Low Alcohol Cocktails For All Day Summer Drinking
With the sun shining, and patios being the only place you want to be, it is easy to go too big too soon. If you want to make it through the day and into the night without needing a nap inbetween, try these low alcohol cocktails that are perfect for day drinking.
Sherry is ideal for low-proof cocktails, and fino sherry—the palest, driest kind—works particularly well in this light, lemony Collins. Half an ounce of gin adds a bit of an herbal kick without much alcohol. Pick up a bottle of Tio Pepe at your local wine store; it'll only set you back around $16 and has enough for 15-plus of these cocktails.
Instructions: In a shaker with ice, combine half an ounce of London dry gin (like Beefeater or, even better here, Beefeater 24), an ounce and a half of fino sherry (like Tio Pepe), 1/2 an ounce of fresh lemon juice and a 1/4 ounce of simple syrup. Shake that all up together hard, then strain into a tall glass over fresh ice. Top with 2 ounces of club soda and garnish with lemon wheels.
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
This bubbly, sweet-tart cocktail combines sparkling wine, with that sweet dessert wine you've never managed to use as well as deep-red pomegranate juice.
2 oranges, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
3/4 cup late-harvest white wine, such as late-harvest Riesling,
chilled Ice cubes, for serving
Two 750-milliliter bottles sparkling wine, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup diced fresh pineapple (1/2 inch)
1 cup pomegranate juice
In a punch bowl, dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice, stirring vigorously. Add the sparkling wine and late-harvest white wine, then add the orange slices, diced pineapple and pomegranate seeds. Serve the sparkling pomegranate punch over ice cubes.
Bright, refreshing and low in alcohol, the fresh basil is a nice touch. Oh, and it has the most fun cocktail name in history.
1 ounce London dry gin
1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 large basil leaf, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the garnish and shake well. Pour through a fine strainer into a chilled coupe and garnish with the basil leaf.
Chambord Kir Royale
While a Kir is traditionally made with the blackcurrant-based creme de cassis, Chambord is similarly hued and brings similar dark-fruit flavors. A half-ounce gives us just the level of fruit flavor we’re after, but feel free to adjust to your taste.
Instructions: In a champagne flute or coupe, pour in 1/2 an ounce of Chambord and top with 4 ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with a raspberry.
The numerous cranberries in this delicious concoction perfectly complement the hard cider and the Aperol.
1 orange wedge
Three 1-inch pieces crystallized ginger— 2 minced and 1 whole for garnish
2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce Lillet Blanc Ice
4 ounces hard cider
4 dashes Cranberry-Anise Bitters or Peychaud's bitters
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the orange wedge with 10 of the cranberries and the minced ginger. Add the Aperol, Lillet Blanc, bitters and ice. Shake well. Double-strain the drink into an ice-filled Collins glass and top off with the hard cider. Garnish with the 3 remaining cranberries and the slice of ginger skewered on a toothpick.
Damian Windsor's favorite low-alcohol cocktail had been the Shandygaff (citrus soda mixed with lager) until he created a version with fresh ginger juice and a hoppy IPA; it was delicious. Adding a dash of hot sauce made the drink even better.
6 ounces chilled Sprite
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce Simple Syrup
3/4 ounce fresh ginger juice (grated from a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger and pressed through a fine strainer)
Dash of jalapeño hot sauce
12 ounces chilled IPA-style beer
Pinch of sea salt
Fill a chilled pint glass halfway with ice. Add the Sprite, lemon juice, Simple Syrup, ginger juice and hot sauce; stir well. Add enough beer to fill the glass; top with the salt. As you finish the drink, continue to pour in more beer.