Two refreshing summer cocktails – a perfect accompaniment to your next picnic

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – We are back with our friend Jessie-Sierra Ross, creator of the blog “straight to the hips, baby” and she’s going to show us how to make two refreshing summer cocktails – a perfect accompaniment to our picnic!

Watermelon Basil Margarita
Makes 1 Cocktail
3 ounces of watermelon juice about 1/2 cup of watermelon cubes, blended and strained through a fine-mesh sieve
2 ounces anejo tequila
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 ounces simple syrup
1/2 ounce of cointreau
1/2 handful of fresh basil leaves

In a cocktail shaker, pour the simple syrup. Next, “bruise” the basil leaves (squish them a little to release the oils) and add to the shaker. You can also muddle the leaves and sugar syrup together for a stronger basil flavor.
Add the remaining liquid ingredients in, along with a handful of ice.
Close the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until the shaker is frosted.
Add some ice to a tumbler and strain your margarita into the glass. Garnish with fresh basil & lime slices.

Cherry Lime Rickey
Makes 2 Drinks
6 fresh or frozen cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
2 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces cherry-infused simple syrup see below
chilled club soda

In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the fresh cherries and lime juice.
Next, fill 2 good-sized tumbler glasses (or one very large glass, if a single serving) with ice.
Strain the lime & cherry mix into each glass, and discard the leftover cherry pulp.
Add the cherry simple syrup evenly between the glasses, and top with club soda.
Stir gently and garnish with a lime round or a cherry.
This drink benefits from resting for a few minutes before enjoying.

Cherry Infused Simple Syrup
Makes 8 Ounces
1 cup of granulated white sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted

Combine all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan and give it a quick stir.
Place over medium-high heat and allow to come to a low (small bubbles) simmer, while stirring occasionally.
Once at a simmer, cook for 8-10 minutes, until all the sugar has dissolved and the cherries have softened.
Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Next, smash the cherries in the pot with a potato masher, and then strain them into a sieve set over a medium-sized bowl.
Allow to cool completely.
Transfer the syrup to a covered container (I like using an old jam jar) and chill.
Keeps for 7-10 days.

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