Summer Drink List
James Poulous and Rod Dreher weigh in with their recommended adult libations for the summertime. Not surprisingly, since these things are mostly a matter of personal taste, there’s significant disagreement in the lists.
Poulous touts the wonders of Red Stripe, Jamaica’s national beer, while Dreher advises readers to eschew brew altogether and stick to wheat beers if they can not. I drink Red Stripe pretty much only when I’m in Jamaica and do indeed prefer wheat beers when it’s hot. I don’t share Dreher’s aversion to Hoegaarden but do agree there are better choices. I’m particularly partial to Ayinger, Magic Hat’s Circus Boy, and Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat.
I second Poulous’ recommendation of Limoncello, a delightful Italian liqueur, but tend to reserve it for after meals. It’s not something I’d sip throughout the day.
I’m with Dreher on rosé wines during hot weather; I tend to avoid them otherwise. Inexpensive German QualitÃ¤tswein, ranging from drier Rieslings to Liebfraumilch to SpÃ¤tlese are also excellent on hot afternoons.
I find grapefruit too bitter, so have never tried it mixed with gin. Is there an similar substitute?
UPDATE (Alex Knapp) I couldn’t help but chime in here with my favorite summertime drinks.
First and foremost is, of course, the mint julep, which is not only the perfect summertime drink, but it is arguably the pinnacle of American cocktails.
I’d also like to defend the mojito, which James Poulous unfairly maligns in the article linked above:
Learn and move on. Even if the mojito you’re served is perfect, at this point you’re really pigeonholing yourself as someone about to be lapped on the fashion track. You’re probably still working your way through the last season of Friends on DVD, aren’t you?
This just made me bristle. Not only is a properly made mojito refreshing, but it was the preferred drink of ERNEST HEMINGWAY. It’s not some Johnny-come-lately drink. It’s a classic and deserves to be treated as such.
In addition, a properly made martini is always a nice cold drink. And at the risk of sounding elitist (apparently the greatest sin of our age), let me state for the record that a martini is properly made with gin, not vodka (unless you’re making a Vesper), and does not have any fruit or dessert flavors added to it. I was recently at a restaurant which devoted a whole page to “martinis”, which contained over 20 drinks. None contained gin, none contained vermouth, and only TWO contained even vodka. To which I say, how can ANY of those drinks be properly classified as a martini?
But I digress.
Other classic cocktails for the summertime include the Tom Collins and the Old Fashioned, both of which are perfect for summer evenings.
I’ll second James on recommending wheat beers, and if you’re in the midwest I’d recommend Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat, and to New Englanders I highly recommend Wachusett Summer. Any other beer recommendations are welcome.