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Summer is the perfect opportunity to break out the home bar, especially when you’re entertaining friends and family for backyard barbecues and get-togethers. Grab a pitcher, the blender, some ice and these fantastic recipes, and you’re all set for making some of the best cocktails you’ll want to enjoy all season long.
Whether it’s cooling melon, tangy berries, sweet peaches or aromatic herbs, like mint or basil, all of these cocktails feature the refreshing flavors of summer. You can’t go wrong using seasonal ingredients when you’re putting together a drink. FN Dish has 10 summer cocktail recipes that are all easy to make — most require only pouring and assembly, others might use the blender to whip up silky smooth drinks. You’ll be chilling with cocktails in hand in no time.
This summer, fizzy cocktails, made with sparkling water or sparkling wine, are hot for cooling you down. There’s even a cocktail made with sparkling sake below. Your guests will love the invigorating effect of drinking a cocktail with bubbles.
Cocktails served on tap are also trending. It’s a great way for guests to serve themselves and there’s less chance of a mess than with pouring from a pitcher. Here’s a handy drink dispenser from FoodNetworkStore.com, which is a great idea for serving sangria, margaritas or other pitcher cocktails.
For more on cocktail trends this summer, see Summer Cocktail Trends for 2013.
10 Refreshing Summer Cocktails
White Peach Margarita — White peaches, lime juice, tequila and peach schnapps blended together with ice create this simple and flavorful margarita.
Raspberry Picante Paloma Pitchers — They say that a bit of heat helps cool you down on a hot day. This cocktail recipe from Guy Fieri does just that with fresh jalapeno. The sliced pepper is muddled with fresh raspberries, lime juice and agave syrup before being combined with grapefruit juice and tequila. Top with club soda before serving.
Plum Prosecco Cocktail — Bobby Flay purees fresh plums with sugar, water and honey, then divides the mixture among champagne glasses and tops each with Prosecco to create this sparkling drink.
Pear and Melon Cocktail — Honeydew and pears are pureed together with fresh ginger and accented with pear vodka to create an energizing summer libation.
Strawberry Daiquiri — This daiquiri recipe from Robin Miller is one of the easiest to make: Just combine ice, rum, Triple sec, strawberries, lime juice and sugar in the blender, then whiz.
Old-School Melon Cocktails (pictured above) — For this cocktail from Food Network Magazine, Alex Guarnaschelli purees cantaloupe with apple cider, sweetens it with honey and spikes it with gin.
Watermelon Plata Tequila Cocktail — Bobby Flay starts this cocktail by pureeing watermelon and straining it to remove the pulp. He muddles lime slices, blueberries and mint, then combines it with the melon juice and tequila.
Mojito Limeade — A mojito is a classic cocktail to enjoy during summer. The combination of mint, lime juice and rum make it a tart, sweet and refreshing drink.
Blackberry and Gin Slushie — To bring out the flavors of the blackberries, Alex macerates them in sugar before blending with gin, club soda, lime juice and ice to create this adult slushie.
Summer Solstice Sake Sparkler — Basil, mint, lemon, orange and cucumber make a very unique and revitalizing combination in this cocktail, which features sparkling sake and orange liqueur.
Do you have a favorite summer cocktail? Let us know in the comments.