Add Some Scandi Sizzle to Your Warm Weather Cocktails
Ahh, summer cocktails. Just thinking about them can lower your blood pressure. As summer approaches, it’s time to dust off the ice chests and tune up the fridge so you can enjoy cool, refreshing beverages when the thermometer starts to rise.
Summer’s not only about staying cool and hydrated; it’s also about chilling out, literally—not making things complicated so you have more time to relax. That’s what makes the summer sippers featured here so great. They’re supremely satisfying and so simple to make that you definitely won’t break a sweat.
Traditionally, summer cocktails have been dominated by gin or vodka mixed with some form of carbonated beverage. Gin and Tonic. Vodka and Bitter Lemon. What could be more refreshingly summer-ish than those? But here’s the thing: We’ve all been there and done that. Why not take what’s beautiful about those cocktails and give them a little goose? Here’s how:
Substitute aquavit for the gin or the vodka. Most aquavits are the same proof as vodka or gin, but they provide completely different flavor profiles and layers of complexity. Not every aquavit is great for mixing. Many of the “traditional style” aquavits are very fennel and anise-forward, which makes them ok on their own but not ideal as mixers. Batch 22 New American Aquavit has done away with the strong licorice profile and has put the citrus, dill, and caraway components front and center. That’s what makes Batch 22 a perfect mixer and a great way to jazz up the tired old standards we often make as a matter of routine.
So, here are the basic guidelines for creating perfect summer sippers with aquavit:
- You can make a 1-1 substitution. Most aquavits are 80-proof, just like most gins and vodkas. That means you can follow whatever great recipes you already know and just switch out the old stuff for Batch 22 or another aquavit.
- Start with a glass and some ice. Then build your cocktail by adding the aquavit, then the mixer, and then your garnish. Try to add your mixer as close to service as possible, so maximum carbonation remains.
- The standard for most of these recipes will be: 2 ounces of aquavit in a rocks glass with ice. Top/fill with mixer of choice. Garnish (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, mint leaves, basil leaves, etc.).
- The same mixers you love with gin and vodka work spectacularly with aquavit. Here’s a partial list of mixers that play beautifully with aquavit, especially Batch 22:
- Tonic (Fever Tree Elderflower tonic is awesome!)
- Grapefruit soda
- Sparkling Lime & Yuzu (Fever Tree)
- Bitter Lemon
- Ginger Ale
- Cranberry Juice
- Ginger Beer
All of the above will work wonderfully to create a light, refreshing, and oh-so-satisfying beverage for you to relax with. By the pool, lake, mountain stream, wherever. These simple but delicious cocktails will make this summer one you’ll never forget—and these new summer cocktails will make you an aquavit fan for years to come.