Ten Refreshing New Ideas To Toast The Summer!

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June is here and summer on Cape Cod means barbecues and outdoor entertaining. And barbecues and outdoor entertaining usually come with a cocktail or two.

I’m the GM here at CCB Media, local owners of CapeCod.com, and we all try to do a number of jobs at our company. So when our editor asked for someone to write a story on beverages for summer entertaining, all heads turned toward me.

You see, I love to throw a party. My husband Stephen is a passionate grill man and I like to create ideas for apps, vegetables, and yes, even a cocktail here or there.

I called some experts to get me started and it turns out, there are lots of new liquor brands and some new twists on the tried and true to get your summer cocktail party off to a swinging start. Here’s the skinny and recipes and photos can be found in our gallery (above):

We started with Liz Patterson, she and her husband Michael own Liquor ‘N More, with four locations from Plymouth to Wellfleet.

Liz says Hard Sodas like Not Your Father’s Root Beer will be big again this summer, especially as more companies develop them and debut new flavors. The category contains concoctions like Uncle Henry’s Orange Cream and Ginger Ale.

Liz is also enthusiastic about a new line of low-calorie, alcoholic seltzers, especially brands like Nauti Seltzer and SpikedSeltzer.  Both the sodas and the seltzers make good cocktails mixers too. (Check out the recipe in our photo gallery.)

Liz also suggested one of my personal favorites: Prosecco.

“Proseccos are popular because of their quality vs. value, with many under $15,” she said. “A go-to Prosecco would be LaMarca, which retails for $12.97 for a 750ml bottle,” Liz said. “They also offer minis, which are popular for those who want a refreshing glass of bubbly, but don’t want to open a bottle.”

And although we don’t think of it as a summer cocktail, Liz is also high on whiskey – especially a drink that many Cape Codders might relate to – the Leprechaun! She suggests Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey and tonic to make a delicious and simple summer pick me up.

Next we hit the Cape Cod Package Store in Centerville to get their take on the summer cocktail trends. Andrea Pendergast, owner and brand buyer gathered her CCPS crew and came up with some different ideas with new brands and a few twists on the old.  (Again, recipes in our gallery!)

The Firestarter immediately caught my eye as it features fresh strawberries and spicy vodka. Sweet and spicy together always works for me!   Serve in a margarita or martini glass and enjoy.

I’m always surprised by how many people like sangria, but it is a great summer drink. Andrea says Tito’s continues to be a hot brand and they’ve come up with a vodka-based sangria that makes for a cool cocktail.

She’s also a fan of Van’s Botanical Gin and a refreshing Raspberry Burst is a great way to celebrate summer. The Galena Feliz (Happy Hen) features one of my favorites, St. Germaine liqueur that makes this tequila drink delicious and delicately sweet.  I plan to make this one a signature at my house this summer.

Andrea even had an idea for those of you who like the whiskeys even in summer.  Her Maker’s Mark Summer Breeze is a sophisticated cocktail that features bourbon with hints of orange, both fresh and in Cointreau.

The key ingredients for summer are always fruity, fresh, and cold. As for me, I’m going to call some friends and mix-up a batch of Firestarters while Stephen cooks up some spicy clams on the grill!  Cheers!

bev tilden headshotBeverly Tilden is CCB Media’s General Manager.  She’s passionate about family, entertaining at her home in Falmouth, painting and golf.  She also believes Tom Brady is innocent! 🙂



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