For months, I’ve been thirsty for a taste of summer.
Craving sunshine and warm temperatures I’ve mixed up at home and ordered at bars countless summery concoctions, like the gingery Dark and Stormy and the citrusy Daiquiri. While these drinks provided a momentary bit of tropical escape and relief from the snow and sleet, there is no substitute for the real thing.
Fortunately, today is finally and officially the first day of summer. That means warm temperatures, sunny skies, weekend road trips and a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables perfect for refreshing cocktails. The season is, however, just 93 days long, so to make sure your summer is the best it can possibly be take your drinks game to the next level with these five beverages.
Colectivo’s Burundi Amakuru Coffee ($12.95)
Just because temperatures are rising, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your steaming cup of morning joe. But I would suggest switching to drinking a lighter coffee roast, like Colectivo’s Burundi Amakuru, which just went on sale this week. The beans come from near the Burundi-Rwanda border and are hand-roasted by Colectivo in Milwaukee. They’re full of fruity flavors, perfect for a summer breakfast!
Q Indian Tonic Water ($6 for a 4-pack of 6.7 oz bottles)
The Gin & Tonic is the quintessential summer cocktail enjoyed by countless generations of hot and sweaty drinkers. But not that long ago, if you were making a Gin & Tonic, you pretty much had to use a super-sweet tonic water. Now, just as there are shelves and shelves of different gins from around the world in your liquor store, there’s an equally robust selection of artisanal tonic waters in your grocery store that offer more than just a bitter-sweet note. One of the category leaders is Q Drinks, which just released a new Indian Tonic that was created to be used with juniper-heavy London dry gins. It’s great for refreshing G&Ts.
Alit Rosé Wine ($14 a bottle)
Over the last few years, rosé wine has become a sensation dominating summer wine lists. However, not all rosé wines are created equal or are even produced using the same processes. That’s why I’d suggest you order Alit’s rosé, which is made with traditional methods at the brand’s Oregon vineyard. There are just 200 cases of this rare wine, which is a blend of pinot noir and a bit of viognier. The winery is replacing these particular vines, so this is the last run of this special rosé that will ever be made.
Volcan De Mi Tierra Blanco & Cristalino Tequilas
For me, there are just a few rules for making summer drinks: they need to be refreshing and they need to be cooling, which usually means jumbo ice cubes or crushed ice. I also like to play around with different fresh fruit juices and fresh herbs that are seasonal. The perfect foil for these ingredients is tequila. So, keep an eye out for Volcan De Mi Tierra Tequila, which was just introduced and can be found in select bars and restaurants around the country. Both the brand’s unaged Blanco and barrel-finished Cristalino work well in cocktails.
Slow & Low’s Canned Rock and Rye ($4)
Whether you’re on vacation or enjoying a leisurely summer day, sometimes you just want a cocktail without having to juice fruit, muddle mint or stir countless times. Thankfully, you can now buy 100ml cans of Slow & Low’s signature Rock and Rye. The concoction is a mix of straight rye whiskey, raw honey, navel orange juice, rock candy and bitters—essentially an Old Fashioned. And at 84-proof, it’s no wine cooler! While you might be dubious of a canned cocktail this one is better than many Old-Fashioneds I’ve ordered at bars.