Oklahoma temperatures have finally peaked the 90+ degree mark. And even though the first day of summer is yet to arrive, it is safe to say that the sweltering season is here. During this time, we Oklahomans are found at the lake or poolside most weekends or hunkered down in the AC until the sun goes down.
So to battle the summer sweat my friends and I get together for some refreshing summer cocktails*! Gin, vodka, rum and bourbon are just a few of the spirits you can mix-in with fresh herbs and fruit to make your favorite summer cocktail. However, here’s the thing: I may be a cleaning guru, but an expert mixologist, I am not! Throughout the summer season, I like to explore the internet for new summer cocktail recipes to try. Here are the results from my latest search this week:
ALL NATURAL GIN AND TONIC FROM MINIMALIST BAKER:
- 2-3 kumquats (or other citrus*), thinly sliced
- 1-2 Tbsp sweetener (such as agave nectar, maple syrup, cane sugar, or honey if not vegan)
- 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) dry gin
- 2-3 ounces (4-6 Tbsp) unflavored sparkling or seltzer water
Add kumquats, sweetener and 1/2 ounce gin to a serving glass and muddle to break down sweetener and release citrus juices. Add remaining gin and stir well to combine.
If you’re not into citrus pulp/skin, scoop out or strain the kumquats from the drink. The whole fruit is edible, though, so you can leave them in! Otherwise, move onto the next step.
Add ice and top off with sparkling water to achieve desired strength of the drink. Add 2-3 ounces for a stronger drink, and 3-5 ounces for a weaker drink.
Taste and adjust sweetness and strength as needed. Optional: Garnish with additional kumquat slices. Serve.
Blackberry-Gin Fizz from Bon Appetit
- 1 6–ounce container blackberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups gin
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- Club soda
- 8 sprigs Thai basil or sweet basil
Vodka Rosemary Lemonade Fizz from Epicurious
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 (8-inch) rosemary sprigs
- 1/2 cup vodka
- Chilled club soda or seltzer
- Garnish: 8 (3-inch) rosemary sprigs
Bring lemon juice, sugar, and rosemary to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Discard rosemary sprigs.
Fill 8 (8-ounces) glasses halfway with ice. Divide syrup (about 2 tablespoons each) among glasses and add vodka (1 tablespoon each). Top off with club soda.
7 Cool and Refreshing Vodka Cocktails for the Summer from Wine Enthusiast:
Russia Spring Punch
National Republic of Texas
The Girl Next Door
What’s even better?
After you finish entertaining guests, you can use the leftover vodka or gin to make a quick refresh spray for clothing and upholstery!
I’m all about utilizing items I most likely already have on hand to clean your home. This DIY fabric spray is an especially useful cleaning tip when you need to get multiple uses out of a piece of clothing, are between trips to the dry cleaner, or when your clothes pick up the smell of smoke after an evening out. Not to mention, when I need to give my furniture a freshen after I have chased off my dog (Ziggy the Beast) before guests arrive!
Here’s what you need for my cleaning tip:
Small spray bottle
Vodka or Gin
- Optional: Essential Oils such as lavender
Now, if you are a little mixed out after the summer cocktails and just want to find a good fabric freshener (that also takes care of stains), I highly suggest the Garment Groom line from Murchison-Hume. You can get a small bottle to throw in your bag when traveling - Plus, I can get you 20% off your entire purchase when you use the code: AMYB20!
*Please always remember to drink responsibly*