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Posted on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Late summer cocktails: What are your favorites?

By Jessica Webster


Caipirinha made with grilled limes.

Jessica Webster |

I invited my friend Jen over for an after-work drink tonight, with the promise that we'd invent some new cocktails. Inventing new cocktails sounds like fun, right? We'll just mix up some alcohols with some herbs and maybe muddle in some seasonal fruits.

And then I remembered the last time I invited a friend over to invent some new cocktails. We ended up with a bunch of glasses of very strong cough syrup-tasting concoctions. Clearly, some better planning is in order.

I've posted recipes for a couple of my favorite summer sipping cocktails on in the past, and they're definitely contenders for tonight's gathering. I'm a big fan of the classic Brazilian caipirinha, especially when the limes are caramelized on the grill, and Italy's beautiful negroni is a favorite standby in my house.

Today, though, I'm scouring the Internet for interesting seasonal cocktail recipes. Esquire's Eat Like A Man food blog has a slideshow of late summer cocktails that includes Paul King's Porch Swing, a tequila drink with watermelon and thyme.

Serious Eats has a list of 5 Drinks to Toast Summer's Twilight, including the Philly Smash, made with rye and muddled berries.

What's your favorite summer cocktail? What do you like to sip while lounging on the front porch during the waning days of summer?

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 6:57 a.m.

If is going to continue to publish these occasional "cocktail" "articles" can you please raise your glassware budget to above children's birthday party? Thanks!

Sarah Rigg

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

I can't resist a mojito made with fresh mint I just picked from my back yard.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

As a recent transplant from the Washington, DC area, I must recommend the Rickey. Made with Gin or Bourbon (we use Bourbon,) lime and sparkling water, it is a truly refreshing drink when the weather is hot. (

Jessica Webster

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

Sounds great, and looks easy. I will try it! Thanks so much for the recommendation!

Tom Teague

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

A French 75. It's a champagne and gin cocktail created and named by a member of the Lafayette Escadrille during WWI who compared the effect to that of being shelled by the French 75 howitzer. Since my mom's piano teacher's first cousin flew with the Escadrille, I can weave in a family narrative while serving them. Grange has a very good one; I use a recipe from Top of The Mark when I make them at home.

Tom Teague

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Jessica - Be sure to toast those brave guys who flew in the Escadrille, especially Kiffin Yates Rockwell, the first American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft (although not in service of the US military) and the first cousin of my mom's childhood piano teacher.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

Thanks Tom! I've enjoyed the French 75 at Grange. Last night I had my champagne and gin separately - but I might combine them over the weekend.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 11:02 p.m.

cuervo on the rocks... let the ice melt by swirling them in the glass. mellows out the liquor and brings out the sweetness of the agave flavor in a smooth fashion. Nothing fancy here.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 11 p.m.

A shot and a beer hits the spot.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

You could try a caipirinha using a nice reposado tequila instead of cachaca. Like a roasted lime margarita. The tequila/watermelon/thyme sounds interesting. The Grange's "Tea Thyme" (black currant tea, thyme simple syrup, Plymouth gin, lemon juice) is quite tasty.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

I do love the Tea Thyme - I should try making that at home.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Sounds yummy and interesting, but it wouldn't be a caiprinha if it were made with tequila. What would a cool name be? You could name it, Brad!

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

I was lured here by the boozy concoctions and boozy times. Instead I get a face full of "waning days of summer?" There should be a warning, with a click-thru. How dare you. Now I really need a drink.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

Sorry - this is exactly why I need to drink. Waning....sigh....