Thirsty Thursday: Summer spirits 

Summer drinks are an amazing way to cool off in the hot weather; some awesome recipes are for mojitos, piña coladas, and mai tais! – Photo courtesy of: Min An /

Pumpkin spice and other fall flavors may have already entered the beverage scene for the season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the last rays and sips of summer. From tropical tastes to frozen slushies to refreshing classics, certain drinks just scream summer, and we won’t blame you for pouring one up before an autumn chill hits the air – or whenever you’re missing the sunniest season. So soak up the sun, and if you’re 21 or older, consider making these cocktails. 

More mojitos 

When I think of a refreshing drink, my mind immediately jumps to the iconic mojito. The lime and mint create the crispness of the cocktail, while the rum adds some richness. The Novice Chef offers a mojito recipe for a single glass or a pitcher. If you want to add some flavors to the classic, try the raspberry or strawberry mojito recipes from A Couple Cooks or this exquisite-sounding pineapple ginger mojito from Pizzazzerie.  

Sipping a Spritz 

A boozy brunch favorite – although maybe not beloved by all – this Italian cocktail is effortless to make with prosecco, the titular Aperol and club soda. If you’re feeling fancy, add an orange slice for garnish. Bubbly, citrusy and with a tame alcohol content, you can’t go wrong with a spritz. Want a twist on a spritz? Try the St. Germain Spritz, which uses the titular French liquor made from elderflowers and creates a sweet and floral drink balanced by the dryness of sparkling wine. 

Slurp a slushy 

Slushies and frozen drinks are the perfect way to upgrade the classic summer treats. Don’t discount a froséfrozen margarita or frozen sangria slush just because they seem “basic”; let yourself enjoy one by the pool or at the vineyard because they usually aren’t offered year-round. The icy temperature and texture balance out the sweetness of these drinks and prevent you from quickly downing your drink. 

Oh my, mai tais 

Tropical drinks reign supreme among those who enjoy boozy beverages and those who just want a casual drink due to their magical ability to mask unwanted alcoholic flavors. Coconut, mango and pineapple are just a few tropical tastes that will take your from your college apartment to a beachside resort. This popular tiki drink features other flavor notes of orange and lime. The mai tai also uses rum and orange curacao for its alcoholic content. 

Perfect piña colada 

Can you tell I’m biased towards tropical drinks? If the flavor profile of mai tais don’t suit you, try out a piña colada – which, as you may guess from the name, is pineapple and coconut-heavy – or this fun piña colada daiquiri that combines the former with the tried-and-true strawberry daiquiri. Add your own garnishes or use fresh fruit to elevate the refreshing and satisfying taste of these drinks. 

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