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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cocktail coolers for this hot Fourth of July

Tom Collins

The Fourth of July finds Utah and most of the US in the midst of a summer heat wave, enduring lots of hot, dry weather.  It looks like great weather for a barbecue or cook-out as long as you have plenty of shade.  While you could have beer at your cook-out, the fact that you’re reading this article is a sign that you’re interested in doing something a little bit different. 

When selecting coolers for a barbecue, you probably want to think simple, but not too simple, they are cocktails.  To please your guests, have the ingredients (and appropriate garnishes) for two or three different summer coolers ready to mix and enjoy.  Even if you’re not having a cook-out, these cocktails are great to enjoy while relaxing by the pool or just watching the sun go down.

Most of these cocktail recipes are fairly simple, which makes them ideal for mixing and drinking while you’re running around getting the grill ready, or just sitting and listening to the sound of food sizzling.  They’re just as great for relaxing on porch or patio any hot afternoon after work.  In this weather, be sure to pay attention to how much you’re drinking.  Summer coolers may not taste strong, but they have as much alcohol as any other cocktail, so if you are having a cook-out, have plenty of soft-drinks available, too.

Here’s a list of great summer cooler cocktails in time for the Fourth of July.  Just browse the following list to find something that sound good, then click through on the links to get the recipes.

  • Blueberry Mint Cooler –  the sweetness of blueberries and syrup offset the tartness of the lemon in this delicious Vodka-based cooler.
  • Cosmo Cooler – all the ingredients of a classic Cosmopolitan with the addition of some Grenadine make this cooler an instant hit.
  • Dark and Stormy – the spicy tartness of this dark Rum cooler makes it one of my favorites.
  • El Diablo – this Tequila-based cocktail that counts Crème de Cassis and Ginger Beer among the ingredients is even spicier than a Dark and Stormy. 
  • Gin and Tonic – the name is a spot on give-away of what’s in this Gin classic, but don’t forget to serve it with a lime wedge.
  • Gin Rickey – it shouldn’t take long to gather the three ingredients for this 100+ year old cocktail, and even less time to mix it.
  • Lavender Colada – having Lavender infused Vodka, Cream of Coconut, and pineapple juice as ingredients push this cocktail close to the border of the Tiki category.
  • Margarita Cooler – start with the ingredients of your favorite Margarita, but drink this Tequila-based cocktail cooler style.
  • Mojito – Rum, lime, sugar and mint: who would have thought that those simple ingredients could taste so good?
  • Pomegranate Rum Rickey – a Rickey is a cocktail made from a liquor, some lime juice, a little sweetener, and soda water.  The pomegranate juice gives this beauty an extra twist.
  • Rum and Coke – this long-time favorite is simplicity itself, but don’t forget the lime.
  • Tequila Mojito – a delicious variation on its namesake with one obvious substitution.
  • Tom Collins – one taste of this unique recipe should overcome any objections your friends might have to the blue color.

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