and let sit (macerate) for about 2 hours. Then add juice and wine and stir. Serve over ice with fruit ladled into glass as a garnish. If using a pitcher, note that the entire bottle of juice and wine may not be used. It can be refilled over macerated fruit.
**for a non-alcoholic version, replace wine with your favorite juice, and macerate fruit in 3/4 cups of sugar and 4 Tbs of water.