Two favorite summer drink recipes for summer reading season

We've got just the drinks for your summer reading sessions

Grab a new (or new to you) book and your favorite beverage. It’s almost Summer Reading Guide time!

Whether you’re by the pool, having a picnic, in your favorite reading nook, or just comfy on the couch, it’s time to dive in to some serious (and seriously fun!) summer reading! And we’ve got just the drinks for your summer reading sessions.

My most-frequent summer reading beverage is pretty boring: I’m always reading, and I’m always toting around my water bottle (which might include a packet of True Lemon if I’m feeling fancy) and frequency alone makes that my de facto choice. My favorite non-water drink is Spindrift, which we buy by the case at Costco and typically drink right out of the can. At night—or even mid-afternoon during vacation week—I may enjoy the glorious pairing of a crisp glass of white wine and a good book. Sometimes I play with the herbs growing on the back porch to liven things up—that drink in my hand in the below photo looks festive, but it’s just Spindrift with a mint sprig.

When we hosted our Modern Mrs Darcy Stay-at-Home Book Club Retreat, I asked my friend Bri McKoy to develop a cocktail and a mocktail for our Book Clubbers. We were all stuck at home early in the pandemic, and I wanted to offer our readers a fun and festive option we could enjoy in our own homes, together.

Our Book Clubbers are wise to my affinity for Spindrift and often tease me about it. They’ve noticed I’m likely to pop open a can at the beginning of our online Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club events, and that grapefruit is my favorite. Since we’d already joked plenty that grapefruit Spindrift was our official Book Club drink, I asked Bri to develop a mocktail recipe using it as a foundation.

(This is probably a good time to mention Spindrift is in no way affiliated with the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club, but wouldn’t that be great?)

Since we were hosting our Stay-at-Home Book Club Retreat in lieu of inviting readers to come to Kentucky for an in-person weekend, I also asked Bri to develop a recipe for a Kentucky-themed cocktail that was bright and not too sweet.

I LOVE what Bri came up with. These recipes are easy, flexible, fun, and beautiful. You can keep the ingredients in your fridge for days, or even weeks, as you’ll see. And of course, they’re a wonderful way to make a summer reading session extra special.

The Darcy

This bright and bubbly mocktail features a grapefruit Spindrift base. It’s infinitely versatile: omit any of the ingredients (minus the Spindrift) you don’t have on hand, add extra fruit, try a different citrus. Have fun with it, and enjoy!

Handful of fresh raspberries or blackberries (about 6-8)
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (canned is preferable)
Juice from wedge of lime (extra for a more tart drink)
Grapefruit sparkling water (Spindrift recommended)
Optional: 1/2 TBS honey if you want a touch of sweetness

In a cocktail shaker or jar with a lid, add raspberries. Muddle raspberries (lightly press on them with a wood spoon or muddler) to release their juice. Add ice, coconut milk, juice from the lime wedge, and honey (optional) to the shaker. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. This will chill the ingredients and mix them together. Strain the coconut mixture into a glass filled with ice . Fill the remainder of the glass with the grapefruit sparkling water. Enjoy!

Summer in Kentucky Mule

We hardly ever make cocktails at my house so when we do we want the effort to feel worth it! This twist on a classic Moscow Mule has just the right amount of zing for summer. There’s no harm in foregoing the alcohol; simply swap in more Spindrift for a summer mocktail. The syrup is good in a variety of drinks—even iced coffee!

2 1/2 ounces Bourbon
1 ounce key lime juice (bottled or fresh, but “key lime” is what we are going for – not just regular limes!)
1 1/2 ounces mint & ginger honey simple syrup (method below)
Lime Sparkling water (or sparkling water of choice)

In a Moscow mule mug, add bourbon, key lime juice, and mint & ginger honey simple syrup. Stir to incorporate. Fill mug with ice. Top off with lime sparkling water. Taste! For more sweetness add additional mint & ginger honey syrup. Add more lime for a more tart drink!

Mint & Ginger Honey Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

Place the honey and the water in a small pan and place on medium high heat. Continue to stir until honey and water are fully incorporated (right when it begins to come to a boil). Place fresh mint leaves and grated ginger in a bowl and pour the hot honey syrup over the mint. Stir to incorporate. Place a lid or plate over the bowl and let steep for 20-30 minutes. Strain mint leaves and ginger out of simple syrup. Reserve mint & ginger simple syrup in an airtight container. Will last up to one month in the refrigerator. (This is a great simple syrup for summer cocktails, iced coffee, iced tea, and even for desserts!)

What are your favorite beverages? What summer drinks do you like pairing with your summer reads? Tell us your favorites in comments!

P.S. Straight to you from Derby City: the classic mint julep, and a mint fizz mocktail and My favorite cold drinks for hot summer days.

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8 comments

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  1. Erica says:

    When the heat and humidity begins to rise here in Houston (which, sadly, is now), that’s when I find my grocery cart headed to the soda aisle for Fresca! I love this citrusy beverage and find that it cuts right through the heat to make me feel refreshed.
    At some point soon I’ll be switching my hot coffee for cold brewed coffee. Another favorite summer drink!
    For alcohol, I love a good Old Fashioned! A big ice cube, essence of orange peel, and I’m in heaven!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Your Fresca comments take me right back to my high school days when I was in a deeply committed relationship with Fresca. It’s been a long time since I tasted one!

  2. Jennifer says:

    That mocktail looks delicious! I can’t have the grapefruit Spindrift but I think the raspberry lime Spindrift would be just as good. I will have to give it a try. I love Spindrift.

  3. Maureen says:

    Our book club is actually called “SanPellegrino” as it is our favourite drink of choice. Currently the Momenti Lemon & Raspberry is the one we are enjoying, and of course there is also white wine (Pinot Grigio) always available too.

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