Nothing says “summer party” like a crisp margarita or a pitcher of sangria. When the sun is blazing down, the chilled and refreshing flavors make these drinks perfect for kicking back and relaxing poolside.
Even if you aren’t on vacation, these beverages can help relieve your stress and make your unmown backyard feel less like a chore and more like a retreat.
Everyone agrees the Margarita, a Mexican cocktail, is the king of happy hour. What no one seems to agree on is the origin story of the drink. According to legend (and Wikipedia), there are no fewer than four popular tales for how the Margarita came to be:
Regardless of how it all began, with restaurants touting claims to the best margaritas in town and regularly offering specials on these festive cocktails, the Margarita is wildly popular and just begs to be sipped on outdoor patios. Serving them at your next barbecue or pool party will instantly tell your guests that a fun, carefree night is about to ensue.
There are a couple tricks:
For the best margaritas your friends and family have ever had, try this recipe:
100 percent agave tequila (see amounts in directions)
Limes for juicing and slicing into wedges
In addition to serving margaritas frozen, they can also be made on the rocks or without any ice at all. In these instances, combine tequila, triple sec, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and mix well before pouring into glasses.
Maybe you’re looking for a more laid back feel and wild fun for your gathering? Consider whipping up a pitcher of sangria for your next cookout, in addition to the expected pitchers of lemonade and iced tea.
Sangria can be as simple as red wine with some sliced citrus like lemon, lime and orange. But if you really want to be creative, it can also be more complex with the addition of ginger ale, brandy, honey, or other sliced fruits. The only limit is your imagination! Tailor your sangria to match the occasion and the foods you’re serving.
While sangria is believed to have been around for centuries, it made its international debut with a big splash in the Spanish Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. It’s enjoyed popularity ever since. Traditionally a red wine is used to make sangria, but white wines can also be used for a fruitier sangria blanco.
Here’s the recipe that started it all:
1 bottle red Spanish wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lemon, cut into slices
½ orange, cut into slices
1 ounce Spanish brandy
1 ounce Cointreau
2 cups ice cubes
1 cup cold club soda
Don’t be afraid to experiment with other wines and fruits to create a signature sangria. White wines such as Rioja, pinot grigio, or a riesling are great for making sangria blanco and would pair well with other fruits and berries outside of the citrus family.
Both of these drinks are extremely easy to serve.
Sangria will make your party feel more like a summer holiday and is easy to make in advance.
But even margaritas, although a little more work than the sangria, can be a simple and fun addition. Consider setting up a margarita station to take the pressure off of you and allow your guests the fun of creating their own.