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Refreshing Summer Cocktails for You to Try

by Ira Losco

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As the mercury rises, so does the need for an icy drink to beat the summer heat and stay refreshed. While an iced water or lemonade can do the trick, nothing beats the heat better than a boozy beverage. So whether you're hanging by the pool, barbecuing in your terrace or you're prepping things around the house to receive guests, follow my take on some classic cocktails - the epitome of summer in a glass. After all, a refreshing cocktail is the ultimate summer accessory.

The Cotton Candy Margarita

The quintessential and iconic drink made of tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice may not be everyone's favourite and truth be told anyone can make the regular kind. All you need to do is go to the supermarket, buy a ready-made mix and shake it up. But why stick to the original stuff when you can be super creative with it? In reality, you can concoct it in every flavour imaginable, while a wide variety of fruit pair pretty well with tequila. So tickle some taste buds by following my take on this classic drink.

You'll need:

Combine all liquid ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously. Fill ¾ of serving glasses with cotton candy and pour the mixture over it until the glasses are half full. Add ice and stir to combine. 

The Whiskey Sour

Have you ever felt like a drink that doesn't taste like a hard drink so you end up ordering one of those 80s inspired cocktails like the likes of Blue Curacao, Crème de menthe or any other drink featuring a dark aged liquor so sweet your teeth feel like they're going to fall off at the first sip? I urge you to try this whiskey sour recipe instead. Refreshing enough to make it the perfect summer cocktail, its fresh ingredients will make you swoon over it even if you're not a whiskey fan.

You'll need:

  • Some ice
  • 2 parts bourbon
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • ½ part sugar
  • ½ part sugar syrup
  • ½ part egg white

Chuck all the ingredients into a shaker and shake very well. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a cherry and an orange slice. Make sure you've whipped up a few since they're seriously delicious!

The Bloody Mary

A drink that is not for the faint-hearted, this is ideal for those peeps who would pick savoury over sweet every single time. Some variations serve as both a drink and a meal in itself since they include long skewers inserted into the glass, topped up with shrimps, sandwich wedges and an assortment of other bites. My version is more of a 'Go Big or Go Home' kind of cocktail, so it might not be appropriate for brunch. So have a look at my recipe below and don't be scared to overdo this drink and its accompanying nibbles.

You'll need:

  • Some ice placed into a shaker
  • A tot or two of vodka
  • Lemon Juice
  • Tomato Juice
  • Hot Sauce
  • Pepper and Salt

Pour all the ingredients into a highball glass, stirring gently. Grab a skewer and load it with a green olive, a pickle, a juicy pineapple chunk, a cocktail onion, a jalapeno for some extra heat or elevate it a notch with a piece of bacon crisp. I've also seen mini sliders and hotdogs make it on that skewer, so remember that with this drink, there are no rules. If you'd rather go simple, add a celery stick, take a swig and have a munch. Visit your nearest grocer or mini market for all that garnish you'll be needing.

The Skinny Bitch

Dubbed in this manner due to its comparatively low-calorie count (under 100 calories per serving), this drink is for the body-conscious. With just a shot of vodka, a squeeze of lemon or lime and topped with soda or sparkling water, this drink was a revelation to me when I was trying to enjoy a good cocktail while trying to stick to the gazillionth diet I was on during my twenties. The citrusy, bubbly flavour sat well on my taste buds but kept the fat sitting off my waistline.

You'll need:

  • A tall glass - Don't have one? Surely these household goods stores listed on Yellow can help you out.
  • Tons of Ice
  • 1 Shot of vodka
  • Lime Juice
  • Sparkling Water

Fill a highball glass with ice, add the vodka and the lime juice. Next, fill the glass with soda and garnish with a lime wedge. Put your sunnies on and sip away without the guilt!

The Hair of the Dog

Now if you've overdone it and have had a few too many drinks, you might be left trying to nurse a nasty hangover (try doing so with a toddler to care for!). 'Hair of the dog that bit you' is the expression that refers to a method of treatment of a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the dog in the bite wound. Today, this colloquial expression is used to refer to alcohol that is consumed to kill a hangover.

You'll need:

  • A dash Absinthe
  • Ounce Gin
  • Ounce Dry Vermouth
  • Ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ounce orange liquor
  • Some orange peel to garnish

Gather the ingredients. Rinse a cocktail glass with absinthe and toss out the excess. Pour the remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain into the rinsed glass and then garnish with orange peel. If this remedy does not help, then head to the nearest pharmacy.

Quench your thirst, stave off the sweat, raise your glass and enjoy! And remember to always drink responsibly. Get in touch with these wines and spirits retailers who can supply you with all the necessary ingredients needed to whip up these creative cocktails.

In need of some more ideas? Have a look at these fruity fresh cocktail recipes and here's a beginner's guide to choosing the right wine.

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Ira Losco
About Ira Losco

One of the biggest names in Maltese music with a career spanning over 15 years, Ira Losco has performed in over 20 countries alongside industry heavyweights like Sir Elton John, Katie Melua, Maroon 5 and others. Also known for her participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002 and 2016, her chart-topping singles like 'What I'd Give', 'Me Luv U Long Time' and 'One in A Million' have catapulted her to the top of the local music scene and have seen her win more than 20 music awards.

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