In Search Of The Perfect Summer Cocktail with Kid Rock and Mungo Jerry

Summertime. 

Warm winds.  Suntan oil.  Cool tunes.  Cold drinks.  Hot times.

I think Mungo Jerry said it best with their hit song “In The Summertime”.  (Yes, I said “their” hot song.  Mungo Jerry was not a Jerry…it was an English rock band.  I think I missed “Mungo-mania”)

In the summertime when the weather’s high,
you can stretch right up and touch the sky,
when the weather’s fine,
you got women, you got women on your mind.
Have a drink, have a drive,
go out and see what you can find

Every summer, there are tunes that hit the “airwaves” (is there such a thing anymore?) or iTunes or your iPod.  Summer songs.  And if you are like me, you are also reminded of summer songs from the past.  Now some of us can take our past back a long way…Jan and Dean “Surf City…Lovin’ Spoonful “Summer in the City”…and some of us do not have to travel quite as far…DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince “Summertime”.  No matter how far you go back (see: Frank Sinatra “Summer Winds and Nat “King” Cole “Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days of Summer ) once you hit that first day of summer, or last day of school (“Schools Out”, Alice Cooper) your mind heads in a different direction.

Artists all vie for a big summertime hit.  Hell, The Beach Boys made an entire career (actually maybe two careers) out of summertime hits…almost every song they put out was a reference to summer, cruisin’, surfin’, and girls.

Barbara Ann, California Girls (Sorry Katy), 409, Surfin’ USA, and Fun, Fun, Fun…

And she’ll have fun fun fun
‘Til her daddy takes the T-Bird away
(Fun fun fun ’til her daddy takes the T-Bird away)

In search of fun…

And in search of the perfect tune…

Every summer.  It doesn’t end.  I hope it doesn’t because I enjoy it.  The music.  The fun.  And the drinks!

Summer fun is defined in a number of ways by all of us.  Each one may be unique, but I bet we could find a common denominator…

Olivia Newton-John and John “Vinnie Barbarino” Travolta did in their “summer” song…Summer Nights, from Grease.

She swam by me, she got a cramp
He ran by me, got my suit damp
I saved her life, she nearly drowned
He showed off, splashing around
Summer sun, something’s begun, but uh-oh those summer nights
Uh well-a well-a well-a huh

(Got my suit damp?  How did I miss that 32 years ago?)

Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” is one of the great songs, period.  Not just a summer song.  It touches all of our lives if we let it.  Feelings…Thoughts…Love gained and lost…

I can see you
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and those
wayfarers on, baby

And while you are listening to your summer tunes, next to your summer love, I hope you have a cool drink in your hand.  This too is a variable.  At one time it may have been a cold beer can…and may still be.  For me, however, it is more often a cocktail.  And while music artists search each summer for the “perfect summer tune”, my search is for the “cocktail of the summer”.

Margarita?  Mojito?  Paloma? Dark and Stormy?

They have all had their place in time and in a summer…and not a damn thing wrong with any of them…

This year is no different.  While there are a number of new summer songs out there to tune into, I find myself gravitating back towards the summer cocktail that includes Aperol.  I wrote about Aperol a month back, after we returned from Italy and Drew and Rachel’s wedding.  We had several Aperol spritz cocktails, and I posted the recipe.  We keep going back to that cocktail all summer long. (One of my favorite “summer songs” by the kid, Kid Rock, All Summer Long

See, in the summer, you are looking to quench your thirst…whether you actually know it, doesn’t matter…becuase you are trying to quench it.   You are hot.  You are thirsty.

Most cocktails leave you thirsty, still.  Except maybe the Aperol Spritz.  Or maybe, the ol’ standard G & T…gin and tonic.  Slightly bitter, because of the “Quinine”, but garnished with a lime, it can become quite refreshing.  And that is where the Aperol Spritz helps…

Aperol is an Italian liquor, similar to Campari…slighlty bitter, but a little sweeter than Campari.  For the Aperol Spritz, you add Prosecco and seltzer…2 oz Aperol…3 oz Prosecco..top with seltzer and add an orange slice.

But to combine the classic quenching of the Gin and Tonic, with the contemporary twist of Aperol…you come up with…

Cucumber Cooler

  • 1.5 oz Gin (Hendricks works great with this)
  • .5 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • 4-5 slices of cucumber
  • splash of tonic and ice
  • Put the cucumber in the bottom of a shaker and muddle.  Add all ingredients except the tonic and shake well.  Pour into a tall glass filled with ice and top off with tonic.
  • Drink, enjoy, repeat

Okay, I am not saying it is the perfect summer drink.  But it is really great and I think you would agree.  

But then again, the perfect summer drink for me is the one in my hand…or the one I just finished.

As far as the perfect summer song…???

That is a tough call.  But, who can argue with Kid Rock?

Splashing through the sand bar
Talking by the campfire
It’s the simple things in life, like when and where
We didn’t have no internet
But man I never will forget
The way the moonlight shined upon her hair

And we were trying different things
We were smoking funny things
Making love out by the lake to our favorite song
Sipping whiskey out the bottle, not thinking ’bout tomorrow
Singing Sweet home Alabama all summer long

Well, whatever your perfect song or cocktail may be, enjoy it.  And be thankful it is in your ears and in your hand…and

…smile, that is also important in the Summer…and Fall…and Winter…and Spring…and Life.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Short on gin but smiling with you!

    Like

    • That is what counts…keep on smiling.

      Like


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