I don't know anyone that didn't have a tough winter this year. Even us Californians battled through some strange weather and fought the floods and we're ready to get the hell out of the house and get drunk and sunburned.
I thought I'd fire off some of my favorite recipes for the upcoming Carnival of Drinking. Sure, you can always rely on beers for these types of outings, but what if you want something that's still easy but can help you change it up for a bit? The Martini Lounge is here to help.
One of my far and away favorites is the Cucumber Martini. You can use muddled cucumber with a good gin for this, but to do it right, you need to get the right ingredients (plus, it's just easier this way).
Cucumber MartiniCut yourself a nice slice of cucumber and put it in the bottom of the glass. Put a drop or two of the vermouth on the cucumber. Put the gin in a shaker with some ice. Feel free to shake it if you want to lighten up the taste ("bruising" it puts air bubbles in it) or just stir and pour. Tres' refreshing. If you can't get the Cucumber infused gin, muddle some cucumber in the bottom of the shaker and use your favorite gin, then strain in to the glass.
A martini glass
Hendrick's Cucumber Gin
Tequila is almost the official drink of hot summer days and parties where people want to get hammered. Put a nice twist on it by making a Cosmolito. With all of the emphasis on new types of tequilas, you can have a lot of fun with this one.
CosmolitoTake one half of the lime and cut it in to round slices. Take the other half and squeeze it in to an ice filled shaker (you can get more juice out of the lime by microwaving it for 10 or 15 seconds). Then put in 2 parts tequila, 1 part triple sec, and 3 parts cranberry juice (a little less if you want it stiffer). Shake like hell. You want a nice ice layer across the top when you pour. Strain in to a martini glass and garnish with your lime round. Careful, you'll get drunk a lot quicker than you think on this one, the cranberry and lime hides the alcohol taste a lot.
A martini glass
A white tequila (don't be afraid to skimp here, get a good one)
Finally, here's a quick one. Now you may not know this, but a margarita is not Mexican. It actually originated in the Southwest. If you want the real Mexican drink, then you'll be making a Paloma. When you're making this drink you'll want to use this fact to impress the crowd and get them to shout out your name for all to hear.
PalomaI know what you're thinking. "OH MY GOD! FRESCA IS AWFUL!" That's because it is. Seriously, if Fresca was on fire, I would not even pee on it, because it already tastes like pee and it would be cool to show people how I got Fresca to be on fire.
A highball (tall) glass
A good tequila
Some Fresca (or generic grapefruit soda)
But a Paloma takes the girl with the really hairy face that is Fresca and turns her in to a Prom Queen ready to lose her virginity (as only tequila can do). Fill your shaker half full of ice or so, then squeeze a full lime in there. You can use lime juice too, you'll probably want just a half ounce or so. Shake it very well and pour it in to your tall glass, leaving a little room at the top. Pour that Fresca in there to top it off. Use as little or as much as you want, everyone has a different Fresca tolerance, who am I to dictate? Garnish with a lime. At least for the first couple of drinks. After the 3rd one you won't give a damn about the garnish.
There you have it. Your key to summer happiness. Serving the right drink will make your parties more effective. You'll get a raise at work. The hottest person you know will ask you out. Someone will drop off a brand new car in your driveway. All because you didn't serve just beer. Your results may vary.