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Summer Cocktail Pairings

Summer Cocktail Pairings

Ahh summertime, the season of getting out and getting down! Whether you’re heading to a pool party, a day by the lake, or throwing a bash at your place, odds are there’s going to be food – and not just any food, but fancy summer favorites. And while we typically think beer or wine when the grill is fired up, a refreshing cocktail may be just what you need to set your summer fun apart from the masses.

From delightful pairings to grilled ingredients and frozen poptails, we’ve got you covered for summer fun like sunscreen at the beach!

Limoncello Raspberry Prosecco Cooler & Bacon Wrapped Pears With Horseradish Cheddar

Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (750ml) bottle Prosecco, chilled
  • 4 oz. Limoncello liqueur, chilled
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • About 8 sprigs fresh mint

Directions

  1. Chill four wine/cocktail glasses in the freezer or refrigerator. Place raspberries on a plate and freeze.
  2. Remove chilled glasses, add limoncello (1 oz. each), and top off with Prosecco. Add raspberries and mint leaves.

Food Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 slices bacon
  • 3 small to medium ripe pears
  • About 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • About 2 oz. Horseradish Cheddar
  • Wooden toothpicks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Line baking sheet with sides with foil. Place bacon slices in single layer on sheet. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, watching carefully toward end, or until bacon is cooked but still very pliable, not crisp.
  3. Cut each pear into about 8 wedges, removing any center core or seeds. Brush cut sides with lemon juice.
  4. Make shavings of cheddar with vegetable peeler and drape some over each pear wedge.
  5. While still hot, cut each cooked bacon slice in half and wrap around pear and cheese, holding in place with toothpick. Serve at room temperature.

Raspberry Lemonade Cocktail & Pimento Cheese

Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Raspberry Pucker Vodka
  • 2 oz. club soda
  • 1½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp. grenadine
  • Ice
  • lemon wedge and raspberry for garnish

Directions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add vodka, lemon juice and grenadine to shaker, shake to combine. 
  3. Pour soda into a short glass and strain vodka mixture into soda. 
  4. Garnish with lemon and raspberry cocktail martini pick. 
  5. Swirl pick in drink and serve!

Food Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 4 oz. Cabot Sharp Lite50 Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp. Cabot Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 (4 oz.) jar chopped pimentos, chopped
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

(Or, you could just pick some pimento up at Spec’s!)

GRILLED COCKTAILS

Sometimes you don’t need a food pairing if your cocktail is based on grilled food! So, while you’ve got the grill fired up, try throwing a couple of these beverage ingredients on there and adding some smoke to your drinks?

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. mezcal
  • 1 oz. silver tequila
  • 1 pineapple round
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • ½ oz. pineapple juice
  • ¾ oz. agave syrup
  • 1 lime wheel, for garnish

Directions

  1. Over a medium-heat, grill pineapple, turning once, until seared on both sides, 1-2 minutes. Cut pineapple into 4 chunks and set aside.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together lime juice, pineapple juice, agave, and 3 chunks grilled pineapple. Add mezcal, tequila, and ice; shake well. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with remaining grilled pineapple chunk and a lime wheel.

Seared Apricot-Ginger Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1 apricot, pitted and sliced into 4 1-inch wedges
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • 1½ oz. bourbon
  • 3 oz. ginger beer
  • 3 thin apricot slices

Directions

  1. Over a medium-heat, grill apricots, turning once, until seared on both sides, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle grilled apricot slices with lemon juice. Add the whiskey and ice; shake briefly. Strain into a Collins glass over ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with apricot slices.

Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. vodka
  • 7 lemons, 6 cut in half, 1 cut into wheels
  • 6 limes, 5 cut in half, 1 cut into wheels
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 12 oz. cold water

Directions

  1. Place 6 halved lemons and 6 halves limes flesh-side-down on a medium-heat grill and cook until lightly charred in spots, 30 to 60 seconds. (At this time, you could also grill the lemon and lime wheels, about 20 seconds per side.) Juice lemons and limes to yield 4 oz. each of charred lemon and charred lime juice.
  2. Make toasted simple syrup: Add sugar to a medium sauté pan over medium heat and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Add 12cup of water, return pan to medium heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil or simmer. Set syrup aside to cool; it will keep for months in the refrigerator.
  3. In a pitcher, combine charred lemon juice, charred lime juice, toasted simple syrup, water, vodka, and ice. Stir until incorporated and serve in Collins glasses over ice. Garnish with lemon and lime wheels.

Smoky Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. gin
  • ½ oz. grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz. tonic
  • 2 oz. soda
  • 1 half-wheel slice of pink grapefruit
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1.  Place grapefruit on medium-heat grill and cook, turning once, until lightly charred, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. To an ice-filled rocks glass, add gin and grapefruit juice. Top with tonic and soda, and garnish with grilled grapefruit slice sprinkled with sea salt.

ADULT POPSICLES

Sometimes the you don’t need anything but the heat to enjoy one of these adult popsicles!

Mango Margarita Boozesicles

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. tequila
  • 1 tbsp. triple sec liqueur
  • 2½ cups fresh cubed mango
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional depending on mango sweetness level)

Directions

  1. In a blender add all ingredients and puree till smooth.
  2. Add to popsicle molds or waxed paper cup (small Dixie cups work well) and add in wooden ice pop sticks. The mixture is thick so they should stay place in the middle. If they don’t you can put a small piece of foil over the cup and put the stick through the foil into the boozesicle. The foil will hold the stick in place.
  3. Add to freezer and freeze overnight or at least 4-6 hours until hard.

Gin Bramble Ice Pop

Ingredients

  • ½ cup gin
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1½ cups blackberries

Directions

  1. Blend the first four ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour equal an equal amount into popsicle molds.
  3. Top with equal parts of gin.
  4. Insert sticks and freeze until solid.

Makes 6 to 8 ice pops, depending on the mold.

Kiwi Martini Poptail

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup citrus vodka
  • 2 cups kiwi, peeled and chopped (about 8 kiwis)
  • ¼ cup simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice

Directions

  1. Place the ice and kiwi in a blender and blend until well chopped.
  2. Add syrup and vodka and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour equal amounts into the pop mold.
  4. Insert sticks and freeze until solid.

Makes 6 to 8 ice pops, depending on the mold.

Lemon Drop Cream Poptail

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup vodka
  • 1¾ cup lemon drop martini mixer
  • 1½ tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Fill the pop molds with equal amounts of the mix.
  3. Insert sticks and freeze until solid.

Makes 6 to 8 ice pops, depending on the mold.

Enjoy the upcoming summer months! For more outstanding beer picks, be sure to ask the brew experts at your nearest Spec’s, Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods.

Cheers!

Spec's

Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.

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