Blackberry Cocktail Makes 5 cups
1 ounce fresh mint sprigs
12 cucumber slices, 1/4 inch thick
12 ounces fresh blackberries
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
8 -12 teaspoons turbinado or superfine sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons gin
1 cup cold club soda
Place mint, cucumber slices, blackberries, lime juice and sugar in a large pitcher. Gently press mint leaves, cucumbers, and blackberries against side of pitcher with a wooden spoon to release flavors. Stir in gin and club soda. Serve over crushed ice.
Melon Cooler Makes about 8 cups
8 cups of 1-1/2 inch cantaloupe cubes
1-1/2 cups ginger ale
1/3 cup water
1-6 ounce can frozen limeade concentrate
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Place cantaloupe cubes in a single layer in an extra-large zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
In two batches, process half the cantaloupe, ginger ale, water, limeade concentrate, and ginger in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into serving pitcher, stir and serve immediately.
Watermelon Margaritas Makes 5 cups
4 cups seeded and chopped watermelon
Fresh lime juice
Sugar or salt
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
Arrange watermelon in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Coat rims of cocktail glasses with lime juice and dip them in sugar or salt. Put frozen watermelon, tequila, 1/4 cup sugar, grated lime rind, 1/4 cup lime juice and chopped mint leaves in a blender and process until slushy, then pour into glasses.
Peach Sangria Makes 9 cups
1 750-milliliter bottle rosé (not white) wine
3/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup peach nectar
6 tablespoons thawed frozen lemonade concentrate
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pound ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 6-ounce package fresh raspberries
2 cups club soda, chilled
Combine wine, vodka, peach nectar, lemonade concentrate and in a pitcher and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add peaches and raspberries. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Stir in chilled club soda just before serving.