You know that quote from City Slickers? “Women need a reason to have sex; men just need a place.” My cocktail philosophy is similar. Some people need a reason for a little drinkee. I just need a place.
Well, that’s not altogether true. I guess I’m just willing to settle for a lot less reason. “Gosh, it’s hot” is a good enough reason for me. Today, I want to share my favorite “Gosh, it’s hot” cocktail. It’s a nice way to celebrate the oppressive heat, the beginning of school, the upcoming television season, or every day’s opportunity to savor all the summer fun the dog days have to offer.
My favorite summer drink is a variant on the Midori Sour. I don’t like the sensation of being horribly drunk in the heat of the day, so I use a fairly lightweight alcohol. I even include a little fruit, so you can call it a health drink. (Aw, you’re welcome!) Here’s what you’ll need.
- Crystal Light Lemonade. I don’t get anything from the Crystal Light people for mentioning this here. I like to use it because it’s sweet without being cloying, low on calories, and easy to make. I also think it pays to use a mixer you can drink by itself.
- Midori. The Midori people aren’t giving me anything either. Midori has a light, sweet flavor like honeydew melons. There’s not a tremendous amount of alcohol in Midori – it’s about 20% alcohol by volume. That’s about half what you’ll get in Bacardi Superior, which weighs in at 40%. You can use Apple Pucker if you find you want more flavor with less of a kick; Apple Pucker runs about 15% alcohol by volume. I often use the DeKuyper melon liqueur, which is a touch stronger at 30%. (Note: I am not talking about Pucker Vodka. Pucker Vodka runs a bit stronger at 35%.)
- Frozen fruit. I freeze my own – I’ll cut up a pineapple or pluck grapes and freeze them in a container. If you want you can buy some frozen fruit from the store; it’s popular for smoothies. I like to keep the pineapple in tidbits for snacking and in little spears for stuff like this, but you can put a couple of tidbits into the bottom of a glass, too.
Pour about an ounce-ish of liqueur into the bottom of the glass. I’m a bartender, so I keep pour spouts in my bottles. I know when I’ve poured an ounce. Pour spouts are a good investment; they will keep your home beverages nice and uniform. If you don’t have them yet, an ounce is more than it takes to wet the bottom but about halfway to “hey, isn’t that kind of a lot?”
Fill the glass up with the lemonade, and then drop the frozen fruit into the glass. As you’re sipping, the fruit will thaw out and you’ll have a nice little surprise when you’re done.
You’ll want to tweak this for your personal use, of course. Are you using a tall glass? Try a little extra liqueur. Not about the lemonade? Crystal Light has some seasonal mocktail mixes that seem tailor-made for things like this – I have popped a little Apple Pucker into their Appletini mixer. How about a little soda on top to give it a little glimmer? Whatever works.
This is typically not a strong drink, but when it’s hot outside, I don’t want a lot of alcohol in my beverage. Either I’m hot and tend to drink faster, or I want to gradually consume a couple drinks. Neither situation (drinking faster or drinking more) is ideal for a strong drink, unless you just like feeling all sloshy in the hot, hot sun.
I’ve suddenly got a taste for one of these! What’ll you have?