Light and refreshing cocktails for the long weekend

Light and refreshing cocktails for the long weekend

Once the sun comes out, our drinking habits change as we look for lighter, more refreshing drinks. A homemade wine spritzer is very easy to make and can taste amazing. You can experiment by adding mint, sliced ​​strawberries, raspberries and other summer fruits. Here are some other summer drink ideas, including a non-alcoholic option, and tips for making the classic Spanish summer drink, sangria.

If you prefer beer, Hope Beer has just released its 2022 summer seasonal beer. An American Pale Ale with good juicy citrus, it will be perfect for the sunny days ahead. Alternatively, Wicklow Wolf Eden Session IPA is low in alcohol (3.8 per cent) but big on flavour; peaches, nectarines and pineapple with a nice bitter twang. Yellowbelly Citra Pale Ale is another great summer beer, light and crisp with plenty of citrus and hints of pine.

Cider sales skyrocket in warm weather, and we’ve got plenty of Irish craft ciders to keep us fresh. Look out for Stonewell, Craigie’s, Highbank, Dan Kelly’s, Killahora, Mac Ivors and others, as well as the light thirst-quenching Ciderkin from The Cider Mill in Slane. Remember that craft cider goes really well with all kinds of food, including roast pork, sausages, cold cuts and cheese plates.

I think the best non-alcoholic wines are the sparkling versions. O’Briens has the floral refreshing l’Arjolle Zéro Sparkling (€9.95) or you could try Le Petit Étoilé Sparkling Chardonnay (€9.95, Barnhill Stores; Dunnes Stores; Nolan’s Supermarket; Grapevine, Dalkey; SuperValu; Dollard & Co.) . It is an attractive summer drink with floral aromas and fresh juicy peach fruits. The perfect non-alcoholic alternative to Prosecco.


Are you a sangria fan? For some, it brings back bad memories of drinking too much of these cheap, sweet ready-made versions in the hot Spanish sun. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sangria is made from fresh ingredients and can be a refreshing summer drink with a low alcohol content.

A traditional drink in Spain, Portugal and Central America for over a century, sangria is usually flavored with a combination of fruits and herbs. The basic ingredients are wine, a spirit of some kind, a sweetener, fruit and fruit juice, lots of ice and sometimes sparkling water.

The Wine: Traditional sangria is made with red wine (sangre is Spanish for blood) but nowadays people also make it with white, rosé or sparkling wine. Don’t use your finest wine, but don’t go too cheap either. A medium bodied fruity red wine without too much tannin like a Tempranillo, Garnacha, unoaked Rioja works best.

The fruit and fruit juice: The classic version uses orange juice and generous slices of apple and orange, but feel free to add anything from strawberries, grapes, cherries, peaches, pineapple, pear, lemon, lime and whatever fruit juice you like. In general, stone fruits, apples and pears complement white wine sangria, while red fruits are best with red wine versions.

Spirit: Traditionally this would be Spanish brandy, but you can use whiskey, vodka, gin or triple sec.

The sweetener: Brown or cane sugar, or a sugar syrup to add sweetness. Syrup is easier to dissolve.

Ice: A lot of it.

Sparkling/soft water: A sangria should be fresh and fruity and not too alcoholic. If you have added a lot of fruit juice and ice, you may not need carbonated water. Taste and decide, but on a warm sunny day you want it to be a light and refreshing cocktail that you can drink in quantity.

Classic sangria

1 bottle of fruity red wine

50 ml cognac

Three oranges, one sliced.

Some handfuls of strawberries, cherries, raspberries or other red fruit

Sugar or syrup to taste.


Squeeze juice from two oranges, mix with wine and cognac. Sweeten to taste, add lots of ice, and if you want a low alcohol version, add sparkling water. Then add plenty of fruit and ice, stir and serve.

You can try a white sangria, replace a white wine with red (a Spanish Verdejo works well), use vodka instead of brandy, and add lemon, lime, apples, and halved white grapes. Even better go for a sparkling sangria with a bottle of prosecco or other cheap sparkling wine.

Alcohol-free Pomegranate Highball

100 ml Silk Tree, Seedlip Garden, Ceder’s or other non-alcoholic juniper-based drink

500 ml pomegranate juice

500 ml sparkling apple juice

A bunch of fresh mint leaves, plus a few sprigs

Three limes, two quartered the other sliced ​​for garnish.

Plenty of ice.


Place mint leaves (reserve a few sprigs for garnish) and lime wedges in a bowl and mash with a rolling pin to release flavors. Strain into a jug with Silk Tree, apple and pomegranate juice. Add plenty of ice, lime slices and sprigs of fresh mint.

#Light #refreshing #cocktails #long #weekend

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