Cool Summer Drinks from Kowalski’s culinary director Rachael Perron

Cool off this summer with refreshing drinks bursting with seasonal flavors.
1) Basil gin and ginger 2) Sparkling Arnie Palmer punch 3) Strawberry lemonade with melon ice cubes 4) Honeyed sangria

Summer is the time for FRUITY drinks. Try these cool beverages from Kowalski’s Companies culinary director, Rachael Perron.

1. Basil Gin and Ginger
makes 2

4 large leaves fresh basil, plus 2 very
small sprigs for garnish
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
2 oz. gin
10 oz. cold ginger ale
2 lime wedges, for garnish Ice

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4 large basil leaves and lime juice; add gin and ice. Shake; strain evenly into two lowball glasses over ice. Top glasses evenly with ginger ale; garnish each glass with a lime wedge and a small sprig of basil.

2. Sparkling Arnie Palmer Punch
Serves 12

8 cups cold water, divided
12 tea bags
12 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
750 ml. chilled sparkling wine

In medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Place tea bags in a large punchbowl; cover with boiling water. Let steep 5 min.; remove tea bags. Add remaining water and lemonade concentrate, stirring to combine. Slowly pour in wine so as to minimize fizzing. Add ice to punchbowl and serve immediately.

Note: It’s easy to make this beverage kid-friendly by using a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage such as FRÏSA sparkling botanical beverages, which come in three delicious flavors: black currant rosehip, elderflower and ginger hibiscus.

3. Strawberry Lemonade with Melon Ice Cubes
Serves 4

Melon of your choice (such as
watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew)
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
4 cups ice cold water, divided
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon zest (optional)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Mint sprigs and whole strawberries for garnish

Using a melon baller, scoop out as many melon balls as you wish. On a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment paper, arrange melon pieces so they are not touching each other. Place in freezer overnight (or for a few hours if you prefer a more softened texture). If fully frozen, transfer melon pieces to a freezer bag; keep in freezer until ready to use.

In a blender or food processor, purée strawberries; pour into a pitcher and set aside. In a small saucepan, mix 2 cups water and the sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat; chill completely in refrigerator (about 1 hr.). Stir in zest and lemon juice; pour into the pitcher with the strawberry purée. Add 2 cups water; stir well. Serve over melon ice cubes with a sprig of fresh mint and a strawberry.

4. Honeyed Sangria
Serves 10

750 ml. bottle Zinfandel or Tempranillo (or another fruity red wine)
1 oz. brandy
1 oz. triple sec
2 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. pure honey
1 each orange and lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
6 thin wedges fresh pineapple
¼ cup maraschino cherries, stemmed
6 oz. cold club soda
Wedges of orange, lemon and pineapple and maraschino cherries, for garnish

In a 2 qt. pitcher, combine wine, brandy, triple sec, juices and honey; stir until honey is dissolved. Add fruit; chill in refrigerator until cold (about 2 hrs.). Just before serving, add club soda; stir gently to combine. Serve in wine glasses over ice; garnish each glass with fruit.