Article by Jason Rogers
Oh, man, is it hot! I’m scorching hot. I’m talking egg-frying, fire-starting, mind-numbingly hot! What is a simple drinker supposed to do in this whether that demands us to go outside, but at the same time is cooking us alive? There is of course a way to fight back against this heatwave. The magic of a refreshing drink can shield you from the sun’s vengeance, while making for a fun way to relax. The remedy to the summer burn is a refreshing drink. Now, as a man who knows his way around a bar, I know lots of refreshing drinks, so I won’t bore you with the list (in this article), but when I think of the summer heat and the need for something to cool me down, my mind goes back to one thing: bubbles.
There is something magical about a drink that’s bubbly. It’s almost like those bubbles uplift your very soul. It could be 40+ degrees outside and if you put a bubbly cocktail in my hand, I’m as cool as a cucumber. So, I’m sure you are tired of teasing me with my tales of drinks that pop, get to the drinks am I right? Ok. Ok. I’ll get to the fun part, but just to help organize my thoughts, I’ll say that I will give you a few ways to add a splash of fun to any drink you have this summer. Now with a money back guarantee (but wait, this thing is free, right?)
Just add bubbles
Listen this first one isn’t rocket science. Honestly, it’s not even high school science. It’s a super easy solution to an age old problem – introducing the Highball! Most people who have heard of this cocktail picture a glass of Suntory Japanese Whisky in a tall glass topped with soda. And actually they are correct; that is the basic formula for the drink. The fun part here is that you can take any bubble drink (soda, tonic, ginger beer, ginger ale, Sprite, Coke, flavored sparkling water, Kombucha, anything really), add liquor of your choice, and ice. That’s it and you are drinking like a God in no time flat. Feel free to add a little juice to your mix and gain another depth of flavor. Whatever masterpiece you whip up, make sure all your ingredients are cold for that extra crisp hit of refreshment.
TIPS: Pair light-flavored drinks (flavored sparkling water, Kombucha, fruity sodas) with light liquors (Gin, Vodka, and Tequila) and heavier or more flavorful bubbles with dark or aged liquors (whisky, brandy, dark rums, and tequilas). For mixing, try to keep the ratio 3 to 4 parts bubbles and 1 part liquor.
Did Someone Say Sparkling?
Now that we got the easy stuff out of the way, let’s move to something harder. And by harder I mean something alcoholic. Honestly, I can’t think of a better time to enjoy sparkling wine then in summer. It just hits different when it’s sunny and hot. But Jason, “what kind of bubbles should I drink and how?” Be calm, young Padawan. I will show you the way. First, I will say, do not limit yourself to champagne. There are tons of other great sparkling wines out there and they need to be drunk. Cava, Prosecco, Riesling (most bottles), and the fan favorite sparkling Moscato; are all amazing in a glass, whether it’s mixed or not. Now, how to enjoy it is the exciting part. Don’t be basic and just drink it straight, let’s mix it up. Try a Bellini (Peach or any fruit nectar and Sparkling Wine) or a Spritz (Sparkling Wine + Soda Water + Liqueur) just add it all to a large wine glass with lots of ice. A famous choice is the Aperol Spritz and the recipe is right on the bottle. You can even make a sangria using sparkling wine, and man, is it delicious on a hot day. Just cut up some seasonal fruit, get a nice big pitcher and maybe some vodka or brandy to up the alcohol, then add everything with ice and a healthy amount of bubbles. It’s a drink to be shared and sure not to disappoint. Go out on your next picnic with one of these combos in a cooler for an amazing time under the sun.
TIPS: The idea is to make these drinks not too strong so you can sip on them all day long. Balance is key. And if you are making a Bellini, or a Mimosa for that matter, always pour the wine first then the juice, otherwise it looks a little gross and less presentable.
Ok, we are about to head into the bubbles danger zone here with some advanced drink moves. You added bubbles to liquor. You drank bubbles from the bottle. So what’s next on this effervescent journey? Let’s get a little crazy here with a bit of Frosé. Huh? What’s Frosé, you ask? You are in for a literal treat. What if I told you Rosé and blenders were not strangers, but actually best friends. In this heat, I had to give you something to cool you off and let me tell you this one will have you ice cold. All you need is a flavorful bottle of Rosé, sugar, lemon juice, and a little red fruit (strawberries are a solid choice). Just throw everything in the blender with some ice and pulse to the adult slushie of your dreams. Wanna get a little more wild? Well we have to turn to the Italians for this one. Let me introduce you to your new obsession, the Sgroppino. Prosecco, chilled vodka, and sorbet (or gelato). Yes, you heard me. Sorbet. Sweet frozen deliciousness. Just find a wide glass, add equal parts vodka and champagne, then add a nice scoop of something sweet and let it melt into perfection. Traditionally the drink is made with lemon gelato, but you can switch in other fruit flavors like cherry or melon easily. Man, now I’m thirsty.
With these drinks you don’t have to follow a strict recipe, just go with what tastes good to you and start light. No need to rush the vibes, right? So now is your chance to take advantage of this summer sunshine with the help of some bubbles. So my Xianease friends, drink up and as always, cheers.
About The Author:
Jason Rogers, a former bartender and liquor sales consultant from the US. His passion for creativity and hospitality are perfectly matched with cocktails. By working both in craft cocktail bars and with major liquor brands he has built a wealth of knowledge on all things tipsy.
When he’s not dreaming up delectable drinks, he is committed to his other passions, like singing, comedy and creative writing. Jason currently works as an English teacher by day and moonlights as a key figure in many of Xi’an’s popular events. He’s always willing to have a drink and share a conversation.