If you’re looking for something refreshing to sip on a lazy weekend afternoon or for a relaxing meal, look no further! There are dozens of excellent, tried-and-true drinks out there that you can try, but the following five are among the best.
Typically prepared with white rum, lime, soda water, mint and some sugar (or sugar cane juice), the mojito is the epitome of refreshment in a drink. The carbonation gives it a satisfying mouthfeel, and the mint and lime give it a refreshing taste. If you’re eating, try pairing your mojito with some ceviche, fish tacos or other seafood. It also goes well with a hot pea soup.
Long Island Iced Tea
A long island iced tea is a great option for having a meal with friends. One of the more complex cocktail recipes out there, this drink incorporates tequila, vodka, triple sec, gin, rum and cola. This drink is served on the rocks and is usually garnished with a lemon slice. On that note, try adding a spritz of lemon to your long island iced tea to add some brightness to its flavor. Because of the high alcohol content in it, it’s a good idea to pair it with something hearty like a cheeseburger.
Traditionally made with coconut milk (or cream of coconut), rum and pineapple juice, a piña colada will make you feel like you’re sitting on the beach with the wind in your hair. Try it blended for more of a smoothie consistency, or you can always just make it shaken with ice. The sweetness of this drink gives it an indulgent flavor, but the brightness of the pineapple’s flavor helps lift it and give it just enough lightness.
If you’re outside on a hot day, there’s nothing like putting a spin on classic lemonade by adding some vodka to it. You can also make hard lemonade by boiling down lemon zest, water and sugar to a sweet syrup and then mixing it with lemon juice and vodka and adding water as needed. You can always try adding some cranberry or pomegranate juice to your lemonade as well for an extra twist of flavor!
This Spanish cocktail is a mixture of red wine, brandy and lots of other fruity goodness. (If there’s no brandy in your pantry, orange liqueur will also work.) Usually, the wine and spirits are poured into chopped-up fruit (such as apples and oranges) and left for at least an hour or more to allow all of the flavor to develop. You can also add sweetener, such as simple syrup or pure cane sugar, if you prefer a sweeter sangria, and add sparkling water if desired. Sangria is a great drink for the summertime, and seafood dishes such as crab and lobster will pair nicely with it. It’s also delightful simply to enjoy it on its own.
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple and just grabbing an ice-cold beer of your choice to relax with. If you’re snacking on something light, try sipping on a blonde ale or another light beer. If you’re having a richer and heavier meal, an imperial IPA or something similar will be a good option for you. Experimenting with pairings like these will help enhance even the humblest of beers. And if you want it extra cold, try putting it in the freezer for five to ten minutes before enjoying it!
Whether you’re enjoying some alone time at home or spending time out with family and friends, any of these five beverages can make your free afternoon even better than it already was.
Also, there are lots of family and kid friendly winery options.