Summer Drinks

Just in the nick of time for my American friends celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, some boozy delights for entertaining.

This first one is a syrup that you can decide the quantities of depending on how much you need.

Blackberry Peach Sage Syrup

Start with simple syrup – 50% sugar, 50% water – boil water, add the sugar and once it dissolve throw in a handful of fresh sage leaves, blackberries, and peeled/pitted/chopped peaches, simmered it until the syrup is nice and fragrant of sage. Roughly 30 minutes. Then remove the sage leaves, put the whole thing in a blender and puree it. Strain through a fine mesh sieve (to remove the blackberry seeds) into a jar. Now you’re left with a delicious thick syrup that you can add to drinks – here are some ideas:

  • Put 2 oz of syrup and 2 oz gin or Art in the Age Sage* in a glass, top with seltzer and stir. (pictured below) You can also make a pitcher of this to serve easily.
  • Add a splash to champagne or prosecco for a fancy Bellini
  • 1/2 oz of syrup + 1/2 oz of lemon juice + 2 oz of bourbon, shake with ice and strain over one big ice cube
  • 1 cup of ice + 2 oz of syrup + 2oz booze (vodka, gin, bourbon would all be great) in a blender for an alcoholic slushy
  • Add a splash to seltzer, lemonade, or iced tea (or half lemonade half iced tea!) for non-alcoholic drinks

The Perfect Margarita
I learned this at Camp from the good dudes at Proprietors. (I still need to tell you about camp, I know.) It may be a no-brainer for some but I’d never made one this way before – I always buy triple sec and have a giant bottle that never seems to end and lends to a too-sweet drink sometimes.

1/2 oz agave syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz silver tequila (my very favorite is Milagro)

Place ingredients in a shaker, then fill with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with a large ice cube.

Bottoms up! Side note: I highly recommend getting an ice cube tray for large ice cubes as it dilutes your drink slower and makes for a really easy nice presentation. I love the look of the big round ones, but they’re a pain in the butt to make and get out of the trays, so I like the big square or rectangle ones better, like these.

*I had the pleasure of trying this recently and highly recommend it, especially for gin lovers as it is reminiscent of a more herbal-y gin-like spirit. Art In The Age wins again!


  1. says

    I recently was invited to attend a cocktail training class for aspiring young bartenders (of which I am only in dreams) and the dude leading the workshop went on for a minute about the history of the cocktail, and how before we had true cocktails, like Manhattans and things with vermouth and whatnot, there was punch. And the basic fundamental of punch was balancing the flavors of sweet, sour, strong and weak. It was in that moment that I realized I don’t really like cocktails, and am TOTALLY a punch girl.

    Anyway, all of that to say that while I haven’t made them at home yet, straight up margaritas with super simple ingredients are definitely my favorite way to enjoy tequila (or any booze, really! Try gin or aquavit with simple syrup and lemon, topped with champagne — it’s my go-to drink that packs a *ah hem* punch :). Also, if you haven’t infused your own vodka yet you simply must, especially if you’re a gin fan!

    I’m gonna try these recipes out at home as soon as I can peel my sweaty butt from this chair and walk to the liquor store. Thanks Kate!!

    • says

      I am so knee-deep in punch recipes for our wedding right now (because the bar will be self-serve) it’s ALL I THINK ABOUT. Did you learn any good punch recipes or did he just talk about the idea?

      As for cocktails I am such a fan of the three ingredient booze/sweet/sour mix. My favorite that I talk about all the time is maple syrup/lemon juice/whiskey. I could live off of that drink if it wouldn’t, you know, kill me.

      • says

        Hah! We did sample a handful of drinks the lead bartender made for us to pass around, but I was there to photograph the class for the distillery so I didn’t take any actual notes. :( The one drink that stood out to me was a take on a gimlet, but with fresh lime juice and muddled basil. So good!

        Also, from personal raw experimentation I’m yet to find someone that doesn’t like an Aquavit daiquiri — so much depth of flavor with so few ingredients! Another sipper we like making that is real easy on the wallet is Aviation gin with Fentimans Rose Lemonade. It practically screams summer time! :)

  2. says

    Dude! you need to talk to nick about wedding drinks! Ours were so so good. In other notes, can we please make these together soon? They all look beyond amazing!

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