I’ve been gone for too long and it’s way overdue for me to give back to the people. Now that we’re almost a full month into a snow-free spring here in central Iowa, I figure it’s time to start embracing the sun and heat that we’re quickly sliding into. I haven’t been around since Villanova won the National Championship or even since baseball season finally got underway, which included 100 immediate snow-outs. So, let’s start looking forward to those baseball game tailgates, golf tournaments and patio barbecues. I’m a big fan of the winter but it’s very clear to see why summer is an all-time great season (at least top 4). Let’s get down to it and get something refreshing for you!
Based on my timing for this article, it’s absolutely impossible to leave this drink off the list. This weekend is the start of the Triple Crown hunt in Louisville at the Kentucky Derby and the folks down there go nuts for this bad boy. Full disclosure, I’ve never had one, not a big mint guy. Regardless, it’s a nice drink to enjoy out in the sun while you wear the most outrageous hats ever known to man.
What You’ll Need: Kentucky bourbon, mint leaves, simple syrup (sub with fine sugar and seltzer if you don’t have any)
This drink is actually fairly simple to make, even though it sounds like a pain. In your glass (whiskey glass preferred), add in 5-7 mint leaves and about an ounce of simple syrup. Muddle these together in the bottom of the glass. While a muddler makes it much easier, I know everyone doesn’t have one. The fat end of almost any kitchen utensil works pretty well. Do this for a minute or so to get all the oil out of the mint leaves and mixed in. Next, fill your glass with ice, then pour in 3 ounces (2 shots) of Kentucky bourbon. Stir until it’s all mixed and enjoy!
Some of you may have done the math by now and figured out that the Kentucky Derby falls on the 5th of May. While it isn’t necessarily a day I’m all about celebrating, I know how much some of us like to get into the spirit of Cinco de Mayo. With that being said, I can’t just ignore this section of my audience and so I’ll include this simple drink for you all.
What You’ll Need: Silver tequila, Grapefruit Jarritos (can sub grapefruit juice and seltzer water)
This is as simple as they come. In your favorite summer time cup (that I assume has an awesome crazy straw in it), fill it with ice and a shot or two of your favorite silver tequila. From here, simply top off with Jarritos or your subbed out concoction. If you have a lime or grapefruit handy, garnish with a slice of either.
This one is for your upcoming get-together with some friends. Whether it be in the backyard, at the lake or just to keep in the fridge and enjoy in a hammock at home, this is everything you want on a hot summer day. This recipe makes plenty to share with others, or for you to get completely off your rocker if you’re into that sort of thing.
What You’ll Need: White wine, lemonade, light rum, raspberries, oranges, apples
Grab a good sized pitcher and mix in the following ingredients: 1 bottle of white wine (calls of r a 750 mL bottle but I’m not judging if you go big), 1/2 gallon of lemonade, 2/3 cup light rum. Stir these ingredients together, then add in 1/2 cup raspberries, sliced orange and sliced apple. From here, pour into ice filled glasses, or just toss in 6 straws and see what happens.
Beer of the (Early) Season!!!
I’m gonna go very simple on this one and I’ll make up for it later this summer, I promise. I’m a week removed from my first baseball game of the season and my usual routine at the hot ones is a silo of Coors Banquet paired with an Angry Orchard. I know there’s better fruit infused beers, hell I know there’s even better ciders. But this one holds a dear place in my heart.
That’s all I have for the kick off of the summer. I’ll make sure to give everyone some more as the season progresses and we all have more fun over the next few months. Get out there and enjoy yourself and the weather, and most of all, be safe!