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Citrus Drinks of Summer

Jack Bettridge
From the Print Edition:
Joe Mantegna, July/August 2011

It’s summertime and the drinking is zesty when you mix with citrus. We shook up a tray full of hot-weather bracers, pairing spirits with the fresh juice of lime, lemons, oranges and grapefruits. Be cool!

MOJITO This seemingly schizophrenic libation—a Mint Julep crossed with a Daiquiri and crowned with fizz—was born to take the heat off sweltering Havanans. Muddle four to 12 mint leaves with the juice of a lime and a dash of bitters in the bottom of a highball or Collins glass. Add crushed ice and 2 oz. rum (most recipes call for light rum, but darker and even spiced versions are interesting). Fill with seltzer, stir and garnish with mint.

TEQUILA SUNRISE Named for its visual impact—not the time of day you should drink it—the Tequila Sunrise is the stunner in this crowd. Pack a highball or Collins glass with ice and add 1 1/2 oz. tequila. Fill with orange juice to within a half inch of the rim and pour 1/2 oz. Grenadine over the top. The red syrup will sink to the bottom, creating the effect of rosy dawn. Resist the temptation to stir. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

WHISKEY SOUR Those who avoid whiskey after Memorial Day have forgotten the charms of the Whiskey Sour. Canadian is the standard base spirit, but you can start with rye, Bourbon, Irish and even Scotch. Combine 2 oz. whiskey with 1 oz. lemon juice and 1 tbsp. simple syrup and shake with ice. Serve in a chilled sour glass with cherry and orange slice. Add soda and you can call it a Fizz.

SILVER FIZZ If simple is the standard—2 oz. gin, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 tsp. powdered sugar, 1 egg white, seltzer water—this one’s easy. But be prepared for a workout. Put all but the seltzer in a shaker with ice. Shake, shake and shake some more. Shake until your arms are weary. Shake some more. Strain the frothy mixture over ice in a highball or Collins glass and top with seltzer. Squeamish about raw eggs? Leave them out and you needn’t shake so hard. Replace the gin with sloe gin for a Sloe Gin Fizz. Go complex—by adding lime juice, cream and orange flower water—and you have the Ramos Fizz.

GREYHOUND We don’t usually recommend bus tours, but this highball with vodka and grapefruit isn’t a bumpy ride at all. Pack a highball glass with ice, add 2 oz. vodka and fill with grapefruit juice. With a salt rim and gin substituted for vodka, it becomes a Salty Dog, but no one will fault you for priming that Dog with vodka.

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