Peppermint chillerJanet Tharpe

Janet's Notebook

Cool down with our favorite summer cocktails
Janet Tharpe
I really wanted something cool and refreshing so this drink was born

There's nothing better than sitting on the back patio after a long day and enjoying the wonderful summertime weather. It seems like my glider - and a refreshing drink - make my worries go away. Here are just a few of my favorite crave-worthy cocktails.

A good, frozen drink is a great way to beat the heat. And being from the south, I'm a big bourbon fan. So, before I even sampled this concoction, I knew I was going to be a fan of Patti Petty's Bourbon Slush.

"A great mild bourbon flavored beverage to sip on summer evenings ... or any other time," says Patti. This cocktail has a subtle bourbon flavor. If you're having friends over, even non-bourbon lovers will be asking for more.

Coconut and lime takes my taste buds back to vacations in the Florida Keys. It's such a satisfying combo and the main flavors in Ali Bresnahan's Rum Coconut Slush.

One sip of this and I'm instantly relaxed. I taste-tested this with coconut rum and it was coconut heaven. Next time, I'm going to try dark rum as Ali suggests. This is definitely a refreshing drink for a hot summer day!

Tess Greer first tried Tranquillo on a trip to Washington, DC. Tess loved it so much she figured out how to make it at home! With just the right hint of mint and the addition of fresh grapefruit juice, it really is the perfect summer sipper.

"These are a cross between a fruit smoothie and a cocktail," says Norene G. about her Bullfrog recipe. With oranges, apples, ginger and pineapple, the bullfrog juice itself is delicious on it's own. A great way to sneak some fruits and veggies into your diet. But, add a little vodka and triple sec and you have one porch sipping worthy cocktail.

Make sure to keep a big pitcher on hand for any unexpected guests. Once they try this unusual concoction, they are going to be asking for the recipe. And refilling their glasses!

What do you do when you plant herbs and they seem to grow wild? Well, that was a dilemma Tanya Jones had when her peppermint plant REALLY bloomed. "I really wanted something cool and refreshing so this drink was born," says Tanya.

Tanya starts by creating a mint simple syrup for her Peppermint Chiller. Then, she combines lemon juice, orange juice and ginger ale. Pour it over ice and your cocktail is served! If you want to add some alcohol to this drink, add a little bit or rum as Tanya suggests. I've served this both ways and everyone always enjoys it.

Tonight, get out your glasses and try out one of these beat-the-heat treats! And remember, always drink responsibly.

© 2011 Just A Pinch Recipe Club. Used by Permission.

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