- 6. Acquire beer in convenient vessels.
7. Acquire ice in convenient quantities.
8. Place beer in convenient bucket.
9. Cover beer in ice.
11. Drink cold beer.
Let's not beat around the bush. This is probably the most solid, go-to, common denominator cold and refreshing summertime beverage around. Simple, solid, no muss and no fuss, so you can concentrate on having fun and having progressively worse judgement as the evening goes along. If ain't broke...
"But SPAMBot, I don't like beer!"
or "SPAMBot, I don't like to get drunk."
Well back in my day, saying things like that would immediately bring one's patriotism, morality, and sexual identity into question. Because I grew up in dark, barbaric times where any deviation from the herd meant you were likely a communist mutant spy and a flag burning traitor, a heretic that secretly worshiped the Cult of Tzeench in your basement while playing with Mega Bloks, killed felines while playing Dungeons and Dragons, and let the forces of Cobra beat G.I. Joe.
Luckily, these days, unlike bowling, there are no rules. However, when it comes to beverages and summertime entertaining, I feel it's best to keep it simple. If I'm grilling or barbecuing, I don't have time to mix cocktails and tend the fire. Doing shit like that starts to border on work. Keep it mellow, my fellow. So that means I usually go with drinks I can make by the pitcher and make beforehand. And it doesn't have to be terribly fancy.
For me, that traditionally means iced sweet tea, and lemonade or cherry limeade by the pitcher for nonalcoholic drinks, or pitchers of Bloody Maries or margaritas for the booze set.
In the summertime, I'm still quite partial to a Pimms and Lemonade. If you don't know what Pimms is, its a liqueur made from gin infused with fruit elements. It's sort of a British Southern Comfort. 1 part Pimms to 2 parts lemonade.
If you want something sort of foo foo and fruity, my family had a cordial punch we would make for big gatherings. It's very easy to make. You just need a couple liters of cold raspberry ginger ale, some raspberry sherbet, and a bag of frozen raspberries. Add a few scoops of sherbet to a punch bowl, pour the ginger ale over the top, then float a few frozen raspberries in it. It creates a pink, chiffon-like foam that is fun for the younger set.
Then for the adults, if you want a variation on this fizzy punch, make some raspberry lemonade with club soda. Then get some pink champagne. Go equal parts lemonade and champagne in a fluted glass, and add a small scoop of raspberry sherbet and a frozen raspberry. Now you've got yourself a refreshing and fizzy fun Raspberry Mimosa.
I have a friend whose wife enjoys margaritas, so they usually make an appearance at our gatherings. We've got a recipe that is great for summertime entertaining because it is so easy. Get a 6 oz can of frozen limeade concentrate. Fill your blender with crushed ice, then add the concentrate. Then add 6 oz Tequila. Yep, you can just fill that empty concentrate can up again. Then add 2 oz of Triple Sec. Now blend it all until smooth. Boom, simple easy pitcher of margaritas.
For Bloody Maries, I don't do anything fancy. I could go into how to hand pour a good Bloody Mary, but honestly, it's hard to beat a bottle of ZingZang. I go half straight V8 juice and half ZingZang. Your tastes may vary. If I'm doing a fancy cook out or barbecue, I go out a little bit on presentation. I rim the glass with hickory salt, then go with a celery stick, a pickle and a couple olives (garlic stuffed or bleu cheese stuffed) on a skewer and then a piece of crispy bacon right in the drink. I like this set up because you not only have a drink, but you've got hors d'oeuvres too. And, the Bloody Mary is traditionally served with a snit (at least up here in WI) so that's an excuse to two fist it! The only thing I will fight you over regarding a Bloody Mary is, I do not want to see any Clamato juice around my drink.
Now I will show off my white trash roots...
Red SPAMBot's Trailer Trash Gimlet
- 1 Bottle Mike's Hard Limeade
1 oz Gin
1 Lime Wedge
It's not summer without drinking irresponsibly. I'm not proud of this one, but what the heck, I'll show my ass. First, drive to a liquor store where no one recognizes you and buy a six pack of Mike's Hard Limeade. Might as well get a bottle of cheap gin while you're there. Return to premises where the embarrassment will ensue. On your way back pick up a lime. Slice the lime into six wedges. A dirty pocketknife is fine for this. Now, twist off the cap of your first bottle, and take a sip. Next, pour a shot of gin right into the bottle. Leave a little space to stuff a lime wedge down into the neck. Now place your thumb over the mouth of the bottle and invert it several times. Shaken, not stirred. James Bond AF! This tastes almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a gimlet. After the fourth one you won't give a shit.