Daiquiris, Margaritas, Mojitos, and Pina Coladas, are just a few of the delicious cocktails that go perfectly with a hot summer day. Pre-made mixes for these drinks abound, but sometimes these mixes can fall a little flat. With just a few seasoning tweaks, you can make your go-to summer cocktail a truly delectable indulgence.
Not a fan of cocktails? Check out our Blog Post “8 Awesome Iced Tea Recipes” for delicious iced tea ideas. Or try adding our Blueberry Sugar or Strawberry Sugar, or Peach White Balsamic or Cucumber Melon White Balsamic to a pitcher of lemonade!
First, let’s ditch the pre-made mixes and make a few things from scratch. Most sweet cocktails call of a simple syrup. Here is an easy recipe to throw one together.
Making a Simple Syrup
Making a simply syrup is just that, simple. All you need are 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. This should take approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove the syrup from the pan and allow to cool completely. Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Amp up the fruity flavor by replacing 2-3 tbsps of the regular sugar with our Blueberry Sugar or Strawberry Sugar.
Rim Your Glass with a Flavored Salt or Sugar
If you want to add a unique and over-the-top touch to your next cocktail, try rimming your glass with a delicious flavored salt or flavored sugar. These extremely versatile salts and sugars come in a variety of different flavors, so you’re sure to find just the right one to fit your mood and cocktail. Here are a few of our favorites:
For Margaritas, try our Lime Fresco Salt or Lemon Twist Salt. Or give your drink a spicy kick with Jalapeno Sea Salt, Sriracha Sea Salt, Habanero Sea Salt, or Ghost Pepper Salt. You can also rim your glass with Strawberry Sugar or Blueberry Sugar for a sweet touch. Need a recipe for a margarita to get you started? Try our Simple Margarita and dress it up as you see fit!
Daiquiris benefit from a dash of sweetness, so throw in a little Strawberry Sugar, Blueberry Sugar, or Vanilla Bean Sugar into your shaker or use it to rim glasses. Strawberry and Blueberry Sugar are also a great option for Mojitos, as a little sweetness pairs well with the mint flavor.
Bloody Mary’s are delicious when topped with our Lime Fresco Salt. Or try our Applewood Smoked Sea Salt for an unexpected dash of smokiness that pairs wonderfully with the acidity and spiciness of a Bloody Mary.
Last but not least, throw some Vanilla Bean Sugar or Cinnamon Sugar into your next White Russian. The spicy flavors of vanilla and cinnamon are a great compliment to the coffee flavor of Kahlua and richness of milk or cream.
Add a Little Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegars are a great addition to a variety of cocktails. White Balsamic Vinegars (those made with white grapes) have a light, crisp flavor that is wonderful in drinks like Margaritas, Daiquiris, Pina Coladas, and Spritzers. Try adding 1-2 tbsp of our Coconut Lime White Balsamic Vinegar or Peach White Balsamic Vinegar to your next margarita or daiquiri. A Pina Colada would be delicious with a dash of Coconut Lime White Balsamic, or try our recipe for a decadent Pineapple Cocktail. If you are looking for something incredibly refreshing, check out our recipe for Cucumber Melon Gin Spritzers!
Dark Balsamic Vinegars have a deeper, more intense flavor and are traditionally used to make a cocktail mixer called a shrub. A shrub is a concentrated syrup that combines fruit, sugar and vinegar. Shrubs are also referred to as “drinking vinegars” and are most commonly made with apple cider vinegar. Shurbs generally take from one day to 2 weeks for the flavors to combine properly, but they are well worth the wait. Besides adding to cocktails, shurbs are also great toppings for toast, ice cream or yogurt. If you want to make your next cocktail truly an experience, try one of our balsamic vinegar shrub recipes: Raspberry Balsamic Shrub Cocktail or Bourbon Cherry Balsamic Shrub Cocktails!
Now you have everything you need to take your cocktails to the next level this summer. If you are needing some inspiration, check out our blog post, 8 Summer Cocktails for some great recipe ideas!