THAT WILL HAVE YOUR GUESTS REFRESHED AND IMPRESSED

Photography by Tiffani Jones

Summer is upon us, friends. Why not beat the heat, gather your favorite humans, and treat yourselves a bit?

For me, quality time with my friends and family is my most prized gift. When I entertain, there must be the perfect balance of thoughtfulness and simplicity … more time to soak in the sun (and the love) and less time working in the kitchen or standing behind the bar.

When I entertain, there must be the perfect balance of thoughtfulness and simplicity

Here are a few of my favorite summery cocktails that are exactly that — fresh, fruity, and super simple to make. Party time, excellent!

Spiked Watermelon, Ginger, & Lime Fresca

What’s better than a perfect, sweet watermelon in a cup? Ginger gives this cocktail such a nice kick!

1 seedless watermelon

2 knuckles of ginger, peeled

The juice of 3 limes

2 ounces of vodka per cocktail

Blend the watermelon and fine strain. Set aside.

Blend the lime juice and peeled ginger. Fine strain into the watermelon juice. (Side note: this juice can be prepared a day in advance.)

This juice is wonderful without the booze, but it’s great with vodka too!

Add ice and vodka to a glass. Top with fresca. Stir.

Pog Mojito

POG MOJITO

Canned fruit juices make this cocktail super easy to execute. The addition of fresh mint and lime give it the perfect freshness.

2 ounces passion fruit juice

1 ounce guava juice

2 ounces white rum

6 leaves fresh mint

1 blood orange wheel

2 ounces sparkling water

Muddle mint and blood orange in a Collins glass. Add juice, rum, and a scoop of ice.

Top with sparkling water. Stir.

Fresh Pineapple & Ginger Beer Brew

(makes 4 cocktails)

Blended drinks aren’t my usual go to, but this one is an exception. Oddly enough, as the drink melts, it gets even better.

3 cups fresh pineapple

1 scoop crushed ice

4 ounces rum

1/2 cup ginger beer per cocktail

Using a blender, blend pineapple and ice. Add the rum. Fill glasses 3/4 full and top with ginger beer.

Jasmine & Lychee Spiked Iced Tea

The combo of lychee, jasmine flower, and gin is magical. This drink is simple yet so sophisticated and complex in flavor.

1/2 ounce lychee juice, from the can

1 ounce brewed and cooled jasmine tea

1 ounce gin

3 canned lychees

Add lychee juice, jasmine tea, gin, and a scoop of ice to a shaker. Shake or stir, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with 3 lychee.

Spiked Sparkling Rosemary Lemonade

(makes 1 pitcher)

There’s just something so sweet about an ice-cold pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Add a little booze and you have something summery and special. It touches the kiddo in all of us.

2 – 12-ounce bottles sparkling water

3 1/2 ounces simple syrup

1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice

3 ounces vodka

1 lemon cut into wheels

4 sprigs rosemary

Add a couple of big scoops of ice to a pitcher. Add sparking water, simple syrup, lemon juice, and vodka. Give it a nice stir. Garnish with fresh lemon wheels and fresh rosemary.