"Back to ya crib/ to change clothes once more/'cuz you're invited to a barbecue that's starting at 4." Will was right, the smell from a grill can spark up nostalgia. If you are planning on having your crew over for a cookout, good drinks are a must. When it comes to serving drinks at a house party, the essentials are all you need: some brews, some liq', mixers like juice and soda, and red cups, right? Wrong! This 4th of July, it's easy to step up your drink selection and impress your peeps.
Serving good cocktails at the crib isn't just for professional bartenders. With the right tools, anybody can make amazing cocktails this summer.
AllHipHop.com linked up, again, with our peeps at Ciroc and celebrated Atlanta Mixologist, Brian Boykin of the Drinkshop at the W Hotel-Downtown who mixed up Ciroc's cool summer recipes for us to sample, and he gave us tips on how to sling drinks in the backyard like a pro.
As always, AllHipHop.com urges you to drink responsibly.
Five Tips on Making Great Summer Cocktails:
1) Fresh Ingredients: If a recipe calls for lime juice, use real limes. Not that plastic, green thing. Fresh ingredients add better flavor and contribute to the "balance" of a cocktail.
2) Stick to the recipe: Ciroc's cocktails are created and tested by their resident mixologists. Changing drink recipes can throw off the ever-important balance. Make the drink according to the recipe, then modify it to your own taste, carefully.
3) Prep& Presentation: Instead of your same old red cups, try Chinet's cut crystal cups, they're designed to look like glass drink tumblers, but are made of strong plastic, you can serve your drinks with class, plus they only cost about $3. Also, prep all of your ingredients first, it makes serving the drinks easier.
4) Use "good" ice: That's right, not all ice is made the same. Skip the gas station bag of ice, which is smaller and melts quickly watering down your drinks. Instead use larger ice cubes, they melt slower. Investing in large ice cube trays will run you about $8.
5) Have the right tools: You need a Boston Shaker Set. The set should include a stainless steel shaker, a strainer, a muddler (a wooden tool that mashes solid ingredients), and a jigger (which measures the ounces). A good shaker set will run you about $40, but you can use it for years and it makes you look cool.
All of Ciroc's summer cocktails are a twist on "The Diddy," which is the mogul's own recipe.
CÎROC AGAVE LEMONADE
Ciroc Peach is the company's most popular flavor, this tasty drink was a treat because Georgia is The Peach State, and we used local peaches. Elderflower liqueur is the latest drink craze, Brian Boykin calls it the "ketchup," of liqueur's because you can put it in any drink and make it taste better. We also skipped the garnish.
1.5 oz - CÎROC PEACH
.25 oz - Elderflower liqueur
.75 oz - Lemon Juice
.5 oz - Agave
2- Slices of Peach
Muddle peaches. Add remaining ingredients to shaker and shake with ice. Double strain in to a chilled double old fashion glass with ice. Garnish with a dried peach
CÎROC SUMMERTIME LEMONADE
This was our favorite. We made it at home and it was easy and great. It has a fresh, summery taste that instantly made us wanna sit by the pool and get a pedicure like Fabolous did on Instagram.
1.5 oz - CÎROC Vodka
.75 oz - Lemon Juice
.75 oz - Agave Nectar
4 Chunks - Watermelon
5 pieces - Parsley
Top - Sparkling pink lemonade
Muddle watermelon and parsley in shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with Ice. Double strain in to a Collins glass and top with sparkling pink lemonade. Garnish with a slice of watermelon and sugar rim
CÎROC POMEGRANATE LEMONADE
This one was just "ok," because pomegranate juice has a really strong flavor, that you either like or you don't. But, you can give it a try.
1.5 oz - CÎROC RED BERRY
1 oz - Lemonade
.5 oz - Pomegranate Juice
.5 oz - Limoncello
.5 oz - Simple Syrup
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coup class. Garnish with a lemon twist.
CÎROC COCONUT LIMEADE
This was another one of our favorites, and it was really easy to make. The combination of limes and the peppery smell and taste of basil was perfection. We tried this one at home, and modified it with .75 oz of grenadine to make it cherry limeade, and it was awesome.
1.5 oz - CÎROC COCONUT
1/2 - of one lime
.75 oz - Simple Syrup
6 - basil leaf
Cut lime and place half into shaker. Add basil, then muddle. Add the remaining ingredients and shake over ice. Double strain into a chilled old fashion glass. Garnish with a sprig of basil.
Share your twists on summer cocktail recipes made with Ciroc on their Twitter and Instagram @Ciroc