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Summer cocktail trends

Maris Callahan is the author of "In Good Taste," and, as an avid self-taught home cook, is widely knowledgeable about all things culinary. She is especially passionate about helping women on-the-go cook healthy, delicious meals and snack...

4 Tips for delicious sips

Temperatures are heating up, and people are getting ready for summer with sunset cocktail parties or by simply sipping libations on a favorite porch or patio. If you're tempted to stick to your standby wine spritzers, light beers or margaritas, think outside the box this year with some of summer's hottest cocktail trends that will cool you down when the heat sets in.
Women drinking cocktails
Photo credit: mauro grigollo/iStock/360/Getty Images

1

Floral flavors

Summer flowers aren't just for the centerpieces on your table. Next time you're whipping up a batch of cocktails, think of floral liqueurs and mixers that will punch up your party cocktails. Orange blossom water will lend a fruity, floral taste, while lavender soda will neutralize the acidity in tart summer lemonade cocktails.

Lavender lemonade

Add a shot of vodka to a glass of this lavender lemonade >>

2

Be punchy

Claire Smith, head of Belvedere's Spirit Creation and Mixology, says that making a punch is a great way to save time when it comes to preparing drinks. "No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen during a party," Smith says. "Make the punch ahead of time so on the day of your event you can spend your time interacting and entertaining your guests."

Smith suggests a vodka citrus punch with 8.5 ounces of Belvedere vodka, 4 ounces of lemon juice, 3 ounces of simple syrup and 16 ounces of soda water. Combine the ingredients in a pitcher, and garnish with lemon slices and mint.

Summer melon sangria recipe

Make a big batch of summer melon sangria for your next party >>

3

Use your herb garden

Whether you grow fresh herbs or buy them from your farmers market each week, you can use them in everything from your cooking to your cocktails. We all know that mint is wonderful in mojitos, but you can also add fresh basil to lemonade cocktails, and thyme tastes great against the herbal notes in gin cocktails.

Rosemary and gin fizz

Try a refreshing herb-infused cocktail >>

4

Put your best fruit forward

Spring and summer are the perfect times to experiment with fruit-forward cocktails, but that doesn't mean you should stock up on juices and syrups. If you buy quality liquors, you won't want to mask their flavor. Use fresh strawberries, pineapples, mangoes — whatever looks good at your market — and combine the muddled fruit with your favorite mixer over ice.

3 Fresh fruit cocktails

Raid the fruit bowl for a fresh fruit cocktail >>

Delicious sips | Infographic

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