Shake It Up With These Ice-Cold Cocktails Perfect For The Hot, Summer Months
Summer is slowly creeping up on us in Manila, and truth be told, all I want to do is to laze around by the side of the pool with an ice-cold cocktail in my hand.
While it’s all too easy to make a pitcher of sangria or a couple of glasses of mimosa, I decided to get creative and collaborate with award-winning mixologist Kath Eckstein of Dulo MNL in Poblacion to come up with a list of refreshing summer cocktails that are simple to do at home.
Little Grass Skirt
I love the way that the name already evokes a summer vibe. It’s a great use of our Filipino lime, the calamansi.
- 1 1/2 oz Tito’s Gluten Free Vodka
- 1 oz calamansi juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- a dash of apple cider vinegar
- a dash of sesame oil
- slivers of cucumber, cut vertically
1. Muddle a few slivers of cucumber in a rock glass. Wrap a sliver of cucumber around the inside of the glass. Put a few ice cubes in the glass.
2. Place the rest of the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake.
3. Strain the mix into the glass. Garnish with a cucumber rose made by twisting a sliver of cucumber into the shape of a rose and fixing it with a toothpick.
Pro Tip: Simple syrup is made by mixing one part sugar with one part hot water then stirring it until all the sugar melts. Make sure it’s cool before using. It also keeps, so it’s a great idea to store some in the refrigerator for future cocktail experiments.
Whisky Lychee Cooler
Some people may scoff at the use of this entry-level Johnnie Walker variant, but when used properly (like in this cocktail), it’s actually a pretty good mixer.
- 1 1/4 oz Johnnie Walker Red Label whisky
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 3 bar spoons (or teaspoons) lychee juice
- soda water
- 1 piece lychee
1. Build the cocktail by mixing whisky, lemon juice, simple syrup, and lychee juice in a rock glass with a few cubes of ice. Stir, then top up with soda water.
2. Garnish with a piece of lychee suspended on a toothpick.
Pro Tip: For stirred drinks like these, it’s a pretty good idea to invest in a bar spoon. They’re relatively inexpensive and available in department stores, and gorgeous ones are also available at Gourdo’s or through Bevtools (add links please).
Peach Soju Daiquiri
I confess that I’m in love with the flavors of peach in a Korean soju, and the notion of including it in a cocktail excited me. As Kath explains it, the best cocktails are always a complementary balance of taste profiles. This cocktail is a great example of that principle—there’s a fantastic counterbalance between the sweet, rounded aromas of peaches and the tart notes of the lemon juice.
- 1 1/2 oz Bacardi Superior Carta Blanca rum
- 1 oz peach Momo-Shu flavored soju (available at Ralph’s, but we’ve also seen it in some Family Mart branches and Cash and Carry Makati)
- 2/3 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- lemon slice
1. Put the rum, soju, lemon juice, and simple syrup together in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake.
2. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass (or a glass used for a margarita or a martini would do). Garnish by placing a lemon on top of the cocktail, letting it float.
Gail Sotelo has a WSET Advanced Certificate in Wines and Spirits. She is a wine consultant, blogger, and lecturer. She owns the drink blog 2shotsandapint.com which aims to make wine and other drinks accessible to everybody, and holds classes at Enderun Colleges.