Ah, summer! It's the time of year when we like to kick back with our pals and imbibe on a few cocktails in a tropical locale or at our local hotspot. We have a great time - until the tab comes, then it we find that we're blowing mega cash on those $13 Cosmos and $20 glasses of wine.
This is the summer to get our finances in order and stop blowing the monthly entertainment budget on a few hours of fun. Does that mean you have to stop having fun? Hardly. Instead, think of home-based celebrations with your pals featuring cocktails mixed up from some of the country's hottest mixologists. No, you don't have to hire them to bartend your parties. Instead, we've asked a few libations experts to whip up a few cocktail recipes that can be easily recreated at home.
Fresh and Fruity Vodka Cocktails
Ciroc Vodka - you know, the one Diddy reps - is kicking off the summer with its official "drinks of the summer" cocktails. These fresh drinks would easily command $20 or more in New York, Las Vegas or Los Angeles, but you can get a liter of Ciroc online and in stores for somewhere around $36 a bottle. In turn, that $36 bottle will make about 33 cocktails.
* 1 oz Ciroc Vodka
* 1 oz White Grape Juice
* Topped off with Champagne
* 1 oz Cîroc Vodka
* .5 oz Blue Curacao
* .25 oz Grapefruit Juice
* .5 oz Simple Syrup
Island Retreat in Your Backyard
Just because you can't afford an exotic vacation this year doesn't mean you can bring the exotic vacation to you. Halekulani, Waikiki's legendary beachfront hotel, is known for its signature Mai Tai, though they created three more cocktails for the summer - perfect for that hot summer day on the beach or on your back patio.
* 1.5 oz Cachaca
* .5 oz Cedilla Acai Berry Liqueur
* 3 lime wedges cut in halves
* .5 oz fresh lime juice
* 1 oz rock candy syrup
Place the lime wedges in a mixing glass and muddle briskly with juice and rock candy syrup, then add cachaca and 1 scoop of ice and shake well. Pour into a double old -fashioned glass (do not strain), add more ice if needed and serve with a float of Cedilla and garnish with an orchid.
Mango Mint Freeze
* 1.5 oz Malibu Rum
* 2 oz Mango Puree
* 1.5 oz Sweet n Sour
* 4 Mint leaves
Add all ingredients to blender with ice and blend thoroughly. Pour into rocks glass and garnish with a dehydrated mango slice and mint sprig.
The Charlie Chan
* 1.5 oz Barsol Pisco (Primero)
* .5 oz Orchid Guava Liqueur
* .5 oz Strawberry Puree
* ½ oz Lime Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice. Serve straight up into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a half strawberry on the rim and kafir lime leaf.
Which drinks will you try this summer?
Source: Drink recipes by firms repping the hotel and liquor