Like many households in Door County, we still live without air conditioning. Most summer nights have a breeze and the temp drops quite a bit after sundown. We almost always have good “sleeping weather” but occasionally we’ll have a multi-day stretch of around-the-clock hot, sticky weather and we can do nothing but sit outside in the shade, nearly motionless, drinking something cold, hoping for a breeze.
Here are my top summer relief adult beverages:
#7 Cold beer. In the summer I lean toward lighter styles—summer ales, weiss beers (always nice with a slice of lemon). Belgian Farmhouse ales, like the Saison Dupont we carry in a “bomber” bottle, are great for sharing. I get kind of full near the end of a second beer, and in the heat, that is especially uncomfortable. So then I have some water, and switch to something else later on.
#6 Moscow Mule. There’s something purely thirst-quenching about ginger beer and lime juice. The copper mug is optional, in my opinion, as a tall tumbler is just fine. 4 oz Ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz Vodka, 1/6 oz Lime juice, serve on the rocks.
#5 Boozy lemonade. Pretty much anything goes. Try rum, vodka, gin, mezcal, whisky, sparkling wine, beer (for a shandy), or liqueurs like St. Germain or fruit flavored schnapps. Garnishes such as lavender, sliced cucumbers, tarragon, rosemary can add complexity without a lot of effort. Firefly carries Tru organic vodka which is infused with various botanicals– save a step! Try boozy lemonade as a frozen blender drink, and the brain freeze will take your mind off of the heat.
#4 Mojito. Mint has a cooling effect on the body, and you’re basically making limeade when you mix one up. 1 1/2 oz white rum, 6 leaves of mint (muddle with the sugar and lime juice), soda water, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons sugar. Tip: Instead of using granulated sugar, make a batch of simple syrup by bringing one part sugar to one part water to a boil and simmering for 3 minutes. Store in a mason jar in the fridge, and sweeten your mojito to taste with the syrup.
#3 Ice cold rosé or white wine. Sometimes it’s too hot for liquor-based drinks, they make me sleepy, and they require more effort than opening a bottle of wine. Keep the bottle on ice and in reach of where you’re sitting. Firefly has a very nice selection of summer wines right now, but keep in mind that many rosé wines are seasonal and will be in shorter supply as the summer progresses. Pinot Grigio, Bordeaux Blanc, and Albarino are some favorite whites.
#2 Sparkling wines. When the weather is just oppressive, I go for the fruity, lighter options instead of true champagnes which can be toasty, yeasty, musky and are not as thirst-quenching. Cava from Spain is an inexpensive option, as is Lambrusco from Italy, along with our go-to, everyday sparkler, Veuve du Vernay, from the Loire Valley of France.
#1 Gin and Tonic, lots of ice, with a squeeze of fresh lime, in a tall tumbler so you don’t need a refill right away. Fast and easy to make. Put-it-on-your-forehead-cold. Although we like to enjoy different gins, our go-to is Beefeater. It’s just an all-around great gin for mixing or martinis.
Imbibe responsibly and keep cool, and let us know your favorite way to beat the heat!