Fresh berries and citrus are in season all summer long, and how better to enjoy them than mixed into a delicious cocktail? Whether you’re cooking out on the grill or enjoying delivery from one of the restaurants nearby, one of these easy beverage recipes will pair beautifully with any dish.
Berry Basil Sangria
Gather fresh basil and whatever selection of berries you love: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and quartered strawberries are delightful. Rinse the berries and basil before preparing your drink. In a gallon pitcher, lightly muddle half of your basil leaves, the berries, a few spoonfuls of sugar, and the zest and juice of two limes until the berries are slightly crushed.
Pack with the rest of your berries and basil and fill the pitcher half-full of ice. Add one bottle of sparkling rosé, 2 cups of vodka or clear rum, and top it off with club soda or a lemon-lime soda. Enjoy!
A Moscow mule is simple enough to make for even a beginner cocktail enthusiast. In a copper mug (a rocks glass is fine if you don’t have a copper mug), squeeze half a lime, then drop the lime into the cup. Pack with ice, then top with 1½ to 2 ounces of vodka. Top it off with a cold ginger beer (it’s similar to ginger ale, but spicier, with natural ginger flavor).
Traditional garnishes for a Moscow mule include a cocktail straw, fresh lime wedge, and a sprig of mint.
An old-fashioned is the most classic of the classics. It’s a personal favorite of whiskey lovers and noobies alike—and it pairs well with barbecue, grilled fish, or even your pickup order after you have searched for “Italian near me” on your phone.
Pack your rocks glass with some ice and a ribbon of orange peel and stash it in the freezer. Grab your cocktail shaker and spoon and combine 1½ to 2 ounces of good bourbon whiskey with ½ teaspoon of sugar and a few dashes of Angostura or orange bitters. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add ice to the shaker and stir 6-7 times to chill the beverage without watering it down. Remove your glass from your freezer and immediately strain your cocktail into the glass. Enjoy your first old-fashioned while preparing your second—because the first will disappear quickly.
The bane of many professional bartenders, mojitos are challenging to make because you must muddle mint in the glass to start the drink. It’s so delicious, though. Who wouldn’t believe it’s worth the effort?
In a double rocks glass with a wide base, add 4-6 mint leaves, a teaspoon of sugar, and the juice of half a lime. Using a muddler, grind the sugar across the mint leaves to rip and tear the leaves and mash them together until they look like soggy, shredded tissue paper. Add 1½ to 2 ounces of clear or light rum, then top it off with club soda. Garnish with more mint and a lime wedge.
If you want a sweeter mojito, swap the club soda for a lemon-lime soda or add some kick with a tasty ginger beer.
A whiskey smash is another muddler. In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2-3 lemon wedges (fruit and rind) with 4-6 mint leaves and a teaspoon of sugar. Top with 2 ounces of bourbon, whiskey, or rye, and ice to chill. Stir a few times, then strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and a lemon round.
You need to muddle the whole lemon because the fruit will release the juice, but the skin harbors the essential oils. The best cocktail will include the oils from the rinds.
This is why an old-fashioned uses just the peel and not the fruit. For an old-fashioned, fans want just the essence of the orange, not the acidity of the juice. By contrast, a whiskey smash is in the whiskey sour family and relies on the tartness of the lemon juice as well.
Tequila Sunrise or Rum Sunset
Mix 1½ cups of orange juice with either tequila or rum. Pour over ice into a short glass with straight or flared sides. Carefully spoon grenadine down the side of the glass to settle at the bottom to create a “sunrise” in your glass. Though it is traditionally garnished with a lime wedge, some fans prefer a mint garnish to balance with the citrus.
You can make grenadine at home by reducing pomegranate juice with a tablespoon of sugar. The color will be even more stunning in your Instagram photos than the store-bought stuff.
Where to Get a Cocktail When the Back Yard Gets Rained Out
In Mooresville, NC, summers can be wet and put a damper on your backyard cookout. Before searching for “seafood near me” online, know that you can get all your favorite cocktails, burgers, Italian food, and seafood at Eddie’s on Lake Norman at 643 Williamson Road in Mooresville.
Ann-Margaret Wagner, the former owner of The Muscoot Tavern in Westchester County, New York, brings her Italian restaurant and bar-and-grille expertise to Eddie’s on Lake Norman. Don’t miss out on pasta, raw bar seafood, steaks, and an assortment of delicious cocktails at Eddie’s on Lake Norman in Mooresville. For more information, call us at (704) 799-2090.
About Eddie’s on Lake Norman
Ann-Margaret Wagner brings her hospitality and restaurant expertise from New York to the shores of Lake Norman with Eddie’s on Lake Norman. Ann-Margaret is the former owner of a successful restaurant in Westchester County, New York, called The Muscoot Tavern, an iconic “Cheers-like” bar and grille. After visiting Lake Norman, she fell in love with the area, saw potential in the restaurant, and decided to make North Carolina her new home with her daughter Lacy.
After purchasing the business, which was previously Vinnie’s Sardine Grille and Raw Bar, she completely renovated the entire space, sold the other restaurant, and moved south. The kitchen is filled with all new appliances, while the bar, dining room, and back patio were all touched up to create a clean, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Whether in North Carolina, New York, or anywhere else, Ann-Margaret’s mission is always to provide the freshest seafood, prime meats, produce, pasta, and bread for every meal.
“I hope you enjoy eating our delicious cooking as much as we love making it for you!” Ann-Margaret
If you would like to book an event at Eddie’s on Lake Norman, we require a $250 refundable deposit that can be applied to your bill and or credit card used for a deposit. We charge a $50 Event Fee and 25% gratuity, plus tax. For more information, call us at 704-799-2090.
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