7 Sip-Worthy Cocktails and Mocktails to Savor this Summer

7 Sip-Worthy Cocktails and Mocktails to Savor this Summer

Great Summer Drinks from around the U.S.

It’s August! You know what that means: summer is almost over. And with heatwaves, wildfires, floods, and an ongoing global pandemic, many of our vacations turned into staycations. But just because summer travel didn’t turn out as planned doesn’t mean we can’t visit new places virtually. Don’t Zoom your travel agent — check out this curated collection of cocktail recipes and create a vacation experience that transforms your patio into a cross-country tour.

Nothing says out of the office and off on an adventure like a good cocktail. Whether you like your potables potent or non-alcoholic, there’s something about a shaken-not-stirred concoction poured over ice that signals fun. But before you raise a glass, make sure it’s the right one — stock your bar cart with glassware the pros use.

  • The Coupe Glass: A stemmed glass with a broad, shallow bowl. Versatile enough for a variety of drinks, the coupe was made specifically for enjoying champagne.
  • The Martini Glass: A glass with a V-shaped bowl. Its conical shape helps gin — the main ingredient in classic martinis — release its bouquet.
  • The Rocks Glass: A short tumbler that comes in single and double sizes.
  • The Highball and Collins Glasses: Both glasses are tall and skinny, but the Collins glass holds more.
  • The Nick and Nora Glass: Named for characters in the movie “The Thin Man,” this glass falls between coupe and wine glasses in size.
  • The Margarita Glass: A cousin of the coupe, this glass usually has a two-tiered bowl.
  • The Shot Glass: Originally designed to measure liquor, this glass is for drinking 1.5 ounces of alcohol very quickly.

Of course, you don’t need all of these; you can have a good time with a red Solo® cup. But embracing the ritual of preparing a drink is part of what makes this an adventure. Now let’s explore this great land of ours, cocktail by cocktail.

Chatham Artillery Punch

Chatham Artillery Punch gets the party started in the coastal city of Savannah, Georgia. Just like Savannah, this drink is full of history. Legend has it the drink was offered to George Washington upon his arrival in the city, but it’s more likely the libation was created to honor a military regiment based in Savannah.


  • 12 lemons
  • 2 cups light, raw sugar
  • 750-milliliter bottle cognac
  • 750-milliliter bottle bourbon
  • 750-milliliter bottle Jamaican rum
  • 3 750-milliliter bottles champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
  • 5-pound bag cracked ice

  1. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel the lemons, being careful to remove only the yellow peel and not the bitter white pith.
  2. Place the peels in a bowl, add the sugar and muddle to combine. Set aside for at least half an hour, preferably an hour, to let the flavors combine.
  3. While the lemon peel is resting, juice the lemons to make two cups lemon juice. After the lemon peel has rested, add lemon juice to the bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Strain the mixture into an empty 750mL bottle.
  4. Add water to the bottle to fill, seal it, give it a little shake and refrigerate this shrub until you're ready to make your punch.
  5. To serve, fill your large (2.5 gallon) punch bowl with cracked ice.
  6. Pour the shrub and all of the bottles of cognac, bourbon, rum and sparkling wine onto the ice. Stir to combine. Serve.

source:  Punch by David Wondrich

Enjoy this cocktail while you steep yourself in all things Savannah — try reading John Berendt’s Savannah-set best-seller, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and put on Savannah-born saxophonist James Moody’s classic jazz album, Moody’s Mood for Love.

The Yellowhammer

Next stop? Tuscaloosa, Alabama. If you just shouted, “Roll Tide!” then you know why we’re here. Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide, is a football town, and the Yellowhammer is a tailgating drink. The recipe is top secret, but this is pretty close to the original. Yellowhammers should be served cold, so make sure you’ve got a full ice bucket handy.


  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1 ounce amaretto
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • Maraschino cherry, to garnish

  1. Mix the vodka, rum, and amaretto together.
  2. Add the juices and stir well to combine.
  3. Pour into a glass filled with ice, garnish with a cherry, and serve immediately.

source:  The Daily Meal

Get caught up in the excitement of game day with Warren St. John’s look at Alabama football, Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip into the Heart of Fan Mania. Crank tunes from Alabama native Brittany Howard’s latest musical offering, Jaime.

The Sazerac

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Skip the tourist-y Hurricane cocktail and try this sophisticated sip of New Orleans instead. Invented in the mid-1800s, the recipe eventually swapped cognac for rye whiskey. In 2008, the Louisiana House of Representatives made the Sazerac the official drink of the Big Easy.


  • 1 tablespoon of anise-flavored liqueur (instead of absinthe)
  • 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 4 to 5 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 lemon twist with the white pith removed, for garnish

  1. Pour the anise-flavored liqueur into a rocks glass and swirl to coat the inside. Discard any excess anise-flavored liqueur. Fill the glass with ice to chill.
  2. Combine the rye, simple syrup and Peychaud's and Angostura bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover and shake vigorously.
  3. Discard the ice from the glass and strain the shaker mixture into the glass. Rub the rim of the glass with the lemon twist, add to the drink and serve immediately.

source:  LIQUOR.com

Pick up Sara Roahen’s book, Gumbo Tales, a mouthwatering look at N’awlins cuisine, and do a second line strut to the sounds of Jon Batiste’s joyful ode to NOLA, We Are.

