Tall, Cool Drinks for a Relaxing Long Weekend

Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

Memorial Day weekend's almost here. These last lazy days of May call for something tall, cool, and refreshing. Something that's quick and easy to mix so you can get back to that very important job of relaxing...

Here's a roundup of some of our favorite no-hassle patio drinks:

Dark and Stormy
Deliciously spicy ginger beer is mixed with rich, dark rum and accented with a zippy wedge of lime. Even if you're just enjoying a sunny moment on your fire escape, Bermuda's national drink is the perfect thing to put you in an island mood. (Full recipe here.)

Pimm's Cup
This very British, very refreshing drink brings to mind Wimbledon, cricket matches, and sailing regattas. The delicately spicy liquor, Pimm's No. 1 is mixed with ginger ale or lemonade, and garnished with fresh herbs and fruit. Nothing like it after a day of gardening. (Full recipe here.)

Gin and Tonic
We featured this summer classic just last week - and it's well worth mentioning again. Cool, zesty, and crisp, the Gin and Tonic is one of the most perennially popular patio drinks. (More on G & Ts here.)

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Gin and Lemonade
The tart, citrusy snap of lemon and the cool, crisp juniper-y flavor of gin, with a little sweetener to round things out. Pour 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of gin into a glass, top with lemonade, add a little ice and you're good to go. You can use homemade lemonade, frozen lemonade, or the fizzy, bottled stuff - it's all pretty tasty on a hot day. Lorina sparkling French lemonade is a personal favorite splurge (and it has a great re-usable bottle, I always rationalize to myself).

Club Soda and... (Your Pick)
Club soda and other kinds of fizzy water (we'll be taking a closer look at the various types in next week's column) make great staples for impromptu tall drinks. They mix well with everything from high-octane infused vodkas to delicate cordials such as St. Germain elderflower liqueur and Crème de Violette. For a quick and delicious cooler, try adding club soda to a measure of Campari or Limoncello. The possibilities are endless.

And Don't Forget....

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Ice.
Make sure your freezer's well-stocked before the weekend begins. (Tips on making perfect cubes for warm-weather drinks here.) Have a great one!

What will you be drinking this weekend?

Related: Summer Cocktails! The Full Roundup

(Images: Nora Maynard)

-Nora Maynard

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