July is usually the hottest month of summer, but at least, while we’re not having another record-setting year like 2013, there’s an adequate supply of hot weather to Utah. Hot weather means that when cocktail hour rolls around, Utah’s amateur mixologists should have plenty of takers for their cocktails. The number of items on SPA (Special Price Adjustment) this month dropped from around 420 in June to a much more miserly 272 in July, but if you want to make some great cocktails, there are some quality cocktail ingredients on sale this month at the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores.
When it’s this hot (i.e. high 90’s to 100 for several days in a row), my thoughts turn to frozen drinks, and somehow that makes me think of Rum. My wife and I have been enjoying a nice Piña Colada or two every night or two. If you limit your Piña Coladas to light Rum, Bacardi’s is on sale this month, but if you don’t mind an off-color drink, go with the Mount Gay Eclipse Rum (CS# 042666 down 15% to $17). It also goes well in two of my favorite Rum coolers: the Mojito and the classic Rum and Coke (with lime, of course).
As hot as it is, you are probably looking for some great summer cooler cocktail recipes in time for your barbecue or pool party, or just to enjoy after mowing the lawn. Here are some suggestions that will save you money by taking advantage of items that are marked down this month.
The classic Gin cooler for hot weather is the Gin and Tonic. This month you might want to try one using New Amsterdam Gin (1750ml CS# 031473 down 11% to $24), an excellent economy Gin. It goes well in a Tom Collins, too. If you’re more interested in a Classic Martini, pick up some Hendricks Gin (CS# 028625 down 8% to $33) or some Bombay Gin (CS# 028206 down 17% to $19). No, it’s not a cooler, but it sure does taste good!
Deals on Vodka this month include liter bottles of Ketel One (CS# 034457 down 10% to $28) and liters of Absolut (CS# 034007 down 11% to $24). If you like cranberry juice, try these in a Cosmo Cooler, a descendant of the classic cocktail. If you like your Whiskey drinks (Bourbon anyone?) I can recommend a Mint Julep, so pick up a liter of Evan Williams Single Barrel (down 7% to $26) and find some mint.
Some of my favorite mixing Tequilas are marked down this month: try El Jimador Reposado (CS# 089278 down 15% to $17), Milagro Tequila Reposado (CS# 089583 down 9% to $30), or Milagro Silver (CS# 088116 down 13% to $26). All three of these go well in a classic Margarita, or in two great Tequila coolers: the Margarita Cooler and the Tequila Mojito.
So find a shady spot when you get home from work, kick back, and enjoy a nice summer cooler or a delicious cocktail.