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Food and Drink Features

Liquid sunshine

Metro mixologists offer an impressive selection of summer-friendly cocktails.

Greg Horton July 10th, 2013

Summer cocktails are designed to help you beat the heat, not weigh you down.

They tend to be fruitier, lighter and more zippy. If you add fresh fruit, it’s almost as if you’re drinking healthy.

Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson, takes local to a whole new level with its Garrison Finish. Black tea-infused bourbon is mixed with lemon, agave, Oklahoma blackberries and foraged Iowa sage to create a complex blend of flavors and textures. The lemon keeps the acidity up, and the agave keeps the weight down. It’s seriously refreshing.

For evenings, try Ludivine’s Mayberry Moonshine. VSOP cognac is blended with maple syrup, angostura bitters, Creole bitters and absinthe spray. The combination of two types of bitters makes a cocktail of amazing depth — there simply are too many flavors to pick them all out. The mixture of sweet, herbal, spicy and earthy makes for a drink that is best appreciated slowly.

Ginger shows up regularly in summer drinks, and chef Jonathan Krell at Boulevard Steakhouse, 505 S. Boulevard in Edmond, has created one that’s almost a confection.

House-made caramelized peach simple syrup — you read that right — is blended with Woodford Reserve bourbon, ginger beer, fresh muddled mint and crushed ice to form a cocktail perfect for patio or bar. If you don’t think of Stratford peaches when you drink it, you’re not from Oklahoma.

Packard’s New American Kitchen, 201 N.W. 10th, also uses ginger beer to create its take on the classic Moscow Mule. Called the Pack Mule, your choice of vodka is mixed with ginger beer, fresh lime and your choice of a sweetener.

If you’re in for brunch, switch up the Bloody Mary routine and opt for an amazing eye-opener: The Hot Mess. Your choice of tequila, jalapeño Cointreau, tomatillo, cilantro and lime make for a spicy, tangy hangover cure.

For a batch of cocktails at home, poolside or on the patio, Imbibe Magazine always has an impressive selection of choices. Named for chef Julian Serrano, the Serrano cocktail was created by mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim.

It’s a refreshing blend of vodka, Campari, limoncello and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Depending on how adventurous you feel, you could whip up your own batch of limoncello; recipes abound online.

Milder evenings might call for a more classic drink. Try the cocktails from Fluid Dynamics, the makers of Germain-Robin brandy. Germain-Robin makes some of the world’s finest, and that skill also transfers to craft cocktails. The ingredients are blended and aged in oak barrels. The effect is of a mellower, more focused version of classic cocktails like a brandy Alexander or Saratoga.

Fluid Dynamics cocktails are available by bottle, allowing you to try each without spending a ton of money. Pick them up at Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway.

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