Life’s just a cocktail party – On the street. – Mick Jagger
When creating delicious cocktails, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Fresh citrus, herbs, your favorite spirits and quality mixers are all you need. I like to keep mixers on hand that have fewer ingredients and those that use real fruit. I have tried many and now my selections are not only refreshing, but healthier and offer versatility to create almost any cocktail. And they are also fantastic straight-up. Fever-Tree’s sparkling pink grapefruit and lime & yuzu are my favorites to enjoy right out of the bottle. Belvoir Fruit Farms is another one that is so good over ice or from the bottle. The elderflower and rose lemonade is like summer in a bottle.
Buy a bunch of mixers, ring up your friends and meet on the porch to exchange words of wisdom, vent and solve most of the world’s problems. Or maybe just your own. If anyone comes up with a solution to get your kids to heed your every word, please share. Please.
Here are my favorite mixers I use to make easy cocktails that look serious:
Belvoir Fruit Farms
Elderflower Rose Lemonade – just mix with sparkling wine, champagne, vodka or gin. Add a slice of cucumber if you want. No pressure. I make the effort and it’s really good, just saying….
Cucumber & Mint Lemonade – so very good with gin or vodka. Hendrick’s Gin is my favorite. Add muddled basil and lime juice to 2 oz gin or vodka over ice. Mix in Belvoir Cucumber & Mint. It’s a health drink.
Also makes a delicious martini. Pour 2 oz gin or vodka into a shaker filled with ice, add 1 oz Cucumber & Mint Lemonade and a squeeze of lime. Shake it like you mean it. Strain into a martini glass. Add a cucumber slice. Hendricks or The Botanist makes a great gin martini.
Lime & Yuzu – Made from limes from Tahiti and Japanese yuzu. I don’t know anything else about either except they are magic. Add 2 oz of tequila and fresh lime juice in a margarita glass. Top with Lime & Yuzu. Tastes like a delicious margarita. Salt the rim if you are into that kind of thing.
Sparkling Pink Grapefruit – add 2 oz tequila and fresh lime juice for the best Paloma. You can make one using fresh grapefruit juice if you want. Also amazing. But Fever-Tree makes it easier with their delicious mixer. Some like a salted rim with this one too. I do not. Suit yourself.
Elderflower Tonic Water – pairs perfectly with Hendricks Gin or The Botanist for the best gin and tonic. Add fresh lime juice. Excellent with vodka too!
Mediterranean Tonic Water – Herbaceous and Mediterranean-y. I’ve used this in countless ways. Vodka and gin mostly. Add St. Germaine elderflower liqueur with fresh lemon or lime juice – or both. Go crazy!
My favorite over ice in a chilled red wine glass: 1.5 oz of gin or vodka, 1 oz St. Germaine, squeeze of lemon slice or lemon quarter and drop in the glass, top with Mediterranean Tonic Water. Rub fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs between your fingers to release the aroma and add to the glass. Don’t have fresh rosemary or thyme? It’s still good without it. But put it on your grocery list. Or plant some. Enjoy all summer!
Ginger Beer – I only use Fever-Tree for my Kentucky or Austin Mules. Kentucky Mule – I pair with Elijah Craig or Woodford Reserve. Add a bourbon cherry. Austin Mule – I use Tito’s Vodka (made in Austin, TX) and fresh lime juice. Serve over ice in a rocks glass.
My absolute favorite batch cocktail mixers. These are not for drinking straight. They are concentrated fresh and natural ingredients to add to spirits or sparkling water. Before using, shake each one with vigour. Vigour I said.
Ellis Old Fashioned – flavored with bitters, cinnamon, orange oil and vanilla. Makes a classic old fashioned.
I add 2 oz to 2.0 oz of bourbon over ice. I add a bourbon cherry too of course.
SweaterWeather – Apple, honey and spices such as cardamom, rosemary, all spice and others. Enjoy cold or warm in a sauce pan or crock-pot.
Add 2 oz to 1.5 oz bourbon. I don’t add anything else. Not even my beloved bourbon cherry. It’s so good just like this. It’s perfect for fall and winter – but I’m going to try it this spring and summer with vodka. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel. (look it up)
Bouquet – I’m in love with this. It smells so good. Which is why it’s called Bouquet I think.
Here’s how they describe it: “Dreamy notes of lavender weave through fresh-squeezed lemon and rosewater.” Like a drink at the spa.
I pour 2 oz in a glass filled with ice. I add 1.5 oz of gin or vodka. Then I top with Fever-Tree Sparkling Soda. You can add a twist of lemon if you want. I do not because it is perfect without it. But you do you.
Champagne cocktail – 2 oz of Bouquet and top with champagne or another sparkling wine. Fancy.