One of my favorite things is to ask people about their own personal favorite foods and drinks. So I decided to poll friends all over the country about their favorite Summer Drinks, or Dranks as we call em’ if they are in Big Gulps. Well, unfortunately for summer drinks(ing), the older we get, the more we have to do (not referring to drinking of course, but real stuff), tomorrow! BUT it’s summer time and we all need to kick back a bit and as my friend Ryan would say, “What do you have to do tomorrow?”
When we were out to dinner recently, a friend asked me, “So do you ever order anything without asking the server a question about their favorite?” Well, no, I typically like to find out the house specialties, it backfires occasionally and more often than not, lands me a great meal or something I wouldn’t have normally tried. It is the same thing for traveling to new territories and finding the good spots to eat. You have to talk to people. It’s part of the adventure of travel and food too. I learned that one from my Dad, so I guess I’m proud of talkin’ to peeps about their favorites!
Here, we are talking (or emailing) our way to the best summer drink favorites, thanks guys!
Favorite Summer Drinks, From East to the West:
Ryan, New Hampshire
- Smuttynose IPA is ridiculously crisp and nicely hopped it goes well with steak, burgers, hot dogs, cereal, strawberries and of course more beer. They are like Lay’s potato chips, no one can have just one. They are the local Portsmouth NH brewery who are making amazing award winning beers. A staple in any NH home.
- Wolfer Estate, Long Island, NY Rose Table Wine 2010 @ Lodge in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY – I really enjoy their crispness and bright fruit characteristics.
- Vis Gris de Cigare, Bonny Doon- Light, crisp and refreshing with tons of summer fruit. And of course, who could go wrong with this bottle!
- Victory-Summer Love Ale - A crisp and clean one from Pennsylvania
- Bell’s-Oberon Wheat Ale - from Michigan
- Brooklyn-Summer Ale - “Light Dinner Ale”, from Brooklyn (they have a great website!)
Kirk & Suzy, Texas
- Kongsgaard Chardonnay is refreshing and tasty though some may be offended by the “oakiness”….and the price.
- Houston Summer Lunch @ Gravitas Restaurant we have here sometimes on Tuesdays which is fried chicken (the best I’ve had anywhere and only on Tues.) with Blanches de Bruxells beer (preferably on tap).
Sangria from Cook’s Illustrated with Kelly’s Suggestions
- 2 oranges, washed and sliced
- 1 lemon, washed and sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup triple sec
- 1 bottle, chilled red table wine (Kelly suggests Spanish table wine – Recipe suggest Merlot)
- +Add apples (I know they probably don’t add much flavor but I like how they absorb the wine and make a yummy snack at the end)
Let your Sangria sit for 1 day for best results (at least two hours). Use juicy fruit.
Strawberry Basil Vodka Lemonade
Makes 2 quarts – 8 Servings
- 3 cups of strawberries (approx. 1.5 cup of blended strawberries in Food Processor)
- 3 cups of lemonade (use 2 cups of Countrytime Lemonade to start the base + 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice)
- Basil Leaves
- 1 cup of Vodka (How to make your own Strawberry Vodka in Mason Jars)
Squeeze a cup of lemon juice and mix well with Countrytime lemonade mixture or your own lemonade concoction. Add 1 cup of Strawberry or Citrus flavored Smirnoff Vodka, strawberry-mash blend.
- Muns Rose of Pinot from Santa Cruz Mountains - Nothing better on a Summer evening than dinner at Restaurant James Randall in Los Gatos, CA with a glass of Muns Rose of Pinot.
- Silver Mountain’s Rose of Pinot from Santa Cruz Mountains
- Paulaner Weissbier or Hefe-Weisse
- Franziskaner/Spaten Weissbier or Hefe-Weisse -These are two of my favorites. I equally like both the ‘weissbier’ and the ‘hefe-weisse from these two brewers. Weissbier has the suspended yeast filtered out and hefe-weiss (usually cloudy) is unfiltered. In Germany the hefe-weisse beers have a lot of sediment which is full of B vitimins. Hence, the common reference to the beer in Germany as food.
- Summer Wine Spritzer – In a glass pour 2/3 white wine, 1/3 Sparkling Lemonade + 1 raspberry per glass