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Easy Summer Cocktail Recipes for Your Next Party

After my interview with David Mor, Beverage Manager of Cindy’s Rooftop Restaurant in Chicago about all things cocktails, I decided this will be the summer of rooftop entertaining with creative drinks. He explained the basics and essentials for creating great cocktails and motivated me to step outside the box and experiment with different flavors. My biggest takeaway was, cocktails need not be overly complicated and we all possess the skills to create great drinks at home.

Every classic cocktail is the foundation of all modern drinks that we do.  We’re just taking recipes that have always worked and adding in our own ideas to amplify it.

David M. Mor, Beverage Manager at Cindy’s Rooftop Restaurant Chicago

Once you learn the classics, the sky’s the limit! So go with what inspires you, and experiment with new things like fresh herbs, fruits, syrups, bitters, and seasonal flavors.

There’s an abundance of twists you can do, it’s actually exciting and a bit overwhelming. I explored Binny’s Beverage Depot with a whole new perspective after my conversation with him. I’m a bit obsessed with all of the flavors of bitters and simple syrups at the moment. I’ve also recently discovered maple syrups when I was gifted with Runamok maple-infused flavored syrups. You can substitute these for simple syrups in mixology recipes. The flavors that this novice has created from them is incredible!

Below are three summer cocktail recipes that David shared with me to incorporate in my next party. My favorite of the three is the Sparkling Lemonade, I’ll be making lots of those this summer!

Try them out and let me know what you think in the comments!

Essential tools for the home bar
  • 1 Mixing Glass
  • Lg Shaker
  • Sm Shaker
  • 1 Bar Spoon
  • Jigger (Measuring Unit)
  • Strainer

Mango Mojitos

  • 2 oz white rum Plantation 3star rum, super affordable and good quality
  • ¾ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ oz mango syrup (fresh 100^% mango juice from Mariano or whole foods, add equal parts sugar put on the stove until sugar is dissolved)

Add several mint leaves to the glass and agitate. Add rum, flavored Syrup and fill the glass halfway with club soda. Add cubed ice and stir.

Sparkling Lemonade

  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice (use regular lemon if Meyer lemon is out of season)
  • 1 1/2 oz Dry London Gin
  • 1 oz fresh Basil Syrup

Add lemon juice, gin, and syrup to the glass. Fill with tonic, add ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon peel and a sprig of basil.

French 75

  • 1 ½ oz London Dry Gin (Plymouth or Beefeater Gin)
  • ¾ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • Sparkling wine (Prosecco)

Add gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cover, and shake vigorously for about 7 seconds. Strain into a martini glass. Top with sparkling wine (Prosecco) run lemon peel across the rim of the glass. Enjoy!

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