Summer Cocktails for Four - Two Recipes

Photo by M.S. Meeuwesen on Unsplash

Alcohol has never been something I could enjoy to excess. When out partying with friends, I tried to keep up, but the next day was always awful. They would get up after a night of drinking heavily and say they had a hangover, but head out for breakfast. If I had over 2 drinks I would spend the next day or two "Talking to Ralph on The Big White Telephone."

Money was also an issue. Fancy cocktails were costly and too easy to drink fast, especially if I just came off the dance floor hot and sweaty.  Instead, I stuck to things I could sip over the course of the night. A glass of wine, a snifter of brandy - anything that when I came off the dance floor hot and sweaty wouldn't disappear in a giant swallow.

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

However, in the last few years I've begun to explore learning how to make cocktails at home. My son-in-law is an amazing amateur mixologist, so it became a personal challenge to try to offer him something unique when he and my daughter were in town for a visit.  And I learned it was fun. Now I have a few friends that, as part of our ritual when they come to my house for dinner, I offer a new cocktail I discovered to try.  Some have been hits. Others have been very average or misses, but fun is always had.  

Making them one or two at a time, though, is sometimes too time consuming, so I headed over to the Food Network page for Trish Yearwood's cooking show and did a recipe search. She is always creating things for small groups right down to her cocktails. These are mixed ahead of time and each recipe serves four. 

They are most often summer punch style cocktails. You won't wow anyone with something totally out of the box and unique, but they are fun and tasty - perfect for a summer barbeque or potluck.  She even served the first on her show in reusable drink pouches with straws making them like a kid's juice box, but I served both in on the rocks glasses with ice. 


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Tropical Punch Cocktail
4 servings 

Ingredients - 

2-1/2 C                Mango nectar or juice 
1 C                      Grapefruit juice 
1 C                       Light rum 
3 T                       Grenadine 
2 limes, sliced into wheels, for garnish Note - I added the juice of one lime for a little more tartness and cut the other one into wheels for garnish. 

Instructions - 

Combine the mango nectar, grapefruit juice, rum and grenadine (and lime juice if you like) in a pitcher. Stir.  Add lime wheels to each of four 12-ounce reusable drink pouches with straws. Fill the pouches with the punch cocktail and refrigerate until very cold

Peach Half-n-Half Cocktail
4 servings 

Ingredients - 

2 C                     Peach iced tea 
2 C                     Lemonade  
1 C                     Vodka  
4 lemon wheels, for garnish  
4 mint sprigs, for garnish

Instructions - 

Fill 4 highball glasses with ice. In a pitcher, mix the peach iced tea, lemonade and vodka, Split evenly evenly among the glasses. Garnish each with a lemon wheel and mint sprig.