I like a cocktail now and again. I don’t know about you, but this is the time of year when my palette is ready for new fresh tastes… a shift from the juicy, comforting ripe fruit and warming spirits I crave in the cold months to the bright, light and effervescent flavors I gravitate toward in the summer months.

I tend to drink whiskey, rye, scotch or a big yummy Cabernet during the cooler months, which I am officially declaring is over, no matter what the weatherman says. As soon as we hit weather in the 80’s, it is officially time to move to gin, vodka, white whiskey, Rosé and crisp white wines.

I’ve been experimenting with creating my own grenadines with some success. I just finished making a ginger one that I thought would be great for summer cocktails. Here’s the recipe to get you started off right for the summer.


Ginger Grenadine

3 cups water

1 cup sliced ginger

1 cup sugar

ginger syrup

Simmer the water and ginger over low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and smash the ginger to release some of the juices, but there’s no need to pulverize it. Let the mixture steep for 1 hour. Strain the ginger out and return the liquid to the pan. Add the sugar and bring to a low boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool on the stove for 30 minutes. Pour into a glass jar and keep refrigerated. This will keep for at least a month.


Shelley’s Summer Cocktail

2 ounces Gin or Vodka

1 ounce Ginger liquor

½ ounce Cointreau

Juice of one lemon, peel some lemon zest to use for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a martini shaker with ice and shake the dickens out of it. I like these cold! You can serve this up in a chilled martini glass over rocks for an ice cold sipping experience.

My last tip for summer cocktailing is to drink Rosé! I implore you to explore this wine if you have not already. It quenches a thirst you didn’t know you even had. Get a bottle and chill it well, wait for the next really hot day where you can sit outside and enjoy it with a friend, pop the bottle open and be transported into a new world of wine enjoyment. At The Chopping Block we await with anticipation the Rosé selection, both for the shift in the season that it represents as well as its beautiful, bright and unique characteristics. We just got our summer selection in and at a retail price of $11.00 how can you resist? Stop anytime, and we would be happy to share a taste with you.

What is your favorite summer cocktail or wine?