Top 10 Drinks for Summer

It’s the last day of school in my area. Time for relaxing by the pool during the day, languid summer evenings, beach parties, bar-b-ques and camping trips. It occurred to me the other day that while I’ve shared many of my favorite drink recipes in the past few years, it might be nice to compile them all in one post. So here it is, just in time for summer frolicking. My great big Top 10 Drinks for Summer list!

Top 10 Drinks for Summer! - Bakerlady

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Long Island Iced Tea

I’ve never really understood the concept of not mixing your liquor. I hear it all the time. It goes something like this. “Oh, I can’t have a Cosmo because I’ve been drinking Mai Tais all night. I don’t want to mix my drinks.” Tangent…I just realized my cosmopolitan recipe isn’t posted on this blog. Horrors! Must fix that soon! Back to the Long Island. It slaps you upside the head and says “Just throw it all in there!”. This bar staple has five different kinds of alcohol. Talk about mixing drinks! Pretty much the only thing it DOESN’T have is tea!

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If you’ve been looking for a drink that will make you feel like a superhero, this is it. A drink to make you think you can leap tall buildings in a single bound (or at least lawn furniture). You’ll be partying at speeds faster than a speeding bullet and do push ups to show you’re more powerful than a locomotive.

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Tom Collins

Oh joy! Rapture! It’s finally here. The day I can purchase hard alcohol from a supermarket. More specifically, from Costco. To celebrate, I went out and purchased a large bottle of gin. It’s the base for many of my husband’s favorite drinks. Including this one. There’s some debate on whether I should call this a Gin Fizz or a Tom Collins. Both have the same ingredients, but (apparently) a Gin Fizz is shaken and a Tom Collins is just stirred. I guess old Tom isn’t the James Bond of cocktails. I’ve been making them so long and calling them Tom that I just can’t switch now. Forgive me if I’m totally blowing your mind not calling it a Gin Fizz.

This beverage is perfectly refreshing. Like a grown up lemonade. With a powerful punch. If you aren’t a gin drinker, be careful. It’s a higher proof than vodka, rum or whiskey. Meaning, it’s gonna hit you like a Mack truck if you don’t take it slow. I love the shaking part of drink making. Shake shake shake!!

Traditionally a Tom Collins is garnished with an orange and a marachino cherry, so I’ve included them in the recipe. However, my husband hates garnishes on his drinks. According to him, they are fru-fru and get in the way of actually drinking.  He’s perfectly fine with just a topper of club soda.


Tom Collins
makes 1 cocktail (the pictured version is a double)

2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 tsp simple syrup*
3 oz club soda
1 maraschino cherry
1 slice orange

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well. Strain into a collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.

*Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar has dissolved. It can be cooled and refrigerated for about a week. It is used in all kinds of drink recipes and is very convenient to have on hand.

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