Late Summer Sparklers

{via pinterest}
I'll be the first to admit that once those September magazines start arriving my entire thought process shifts to fall. And since we've had some unseasonably cool temps here in the CLE it's been pretty easy to do. But before we break out the scarves and boots let's have just a few more cocktails on the patio to toast the end of summer. Who's with me?

sparkling margaritas
makes 6 
1 cup tequila
2/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 cups sparkling wine
lime peel
In a cocktail shaker combine half of the tequila, lime juice and agave nectar with plenty of ice. Shake for 5 seconds and strain the mixture into three glasses. Repeat with remaining tequila, juice, and agave nectar. Top each serving with sparkling wine. Add a lime peel strip. Add additional lime juice to taste.

strawberry prosecco sparkler
makes 6
  • 6 sugar cubes
  • Angostura bitters
  • 750ml bottle prosecco, champagne or other sparkling wine
  • 4 thinly sliced strawberries

Drop a sugar cube into each of 6 glasses and douse with a few dashes of bitters. Pour prosecco over top; garnish with sliced strawberries. 

(skinny) black-eyed susan
In a shaker full of ice, stir together 3 tablespoons white rum3 tablespoons club soda, and 1 tablespoon each of pineapple juice, orange juice, and any citrus liqueur (cointreau/grand marnier). Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with a lemon wedge or peel.

A few sans alcohol...but just as much fun!

berry lemon sparkler
makes 8
  • 1 1/2 pints raspberries or blackberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups lemon juice (from 8 lemons)
  • Ice
  • Seltzer
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish

    In a medium bowl, mash the 1 1/2 pints berries with the sugar; let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup water, then strain into a large pitcher, pressing with a spoon to extract any juice. Stir in the lemon juice and 2 1/2 cups more water.
      Fill 8 pint glasses halfway with ice. Pour about 3/4 cup berry-lemon mixture into each glass, top with a splash of seltzer and stir to combine. Garnish with berries and a mint sprig.

      honey vanilla spritzer
      makes 4
        • 2/3 cup honey
        • 1/2 cup water
        • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
        • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
        • Ice
        • 4 cups chilled seltzer
        Bring honey, water, and vanilla bean to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, until honey dissolves. Let cool completely. Strain through a fine sieve (there will be some seeds). Stir in lime juice. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Top with seltzer.

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