6 Sensational Summer Cocktail Recipes

Top NJ restaurants share recipes for fun and fruity summertime drinks...

strawberry cocktail
An infusion of fruit makes these summertime libations super refreshing.

New Jersey’s love affair with the farm-to-table movement includes not only the plate, but the cocktail shaker. Bartenders and mixologists take advantage of summer’s bounty by using fresh produce to create flavor-forward libations. Before you order another cosmo or appletini, review the cocktail list for unexpected combinations that may tempt you. Our Judi Rothenberg asked a few area eateries to share recipes for warm-weather libations.

“A perennial favorite with guests is the pineapple martini, a mixture of pineapple-infused vodka with a splash of pineapple juice. It’s light on the palate without being too sweet. We infuse the vodka ourselves and it’s easy to make at home.”


One 750 ml bottle of Absolut Vodka
One pineapple, rind removed, cut into chunks

Place pineapple chunks in large glass jar with tight-fitting lid. Add vodka. Secure lid and refrigerate for three days. Strain and serve on the rocks or with a splash of pineapple juice in a chilled martini glass.


“The drinks at Ursino reflect what’s ripe and ready on our farm. When fruit and herbs are picked at their peak, you don’t need to add a lot of ingredients. The perfect cocktail is simple and not overthought. Two great examples of uncomplicated yet flavorful drinks are the strawberry Pimm’s Cup and the Mint Blossom cocktail.”


2 strawberries
1 ½ ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
2 ounces ginger ale
2 ounces club soda

Muddle two strawberries in the bottom of a Collins glass. Fill the glass with ice, add Pimm’s, top with ginger ale and club soda.


1½ ounce Breukelen gin
3 to 5 sprigs of fresh mint
2 orange slices
Club soda
Lemon zest (optional)

In a tall glass, muddle gin, 1 orange slice and mint. Add ice, and then top with club soda. Garnish with orange slice and fresh mint. Sprinkle lightly with lemon zest for a pleasant burst of citrus on the nose!


“Our specialty drink list is changed seasonally and a standout for summer is the garden cucumber-mint cocktail. The mint and cucumber come directly from our chef’s garden. For a cosmo with a twist, we add pomegranate liqueur and orange-flavored vodka to our Pom-Orange Cosmo.”


1 ounce citrus vodka
1 whole cucumber (do not peel), pureed
½ ounce Midori Melon Liqueur
½ ounce Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur
6 fresh mint leaves
Club soda

Crush the mint in the bottom of a martini shaker. Add ice, cucumber puree and the two liqueurs. Shake until cold; pour over ice into a Collins glass. Top off with club soda.

1½ ounces Grey Goose L’Orange vodka
½ ounce Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
Splash of Cointreau
Splash of cranberry juice
Squeeze of lime
Burnt orange peel and pomegranate seeds (optional)

Fill martini shaker with ice. Add all ingredients. Pour into chilled martini glass.
Garnish with burnt orange peel and pomegranate seeds.


3 ounces Absolut Pear
3 ounces pear Puree
½ ounce Domaine de Canton Ginger

16-ounce glass shaker
Stainless steel shaker
7½ ounce martini glass chilled with ice and water

Pack glass shaker with ice. In an upright circular motion, add ingredients to glass shaker. Cover with stainless steel shaker and shake vigorously until a light frost forms on the steel shaker (8 to 12 seconds). Place steel side down and remove glass shaker. Pour the ice and water from the chilled martini glass. Cover the glass with the strainer and fill from the chilled stainless steel shaker. Enjoy!

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