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Journal

How to Use Seasonal Ingredients In Your Refreshing Summer Cocktail

With Summer just around corner, we begin to prepare ourselves for longer, hotter, sweatier days. Paired with the spicy sun, we hope for the chance to swig some tasty cocktails for the summer. The question here is, what’s in season for summer drink recipes?

As we all know, each region of the United States possesses a very distinct climate and terrain which allows for a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs to thrive during the Summer months. Let’s break it down.

1. Pacific Northwest

With its oceanic climate, the Pacific Northwest will tend to have a warm, dry summer season. Cities like Seattle and Portland experience the glorious, perfect weather of sunny and 75 during their driest month, July. This allows for fruits like apricots, berries, grapefruit, and melons to thrive.

Gin is in! Try this cocktail for the summer if you’re living life in NorCal from June-August.

Ingredients

  • 1.5oz Lyre’s Dry London Spirit
  • 3 small ripe apricots, cut in half, pits removed
  • 4 mint leaves
  • Ice
  • .5oz lemon juice
  • .5oz simple syrup
  • Garnish with mint sprig

Method

  • Muddle the apricots at the bottom of the cocktail shaker until completely broken down. Add mint and muddle lightly. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and London Dry Spirit. Shake for 10 seconds.
  • Using both the cocktail strainer and a mini strainer, pour the cocktail into a serving glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

2. Southwest

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me? States like Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and parts of Texas boast extreme heat throughout their summer months. The daily average temperature can easily reach over 100 degrees! While most areas in the southwest consist of a semi-desert climate, they do receive a much-needed summer monsoon yearly. Fresh produce available in this region ranges from blueberries, figs and grapes to red hot chilies if you aren’t already hot enough.

This refreshing summer recipe is figgin’ cool if you want to chill out from the southwest heat.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of fresh fig puree (1 cup fresh figs, 2 tbsp water and blend until smooth)
  • 1.5oz Lyre’s White Cane Spirit
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1oz rosemary honey simple syrup (see below for method to make)
  • Fever Tree Club Soda
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 - 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Method

  • Bring honey, water, and rosemary to a boil and then turn off heat.
  • Chill completely.
  • This mixture will keep in the fridge for a month, so feel free to make extra.
  • In a cocktail shaker combine fig puree, lemon juice, Lyre’s White Cane, simple syrup and ice. Shake well.
  • Fill a glass with ice and strain mixture over ice cubes.
  • Top off with soda water and garnish with lemon peel, rosemary sprigs, and a fresh fig.

3. Northeast

The land of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket enjoy a humid continental climate with four very distinct seasons. Their winters are cold and snowy, but their summers bring hot temperatures and fun in the sun. These warm summers months bring the joy of fresh apples, cucumbers, cherries, peaches and raspberries. Talk about a succulent surplus!

Get your tastebuds ready for this “jam” session if you’re relaxing in the big apple, in need of an easy summer drink.

Ingredients

  • 2oz Lyre’s Aperitif Dry
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 3 ounces dry sparkling wine
  • 1 ounce Fever Tree club soda
  • 3/4 ounce raspberry-mint syrup
  • Raspberries and mint, for garnish

Method

  • 1.For the raspberry mint syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar, and water over medium-high heat. Mash raspberries with a wooden spoon to break up. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Add mint leaves and stir to combine. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain into an airtight container. Syrup keeps up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
  • 2.For the Cocktail: Fill a rocks glass or wine glass with ice. Add sparkling wine, club soda, Lyre’s Aperitif Dry, and Raspberry-Mint Syrup. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with raspberries and a sprig of mint.

4. Midwest

Hold onto your hats because Midwest summers can start off a bit wild. June begins with the chance of severe weather and also happens to be the wettest month of the year. After the battle between warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and the cool, dry Canadian air; the summer tends to be calmer and settle into rather warm temperatures. So what’s good in the Great Lakes hood? Herbs like basil and cilantro, and fruits like juicy plums, raspberries and tomatoes should top your list during the summer months.

If you’re “plum” sick of the Midwest rain and need a cocktail break, try this recipe!

Ingredients (plum syrup)

  • 1 small plum
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Method

  • Cut the plum into quarters and remove the pit.
  • Add the plum and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the plum is soft and has broken down.
  • You should be left with about 3 oz of a saucy plum mixture. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any solid pieces and let cool. Store in the fridge.

Ingredients (cocktail)

Method

  • Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and give a quick stir.
  • Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon peel or slice of fig. Enjoy!

5. Southeast

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee, it gets hotter than a… well, you know the song. Bring on the AC for the southern states because this sub-tropical climate is nothing to mess with. Temperatures average in the 90’s for most of the summer and are paired with moist tropical air. Sounds enticing, right? Through this sultry, summer weather we are gifted those delicious watermelons, peaches, and Valencia oranges.

You wanna “peach” of me? Cool off (probably inside or poolside) with this down south treat.

lyres-blog-10-peachesandcream-420x370.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle white wine (Spanish table wine)
  • 3oz Lyre’s Dark Cane, or your favorite brandy
  • 2oz Lyre’s Orange Sec
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil for 2 minutes in a small saucepan) and cooled
  • 3oz white peach puree (peel peaches, remove pit and puree in a blender with a small amount of water)
  • Fresh peaches, oranges, and apples sliced

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve over ice.

6. Caribbean Territories

Get ready for rain! Places like Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and even Miami endure tropical weather year-round. Much of the Caribbean has what is considered a tropical savanna climate, which means they enjoy warm, dry winters, and rainy summers. When residents of these areas are not battling with oncoming hurricanes, they enjoy fresh produce like guava, passion fruit, coconuts, dragon fruits, mango and papaya.

If the weather is driving you “coco-nuts”, reach for this recipe created by our very own Warren Hode.

Ingredients

Method

  • Add all ingredients to shaker.
  • Add ice (About 1/3 capacity of shaker), shake, then strain into frozen pineapple cup and garnish.

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