Cause a stir among friends with a laid back summer drinks party. Much lauded Portland, Ore., mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler of hot spot bar Pepe Le Moko and tavern-style eatery Clyde Common dreamed up a cocktail for everyone in your crew. Plus, each recipe is easy to make in batches!
Sparkling Lavender Lemonade
“This one is so simple to make,” says Jeffrey Morgenthaler o fhis herb-infused alcohol-free refresher. It’s also versatile: Swap out the lavender with thyme, rosemary, or tarragon to alter the flavor profile. Soda water gives it a tantalizing fizz.
9 oz lavender syrup (recipe follows)
9 oz fresh lemon juice
24 oz sparkling water, chilled
Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine lavender syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water. Pour into ice-filled highball glasses. Garnish with lavender.
Smoky Orange Margarita
Orange marmalade is the secret ingredient in this not-too-sweet crowd pleaser. Amp up the sourness, says Morgenthaler, by substituting 3 ounces of tamarind concentrate for the marmalade and straining the drink to remove the seeds.
9 oz silver tequila
4½ oz mezcal
6¾ oz fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
6¾ oz Cointreau
3 tbsp orange marmalade
1½ oz agave syrup
3 tbsp salt for garnish
- In a large pitcher, combine tequila, mezcal, lime juice, Cointreau, marmalade, and agave syrup. Whisk. Strain and return to the pitcher.
- Moisten each glass rim with lime wedges; coat with salt. Fill glasses with ice; add the margarita. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
Lillet and Cucumber
“At a party you always need a drink that you can have a few of without feeling terribly tipsy,” says Morgenthaler, and this one fits the bill nicely. “Fresh mint and cucumber work so well together,” he adds.
1 5-inch-long hothouse cucumber, sliced
6 oz simple syrup (recipe on p. 221)
12 oz Lillet Blanc
9 oz sparkling water
Mint sprigs for garnish
In a blender or food processor, purée cucumber slices with simple syrup. Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in Lillet and sparkling water. Serve in ice-filled rocks glasses, garnished with mint sprigs.
French 75 Rosé
Sparkling rosé wine, gin, and fresh lemon juice combine to create a drink that’s “ultralight and refreshing,” says Morgenthaler. It’s a riff on the classic French 75, a Champagne cocktail that was first served at the New York Bar in Paris in 1915. Here, sparkling rosé (a bar cart staple for summer fun) is the bubbly of choice.
6 oz London dry gin
6 oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 oz water
12 oz chilled sparkling rosé
Lemon twist for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and water. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Just before serving, gently stir in rosé. Garnish with a lemon twist. (Use a vegetable peeler to create a strip, then curl it up to make a spiral.)