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Illustration by Anna Cruz

Three cocktails begging to be mixed this summer 

Stay thirsty

Summertime and the livin' is easy? Maybe not so much in Florida. Whether you've got that summertime sadness, you're feeling cooped up by rainshowers, or you're just not built to live in subtropical heat and humidity, a li'l drinkie will take the edge off. These three cocktails (well, two cocktails, one mocktail) are light, modern and easy to make.

'Booch 75

Replace the champagne in a traditional French 75 with kombucha and get half the hangover, double the good gut bacteria. (I mean, the alcohol will probably kill the probiotics, but whatever.) For a lighter – and dare we say beach-friendlier? – cocktail, skip the gin and just mix Aperol into your 'booch.

* 1/2 ounce Aperol
* 1/2 ounce gin
* 1/4 ounce simple syrup
* 2 ounces plain or ginger kombucha
* 3 dashes blood-orange bitters

In an ice-filled mixing glass, combine Aperol, gin and simple syrup. Stir, then strain into a chilled flute, top with kombucha and bitters, and garnish with citrus peel of your choice (I like pomelo or tangerine).

Caught in the Rain

Unlike the old-style piña colada, this fruity, herbal take won't make you feel weighed down with sugar and cream, nor will it enable your plans to cheat on your partner.

* 2 1/2 ounces gold rum
* 1/2 ounce Chartreuse
* 1/2 ounce brown sugar simple syrup
* 3 ounces coconut milk
* 1/4 ripe avocado
* Double handful of frozen pineapple chunks (roughly 4 ounces by weight)
* Handful each fresh basil and mint

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. (The herbs will show as green flecks, and that's OK – don't overblend or use a Vitamix or other super powerful blender, because the motor will melt the drink.) Pour into a big glass or Mason jar and serve with a straw.

Don't Call Me Shirley

This recipe is infinitely substitute-friendly – use any fruits you prefer, or whatever looks fresh at the market (or in your yard). The syrup recipe makes enough to use in drinks for a week or so.

* 2 tablespoons herbal strawberry syrup
* 1 slice of blood orange
* 2 Luxardo cherries
* sparkling water

First, make the syrup: roughly chop 8 ounces of strawberries and add to a saucepan with a cup of sugar; a 3-inch piece of ginger, grated; four sprigs of fresh thyme and 10 ounces of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain out the solids, then boil again until thickened and reduced by half. Allow to cool.

Place a blood orange slice at the bottom of a coupe glass and muddle lightly. Add syrup and top with sparkling water; garnish with two cherries on a pick.


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