The Best Summer Sippers: Hot Enough For You? These Will Cool You DownJul 14, 2021 04:34PM ● By GINA BIRCH
Light, refreshing and low calorie—three descriptors commonly used when seeking adult beverages to enjoy during the hot summer months in Florida. While most people have their go-to beverages when both the humidity and temperatures are approaching triple digits, the taste makers in the beer, wine and spirits industry are constantly working on new products to get your attention.
We’ve put together a list of some new favorites, guaranteed to quench almost any thirst, whether hanging by the pool, cooking out, throwing a summer soiree or simply relaxing on the lanai.
Fort Myers Brewing Company Spyk’d Hard Seltzers
The popularity of hard seltzers has exploded over the past couple of years, and you’ll understand why when you taste those from Fort Myers Brewing Company. It has crafted the first local line of spiked seltzers that are winning national awards. These adult seltzers are light, refreshing and natural tasting, with flavors such as watermelon, cherry limeade, strawberry lime, mojito, lemon lime and orange. No sugar, no carbs and only 90 calories, they are a light, near-perfect adult beverage for summer. $11 a six pack at the brewery
These are not hard kombuchas. They are a new line of ready-to-drink cocktails that marry the effervescence of kombucha with a variety of premium spirits and a host of natural ingredients, nothing artificial. These cocktails also come in the convenience of a 12-ounce can. Flavors include Cucumber Clarity (kombucha, cucumber and botanical gin) and Sunshine State (a tropical mix of mango, key lime, vodka and kombucha). $23.96 a four-pack
Sweet Tea Vodka
Sweet tea isn’t just a signature lunch or dinner beverage in the south. It’s also a new flavor of vodka in the lineup at Firefly Distillery in South Carolina. The tea used for flavor infusion comes from a local plantation, and the sweetener used is Louisiana sugarcane. For those cutting sugar from their diet, Firefly also makes a Skinny Tea using Truvia natural sweetener; only 72 calories are in a 1.5-ounce pour. $20
Dewar’s Portuguese Smooth
Scotch might not be the first thing that comes to mind during the summertime; however, the folks at Dewar’s have embarked on some intriguing partnerships around the world to create a new line of cask-finished spirits. Dewar’s Portuguese Smooth is one of them. The eight-year-old blended scotch is finished in ruby port casks. It has the spice and warmth of whisky along with the fruits and sweetness of port—apricots, cherries, vanilla and honey. It’s great mixed with ginger ale, in an old fashioned or simply over ice. $25
Red, White, Rosé and Sparkling
Lighter reds are ideal for summer, and the 2018 Sea Slopes pinot noir from Sonoma’s Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery is a perfect selection. Give it a slight chill before serving and enjoy the flavors of black cherry. If you still have any Thin Mints left from Girl Scout cookie season, they go surprisingly well together. $52
Oregon is known for making outstanding pinot gris, and the 2019 Firesteed Cellars entry is a good example. It’s a round, medium-body wine featuring flavors of stone fruit, melon and a little honey. $16
From California, the 2019 Unshackled Rosé from the Prisoner Wine Company is an unusual blend of pinot noir, syrah, grenache and mourvèdre that begs for another sip—rosé all day. It’s full of tropical fruits and citrus with bright acidity and a crisp finish. $21
Organic and vegan, Corvezzo Prosecco is fresh, aromatic and tastes like summer in a glass. It’s one you could drink all day. This Italian sparkling wine is aromatic, a little peachy, a little acidic and very refreshing. It’s also a great buy. $13
Wreck Beach Boozie Freezie
Nothings says summer like a freeze pop. Unlike those from childhood, the Boozie Freezie from Wreck Beach Spirits has a grown-up twist. It is crafted with premium spirits including rum, vodka and agave, along with real fruit purees. Sweetened primarily with monk fruit, they are low calorie with concentrated flavors that include Brisky Frisky Daiquiri, Glacier Margarita, Sunshine on the Rocks and VodkaBerry Snow. Packs start at $12.95.
Frosty Sweet Tea Lemonade
- 1 ounce Firefly Skinny Tea Vodka
- 4 ounces black tea (chilled)
- 3 ounces lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons simple syrup
- Handful of ice
Pour Firefly Skinny Tea Vodka, black tea, lemon juice and simple syrup into a blender. Add a handful of ice and blend until smooth. Serve with a lemon wedge, preferably in a Mason jar.
Gina Birch is a regular contributor. A lover of good food, good drinks and a fun time, she is also a well-known media personality in Southwest Florida.