A Recipe CollectionTop Most Requested Summer Drinks

When most people host summer parties, they usually have the basic alcoholic beverages, like beer and wine, but rarely do you see a host offer a selection of really special summer drinks. I have perfected my list of offerings over the years and now I share my "Top 5 Most Requested Summer Drinks" with you (in no particular order). Number One Most Requested Summer Cocktail--Limoncello Mint Lemonade 1/2 cup lemonade concentrate 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice Ice cubes 1/4 cup Limoncello (lemon liqueur) 1/2 cup club soda Lemon slices and mint for garnish In a small pitcher, "muddle" mint leaves together with lemonade concentrate and lemon juice.

Muddle means to bruise the leaves so they release their flavor. I use the end of a wooden spoon. Stir in ice cubes, Limoncello and club soda and pour into 4 glasses. Top them off with a lemon slice, a sprig of fresh mint and an umbrella. Makes 4-10 oz.

drinks. Number Two Most Requested Summer Cocktail--Pomegranate Blueberry Martini Made with 1/2 juice so not as strong as most martinis. 1/2 part vodka 1 part pomegranate mix (I use "Rose" brand) 1 part pomegranate blueberry juice (I use "Tropicana" brand) Orange slices for garnish Shake ingredients with ice for 1 minute in a martini shaker. Pour into some martini glasses and garnish with an orange slice. Crisp and refreshing! Number Three Most Requested Summer Cocktail--Pineapple Bleu 2-oz. Hypnotic Liqueur 1-oz.

Grey Goose Vodka Splash of pineapple juice Lemon twist for garnish Shake together Hypnotic, vodka and ice until chilled. Pour into a martini glass, top with pineapple juice and garnish with a lemon twist and an umbrella. Number Four Most Requested Summer Cocktail--Sangria Punch This one is great for summer barbeques because you can easily make it a pitcher at a time or can serve it from a punch bowl. 1 lemon 1 lime 1 orange 1-1/2 cups rum (spiced rum works well too) 1/2 cup white sugar 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine 1 cup orange juice Chill the fruit, rum, orange juice and wine.

If desired, make ice cubes out of the orange juice. This is a good way to keep drinks icey cold without diluting them. Slice the lemon, lime and orange into thin rounds and place in a large glass pitcher. Pour in the rum and sugar.

Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours to develop the flavors. When ready to serve, crush the fruit lightly with a wooden spoon and stir in the wine and orange juice (cubes if you made them). Adjust sweetness to taste. Number Five Most Requested Summer Cocktail--Fruited Brandy Punch This one has become a favorite at my home and a lot of the parties I attend, most likely because everyone loves it and you can make a huge amount and serve it in a punch bowl.

1/2 part brandy (I use Christian Brothers brand) 1 part lemon-lime soda 2 parts fruit juice (Cranberry-Peach blend is my favorite) 1/2 bag frozen fruit (Blueberries and strawberries look great) 1 fruited ice ring (see recipe below) Slices of lemons, limes and oranges, if desired Mix fruit juice and frozen fruit together in a nice punch bowl or container. Pour in lemon-lime soda, gently stir and then float an ice ring on top (see recipe below). Rather than spike the punch, I serve the brandy on the side so my guests who prefer non-alcoholic punch can drink it too. To make ice ring Pour 1-2 cups of the juice mixture from above into a Bundt pan or another mold. Add some of the fruit and/or fresh citrus slices. Freeze overnight.

Just before serving, set the pan into some hot water to loosen the ice ring and then turn it into the punch bowl. It makes a really beautiful presentation, cools the punch and since it's made with juice, it will not water down the punch. Perfect! This recipe can easily be altered so you can serve it from a Drink Fountain which is really gaining popularity lately.

Just leave out the fruit and the ice ring. So, now you have five classic summer cocktails to WOW your guests with. They will be so surprised when you hand them one of these special summer drinks instead of the usual beer and wine.

For more great party ideas and recipes, Sandee Lembke from Theme Party invites you to visit her site.

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