The Bootleg

Let’s spend some time in Minneapolis! As the cocktail’s name suggests, the Bootleg was invented during Prohibition — that’s significant because Minnesotan bootleggers chose the drink’s ingredients to mask the taste of alcohol in the event of a police raid. The result is a delicious tasting drink that sneaks up on you.


For the Bootleg mix:
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (timesaver: use bottled fresh lime juice)
  • 20 fresh mint leaves
For each cocktail:
  • 2 ounces Bootleg mix
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • Mint sprigs and lime slices, for garnish

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves to make a simple syrup. Remove from heat.
  2. In a blender, add simple syrup, 3 cups of water, lime juice and mint leaves. Blend until combined and mint leaves are broken down.
  3. To serve, add 2 ounces Bootleg mix and 2 ounces vodka to a glass. Top with 2 ounces club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of lime.

source:  Pip and Ebby

Lose yourself in the Twin Cities by reading The St. Paul Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald; then give a listen to Piano and a Microphone, the acoustic album by Minneapolis royalty, Prince.

Blueberry Ginger Cooler

Name one of the top blueberry producing states in the United States. Did you guess Washington? The Pacific Northwest state produced a whopping 160 million pounds of blueberries in 2019. Ripe blueberries are perfect for this refreshing alcohol-free mocktail.


  • 1 liter water
  • 1.25 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 heaping tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4-5 tablespoons sugar or adjust to taste
  • 2-3 cans of lemon lime sparkling water unsweetened
  • 3 750-milliliter bottles champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint leaves

  1. Add water, blueberries, and grated ginger to a pan on medium-high heat. Let it all come to a boil.
  2. Once the mixture starts boiling, add sugar and mix till it dissolves.
  3. Now lower the heat and using the back of your spatula, mash the blueberries. Mash all of it and let the mixture simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and once the syrup has cooled down, cover it with a cling sheet and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours. This is important so that the flavors mix well.
  5. After 2-3 hours, strain the syrup into a clear bowl. At this point you can cover and keep it refrigerated until ready to use.
  6. To serve the blueberry ginger cooler, fill 2/3 of the glass with the syrup, add ice cubes.
  7. Then add lemon-lime sparkling water on top and stir so that the soda and syrup combine well.
  8. Garnish with some fresh blueberries and mint leaves and enjoy!

source:  Cook with Manali

Crack the spine on Maria Semple’s Seattle-centered book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette and turn up the volume on the eponymous album from Seattle-born singer-songwriter, Brandi Carlile.

Boston Rum Punch

Ahh, Boston — the “Hub of the Universe” and home to elite universities, amazing sports dynasties, and so much history! In fact, Boston Rum Punch was the drink of choice at the Green Dragon Tavern, the very bar where the Boston Tea Party was planned. That’s an august legacy, better use a coaster.


Punch Ingredients:
  • 2 Ounces Jamaican Rum
  • Nutmeg or half a strawberry and an orange slice
  • Lemonade (see recipe below)
Lemonade Ingredients:
  • Peels of 6 lemons
  • 6 ounces lemon juice
  • 24 ounces water
  • 3/4 cup Demerara sugar

  1. Fill a shaker with cracked ice.
  2. Add the rum and fill with lemonade.
  3. Shake briefly and pour (unstrained) into a pint glass.
  4. Add a straw and garnish with either freshly grated nutmeg or half a strawberry and an orange slice.
  1. In a bowl, muddle the lemon peels and sugar.
  2. Let stand for an hour or two to extract the lemon oil.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Refrigerate until needed.

source:  The Daily Meal

Grab Zadie Smith’s Boston-infused novel, On Beauty, and cue up Doolittle from Beantown alt rockers The Pixies.

Watermelon Mocka-rita

We end our Cocktails Across America expedition in Florida, the Sunshine State. And nothing says Florida like Jimmy Buffett and margaritas. In a survey of America’s favorite drinks, margaritas beat out martinis and mimosas for the number one spot. Here’s a delicious non-alcoholic take on the watermelon margarita.


For the simple syrup:
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
For the Mocktails:
  • 8 cups Cubed Ripe Seedless Watermelon
  • ½ cups Simple Syrup
  • ½ cups Fresh Lime Juice
  • Limes
  • Pink Himalayan Salt for Rimming Glass

For the simple syrup:
  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat while stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring, then remove from heat. The mixture should be clear.
  3. Pour into a container and refrigerate several hours until cold.
For the mocktails:
  1. Place cubed watermelon in a blender. Use the “juice” button or blend for about 45 seconds until the mixture is smooth and frothy on top.
  2. Add 1/2 cup cold simple syrup and fresh lime juice to the blender. Blend again for several seconds.
  3. Pour salt onto a plate. Rub the rims of glasses with lime juice. Dip the glasses into the sea salt.
  4. Fill the glasses with ice. Pour margarita mixture over the ice. Garnish glasses with a wedge of lime.

source:  Tasty Kitchen

Snag a copy of Karen Russell’s paean to Florida’s weirdness, Swamplandia!, and sing along to Margaritaville, from Buffett’s breakthrough album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.

That’s a lot of places to virtually visit and more than a few cocktails to imbibe, so spread your Sip Trip out over a long weekend and savor each remaining moment of summer. Sláinte!

Check out our full line of barware to serve up drinks in style, and read our mBlog series for more entertaining inspiration.

Lisa Langford is a Senior Copywriter at mDesign

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Posted: Aug 5, 2021