Strawberry Maple Mimosas - ©

Classic Summer Sippers: The Original Recipes…

Yesterday, we looked at some recommendations for non-Alcoholic heat-beaters. As a result, some folks asked that I research and report the original recipes of some famous summer classics. Headlining our cast are universal favourites including the Margarita and Sangria…

Kir Royale © tablespoon.comKir Royal: My favourite Champagne Cocktail.

The Margarita

A classic the world over since the late 1930s (or the early 1940s, depending on whose version of the history you believe), the Margarita is one cocktail any bartender in any drinking establishment anywhere in the world should know how to make. Shake with Ice Cubes or pour over fresh cushed Ice. Goes great with a hot, sunny day, but goes down very smoothly and perhaps too easily. So, remember that multiple Margaritas will sneak up on you.

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz orange-flavored liqueur (Cointreau, Triple Sec or any Orange + Brandy liqueur)
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • salt (to rim the glass)


A traditional Spanish cooler made with Strong Iberian Red (Rioja) Wine and Fruit Juice. That’s all you really need. Pour a bottle of Temporanillo or Granacha over roughly the same volume of chunked Fresh Fruit (usually Citrus native to Spain and Portugal). Modern recipes, jigged to suit the higher-Alcohol preferences of latter day Cocktail lovers, usually mention a dash of Brandy or Orange+Brandy Liqueur. Stir all ingredients together in a large, tall pitcher, and allow to sit covered in the fridge for at least 4 hours – overnight is better.

  • Fruit (see above)
  • Orange Juice
  • A liquor (see above)
  • Bold, fruity, dry Spanish Red Wine
  • Ice (if desired)

The Mimosa

The basic Mimosa recipe could not be simpler. It’s really just a few oz. of Fresh Orange Juice in a Champagne Flute topped up with Champagne (optimal proportions: 1 to 1). Make sure both components are ice cold. Try subbing the Orange Juice our and replacing it with Strawberry, Peach or Apricot Syrup.

The Champagne Cocktail

Check out my previous post on Champagne Cocktails and their derivatives. Mine is Kir Royal (see photo, above).

The Mint Julep

This Bourbon-based sipper is traditionally associated with the Southeastern United States and calls for only four ingredients: fresh Mint Leaves, Bourbon, Simple Syrup, and Crushed Ice.

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 Bunch of Fresh Mint (Spearmint is traditional)
  • Crushed ice
  • Straight Bourbon Whisky

Place the Sugar and Water in a small sauce pan and heat until the Sugar is dissolved, creating a Simple Syrup. Pour the Syrup over 8 sprigs of Mint (withholding a few choice sprigs for garnishing) in a large, tall pitcher. Mush the Mint into the Syrup to release its aromatic Oils. The official term is ‘Muddling’, if you want to Google it. Allow the mixture to sit tightly covered in the fridge overnight.

Mix one cocktail at a time just before serving, filling an 8 oz. / 235 ml glass about 3/4 of the way with Crushed Ice and pouring over the Ice 1 tbsp. Mint Syrup followed by two oz. / 60 ml Bourbon, garnish with one spring of Mint, and stir gently, sipping as the ice melts, blending with the Syrup and Whisky.

And the Mojito…

… Is a Cuban tipple that is pretty similar to the Mint Julep, but made with Rum, rather than Bourbon.

And that’s the low own on the all-time favourite tall drinks of summer!

~ Maggie J.