Refreshing Summer Cocktails & Mocktails

Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler from Giada De Laurentis 3 (12 ounce) bottles of light beer (no dark) 3 cups chilled peach nectar 2 fresh peaches, pitted and cut into wedges 3/4 cup ginger simple syrup (recipe below) Directions Combine the beer, peach nectar, peaches and syrup in a large pitcher; stir to blend. Serve immediately. Ginger Simple Syrup Directions: Combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and one 4-inch piece of ginger cut into 1/4-inch pieces in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until sugar dissolves completely, about five minutes. Allow to cool completely, then strain before using. Mocktail Alternative: Substitute beer for non-alcoholic beer or ginger ale. Orange Creamsicle Cocktail ice cubes orange juice vanilla flavored vodka vanilla ice cream orange soda, chilled orange slices (for garnish) Directions Place ice cubes, vanilla ice cream, vanilla flavored vodka and orange juice in a blender and blend well. Pour 3/4 full into serving glass. Equally top each glass with orange soda. Dip orange slices in sugar and place on rim of glass for garnish. Mocktail Alternative: Eliminate vodka. Cherry Lemonade Slammer from The Blond Cook 1 (12 ounce) can lemonade concentrate, thawed 12 ounces cherry lemonade vodka (I used Pinnacle) 12 ounces cherry soda 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer lemon wedges & cherries for garnish Directions Stir all ingredients together in a pitcher. Serve immediately over ice. Garnish with lemon wedges and cherries. Mocktail Alternative: Eliminate vodka and substitute beer with non-alchoholic beer or ginger ale. Blackberry Sage Mocktail adapted from Scaling Back 15 medium sage leaves 4 tablespoons sugar 1 cup water 1 cup blackberries club soda Directions Bring the water and sugar to a boil over high heat just until sugar dissolves. Crush the sage leaves with the back of a spoon and add to the syrup mixture, then set aside to let the sage infuse for 15 minutes. Remove herbs. Puree the blackberries in the blender and then strain the mixture through a fine strainer. To serve, place a tablespoon of the blackberry puree in the bottom of a glass, add a tablespoon of the sage syrup, and top off with 8 ounces of club soda. Cocktail Alternative: Add one ounce of rum to each glass. Skinny Watermelon Fizz from Shape magazine 1 ounce tequila 3 ounces watermelon 0.1 ounce simple syrup 0.1 ounce soda water 5 cilantro pieces squeeze of lime 1 bamboo spike Directions Muddle watermelon with cilantro leaves. Add ice, simple syrup, and tequila. Shake vigorously and pour all contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with a piece of watermelon in a bamboo spike and squeeze of lime. Mocktail Alternative: Eliminate tequila. White Summer Sangria from A Full Measure of Happiness 1 bottle dry white wine 2 cups orange juice 1 liter club soda 2 tablespoons sugar 2 lemons 1 lime 1 cup blueberries 12 large strawberries 12 cherries Directions Wash and slice the fruit, layering and arranging them in a large pitcher. Pour the orange juice and wine over the fruit and gently stir. Add sugar according to taste. Chill the sangria in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Right before, pour the club soda over the top, give it a mix, and enjoy. Mocktail Alternative: Substitute white grape juice instead of white wine. {Image via Scaling Back.>
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