Tuesday, June 25, 2013

top five: summertime drinks on the patio

I've had a bunch of "top five" lists in my head lately (coming up with just one favorite is always super tough for me), and this one has been at the forefront of my mind so I figured I'd use it first for an occasional post series here on the blog.

Summer means patio dining. And something refreshing to drink - which, lately, has been something like pink lemonade for me. I don't normally go in for sugary drinks that often (my parents didn't allow pop* in the house when I was growing up, so I never got in the habit of drinking it), but my adult-beverage envy has gotten progressively worse as the weather has heated up so I've satisfied my craving by getting something fun whenever I go out.

image via Orbiting Debris on Etsy

But if I could have something alcoholic, I'd choose:

1. A mojito. The first time I had one of these was when Jason and I took a vacation to the Florida Keys and visited Hemingway's house in Key West - it just seemed like something you had to do. And I've loved them ever since, especially when they're not too sweet. Refreshing, crisp, summery.

2. A margarita. On the rocks, salted rim. None of this frou-frou frozen, flavored, overly-sugary stuff - I want to taste the tequila, please.

3. Sangria. This is a drink I like making at home because I love loading it up with tons of fruit and restaurant sangria can be heavy on the sweet, bubbly additives and light on anything except a few sliced oranges and lemons. And I definitely want it to be red, thank you.

4. A sidecar. This is one where I definitely want a sugared rim. I first heard of these while reading Nero Wolfe novels and they just seemed too retro-chic not to try. I can still remember a terrific one I had on the cruise we took to Alaska a few years ago - yum. (It seems like there are arguments about proportions with this one - I don't like it too dry.)

5. A greyhound. Specifically, an Izze Hound from Hapa Sushi in Boulder, CO (made with mango sake and grapefruit Izze), but a classic one will do in a pinch.

(In case you're wondering, I'm not much of a beer drinker. But if you insist, I'll take a cream ale from somewhere like Squatters, Hinterland, or Boddington's.)

*Yep, I just called it that. You soda drinkers can laugh all you want.


  1. Yummmm I love a good cocktail! I just had a mojito for the first time recently and it was delish! Too bad it's kind of labor intensive to make at home. I'm with ya on sangria--so many possibilities and (almost) always delicious! If you aren't a big beer drinker but like cream ale, you might like Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale. I found it at World Market and am now obsessed--it tastes like a creamsicle!

  2. This is great! I'm not a soda drinker either, but neither am I an alcohol drinker either (definitely not beer). You should put together a list like this of summer non-alcoholic drinks. Last summer a friend introduced me to minutemaids watermelon juice and it was all I wanted to drink after that.
    Also, I absolutely relate to not being able to name a favorite. Anytime anyone asks me what is my favorite anything my mind goes completely blank. Just recently I realized I can more easily name my top favoriteS. So now, instead of panicking, I will thinking in my head "what are the top 5 things (fill in the blank)" and even though the person only asked me for one thing, at least I have something to say rather than looking like a kid staring into space while they pee in the pool.

  3. Mojitos were actually the very first cocktail I ever had after I was legal - yum! So yummy and classic! Here's to no-beer-drinking, no pop-drinking (unless I've made it myself with seltzer and some sort of juice/syrup) ladies everywhere! I'm going to get Loren to make you a list of some of the awesome prego-tinis he made me last summer and has continued a bit this year since I'm still breastfeeding and don't like to drink too much.... they definitely helped with the feeling-special-on-the-patio thing.