Watermelon Daiquiri by Nigella Lawson
Frozen assets: On a hot summer day, nothing hits the spot like a frozen drink straight out of the blender, and this recipe uses frozen watermelon for a fresh take on the traditional daiquiri. When it's truly sweltering out, use frosted glasses to bring your temperature down another few degrees: chill glasses in the freezer or buried in ice for 30 minutes to an hour.
Mango Sour by Susan Waggoner
Garnish the moment: A fitting garnish makes the difference between a drink and a presentation. For cocktails that don't include any dairy, citrus garnishes like a wedge of lemon or lime or a spiral of orange peel are a good bet, while fruit garnishes that complement the primary ingredients of the beverage are also common. A "wheel" garnish is made simply by slicing a fruit widthwise, creating circles about one-quarter inch thick. "Wedges" are created by slicing the fruit in half, then slicing each half lengthwise twice (you'll end up with eight wedges). Wedges and spirals can be coated in fine sugar for an extra-sweet touch. The "spear" garnish that this recipe calls for can be made by pushing a toothpick or cocktail spear through a piece of mango and propping it in the finished drink.
Thai Basil and Lime Kamikaze by Tom Douglas
Time of the season: In mixology as in cooking, fresh seasonal ingredients can boost the quality of your final product. Strawberries, bananas, melons, peaches, plums, mint and basil are all seasonal produce that star in summertime drink specials. In the case of this rejuvenating tonic, you can keep the libation local by growing basil in your own backyard or windowsill.
Sangria by Sharon Tyler Herbst
Party punch: The perfect upscale but inexpensive summertime drink for a group, red or white sangria combines wine (no need to shell out for the good stuff here!) with fruit and fruit juice, a sweetener such as sugar or simple syrup, an added spirit such as brandy, and sparkling water. This recipe can be easily modified to reduce the sugar content or include different fruit combinations.
Banana Rum Frappe by Nick Mautone
Pleasing a crowd: Once you've mastered some basic tips and tricks, an outdoor party is the perfect opportunity to try out some new summertime cocktails in larger batches for a group. Whether it's for Father's Day, a graduation party or a barbecue, this recipe serves 15 and utilizes some of your new techniques. Rum is infused with banana and vanilla, and glasses are rimmed with a festive blend of sugar and shredded coconut. Dried pineapple slices or banana chips and shredded coconut make a celebratory tropical-inspired garnish.