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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.