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Cool Cocktails for a Hot Summer

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Because summer is about gatherings and get-togethers, we wanted to pass on some cool cocktail ideas to spice up your summer celebrations.

For some cool, refreshing Latin drinks, we suggest a Caipirinha, which is a variant on the Mojito, and uses cachaça, a Brazilian sugar cane liquor. If you can't find cachaça, use vodka, and you'll have what's called a caipiroshka. White rum makes it a caipiríssima. But if you're sold on the minty tang of the Cuban Mojito, we concur that it makes for a great drink. Both of these work well if made in pitcher-sized batches; count up your thirsty friends and mutiply the recipe.

For a sophisticated sip, may we suggest the Pimlico, or some variety of it, as it goes by a multitude of names, depending on the ingredients. At the hot new restaurant The Hungry Cat it's made with Bourbon, orange juice, and mint, which makes it more of a Louisville Cooler meets a Kentucky Julep. Some varieties even use Gin, lime, and ginger ale and call it a Pimlico. In any event, it's less sweet than some drinks, and was designed to help you keep your cool on those hot east coast racetrack days. And if hot summer days signal iced tea to you, may we recomment mixing some iced tea with some Mango Rum? If you use bottled, sweetened tea, like Arizona, you'll forget you're drinking at all. Which can, on some occasions, be a good thing. We think we made this one up, so it has no name. Suggestions?

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Our favorite summer shot is called the Birthday Cake. (We won't tell you about the time we thought it was a full-on drink recipe and proceded to get very, very hammered.) Word to the wise: use it as a shot. It's a sweet one, with pineapple juice and vanilla vodka in the mix. And speaking of mix, or, mixers, we want to give a shout out to our new favorite summertime mixer, which is Trader Joe's Mango Lemonade. It's exceedingly tasty with some Malibu Rum, or nice with some gin, and, of course, everything goes with vodka, right?

As always, drink with caution, don't drink and drive, drink water to keep you hydrated, and kids, don't try these!

Recipes after the jump.

Caipirinha

1 lime
2 ounces of cachaça
Sugar to taste
Ice cubes

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Wash the lime and roll it on the board to loosen the juices. Cut the lime into pieces and place them in a glass. Sprinkle with the sugar and crush the pieces (pulp side up) with a pestle, just enough to release the juice, otherwise it'll get bitter. Add the cachaça and stir to mix. Add the ice and stir again.

Mojito

2 oz Light/White rum
Juice of 1 Lime (1 oz)
2 tsp Simple Syrup (or 4 tsp sugar)
12 Mint leaves
Soda water

Muddle the mint, and put in a tall glass. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with chilled club soda or seltzer. Add a lime wedge or two, and the remaining mint, and serve.

Pimlico Cooler

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3 oz. orange juice
1 1/2 oz. gin
Ginger Ale

Pour gin and orange juice into a chilled highball glass with ice cubes and fill with cold ginger ale. Stir gently.

Louisville Cooler

2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 tsp Powered Sugar

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes and strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with an orange slice.

Mango Rum and Iced Tea

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2oz Mango Rum
Iced Tea

In a glass full of ice, combine Mango Rum and iced tea. Easy!

Birthday Cake Shot

1 oz Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Triple sec
Pineapple Juice
Maraschino cherries (optional)

Combine vanilla vodka and triple sec and top with pineapple juice in a shooter glass, or small glass. Add a little bit of maraschino cherry juice, if desired.