The Pour

Late summer is the last time most people want to deal with heavy mixers. Fortunately, the abundance of local produce and a little imagination make it possible to create light, refreshing drinks ideal for three digit temperature afternoons. Here are a few suggestions to keep summer cocktails breezy.

• Lose the ubiquitous sweet and sour mixer for the summer. Make your own lighter version by combining the juice of lemons, limes and a little orange juice, combined with simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, well merged).

• Squeeze and juice fresh fruit for sweet-tangy refreshment in your cocktails. Consider summer strawberries, pureed and then strained to remove the pulp. Apply the same treatment to local peaches, berries and even watermelon, for a lovely change of pace. Combine with light rum or vodka and garnish with fresh mint.

• Muddle fresh ginger, mint, rosemary or fresh basil to add zip to a cocktail of gin or vodka and soda water or tonic mixer.

• Other produce popular for cocktails includes cucumber, tomato water and rhubarb and plum syrups made from fresh fruit.

A refreshing take on cocktails is one way to make even Oklahoma’s scorching summers a little more tolerable.