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Cold Cocktails for a Hot Summer

During a summer like the one we’re experiencing right now, it seems like the temperatures go from hot to hotter. Combat the 90-degree weather with these cold, colder or coldest cocktails using local spirits and Northwoods Sodas

Cold: Garden Mojito

This drink is incredibly beautiful, with a bright pink ombre in the glass, and garnished with florals up top! A perfect cocktail for entertaining, or just for sitting in your summer garden. 

Ingredients:

To make this mojito, add your herb garden mint to the lilac syrup in a shaker. Muddle the mint to release its oils, and then add 2 ounces of silver rum (I used Grand Traverse Distillery’s bottle), ¾ ounce lime juice, and a half ounce of blackberry concentrate (I purchased mine from Guntzviller’s in Elk Rapids) You can skip the concentrate, but you will lose the color. Shake, and then pour over a fine mesh strainer into a chilled glass with crushed ice. Top with Northwoods “The Kiss” Rhubarb Lavender Soda, and garnish with edible florals and mint. 

*To make lilac syrup, first make a lilac “tea” by soaking the petals in water overnight. Then use equal parts by weight sugar to lilac tea to create a simple syrup. You can substitute with lavender later in the summer.

Colder: Blue Moon Float

Ice cubes not cutting it? Replace them with ice cream! Did you know Blue Moon is a patented mystery flavor, and kind of a Michigan thing? In my opinion, Blue Moon is almond-flavored, where some would think marshmallow. Whatever the mystery flavor is, it’s great with Iron Fish’s raspberry and saskatoon (Razzkatoon) liqueur, and the bite of ginger beer. 

Ingredients:

This float couldn’t be easier to make. Simply add Razzkatoon liqueur to a large glass, and then add a couple scoops of Blue Moon ice cream. Then add your ginger beer and frozen blueberries in turns, until almost spilling over. Give your float a quick swirl with a spoon or straw to distribute the ingredients, and enjoy! 

Coldest: Cucumber Gin Popsicle

For those days when the heat is unbearable, try an adult ice pop! With the cooling flavors of mint and cucumber, these popsicles are a great way to have batched cocktails ready-to-roll in the freezer. 

Ingredients:

To make these popsicles, start by prepping your popsicle mold. Create cucumber ribbons by peeling strips lengthwise from a local cucumber. Then, cut three or four small slots in the middle of your ribbon to weave it on to your popsicle stick. Place one popsicle stick with a cucumber ribbon in each compartment of your popsicle mold. 

Then shake or stir your cucumber mint syrup, lime juice, local gin (I recommend Ethanology’s or Le Cheneaux Distillers), and 2 ounces of Northwoods Mint Lime Soda. Add to your popsicle mold using a funnel, and freeze overnight. If you have trouble releasing the pops, let sit in a lukewarm water bath for 30 seconds to a minute. Enjoy! 

**I made my cucumber mint syrup by steeping some sliced cucumbers and massaged mint leaves (to help release their oils) in an equal parts sugar-to-water simple syrup, and then sending through a fine mesh strainer after an hour or two. 

Enjoy this summer season and stay cool out there!

Claire Butler is the Communications and Outreach Intern for Taste the Local Difference. She is a current culinary student at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute. Contact her at claire@localdifference.org

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