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Not Your Usual Summer Drinks

When you think of summer drinks, what comes to mind? Margaritas? Strawberry daiquiris?

While those are great standbys, there are so many refreshing, fun and light alternatives. Consider cocktails that include sparkling water (for hydration), fruit and/or mint. Not only do they make for a beautiful beverage that will impress your guests, but they are sinfully delicious.

Try making one of these for your next barbecue, brunch or beach gathering:

Pimm’s Cup: This British favorite includes the liquor Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, cucumber, strawberries, orange, lemon, green apple, Sprite or 7-Up and ice. Learn more about this drink here: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/04/summer-pimms-cup-how-to-make-pimms-cup.html

Watermelon Tequila cocktail: This colorful and inventive drink requires mixing pureed watermelon, silver tequila, sugar syrup, blueberries, mint and fresh lime juice. Learn more about this drink here:http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/summer-drinks/1#!slide=5

White Sangria: This pretty—yet simple—Spanish libation features plums, grapes, oranges, white wine (like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc) and Cointreau (a brand of triple sec, an orange liqueur). Learn more about this drink here: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/white-sangria

Mojito: This refreshing concoction involves mint leaves, ice, white rum, lime juice, simple syrup and chilled club soda. Learn more about this drink here: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/mojito-cocktails-2009

Mint Julep: It’s not just for the Kentucky Derby! Mix mint leaves, simple syrup, crushed ice, bourbon, mint sprig and maybe even powdered sugar. Learn more about this drink here:http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/kentucky-derby-day-party/mint-julep-cocktail

Cajun Lemonade: Spice up your party with white rum or vodka; Pimm’s No. 1; fresh lemon juice; simple syrup; Tabasco; ice; and chilled 7-Up. Learn more about this drink here:http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/cajun-lemonade-cocktails-2009

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