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Summer cocktails you should know how to make

Summer cocktails you should know how to make

Text: Yvonne Wang

I normally could survive well under the hot humid Hong Kong summer. But this summer seems a bit overwhelming. Luckily, here we are not as crazy hot as in Europe right now…. When you were tired and stressed out after a long day under the heat waves, your body is craving some sugary beverages as a booster. To avoid emptying a can of soda drinks, I will go for a classy cocktail (well it’s an excuse apparently). The following classic cocktails are simple and easy to make from the materials to the steps. After understanding the basics, you can fine tune it to your favorite drinks as well.

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Dry Martini

Dry Martini is a cocktail made with dry gin and dry vermouth and garnished with a green olive. It is simple, while charming and fascinating.

50 ml               Dry Gin
10 ml               Dry Vermouth
1 pc                 Green Olive    

  • Chilled the martini glass in advance
  • Pour the gin and dry vermouth into a mixing glass. Add ice cubes and stir for 20 seconds or until it is chilled
  • Strain into the chilled martini glass
  • Garnished with a green olive


As different gin brands have their recipes of botanicals used, they taste different. I prefer the classic London dry gin style so here to recommend the Edinburgh Classic Gin from my favorite Scotland. This gin is a zesty, juniper-forward style, using 14 types of botanicals including juniper, orange peel, pine buds, mulberries, lavender. Or if you like more citrus style, try the Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin from Australia. Besides juniper as the core, they are using a whole orange and lemon myrtle from Queensland instead of lemon peel. A total of 10 botanicals, love it! For the ratio between gin and dry vermouth, you can adjust from 5:1 to 6:1 accordingly.

Even the classics have variations. The famous line in James Bond movies, "Vodka martini, shaken, not stirred" is a twist. James Bond preferred vodka over gin, shake instead of a stir, and garnished with a twist of lemon peel rather than green olive. Well, I like the traditional gin recipe more. By the way, make sure you use a non-pitted green olive to keep the clarity. It looks minor but important!

Moscow Mule

Sometimes people’s attention to Moscow Mule is the hammered copper mug. This is a cocktail with 3 ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. It was said to create to upsell vodka after WWII. Why the copper mug? No clue but it looks chilled!

45 ml               vodka
15 ml               fresh lime juice
60 ml               ginger beer
A few pcs of mint leaves
One slice of lime

  • Pour the vodka, fresh lime juice and crushed ice into the copper mug. Replaced with a highball glass if you don’t have the mug
  • Pour the ginger beer, and stir well
  • Garnish with the mint leaves and lime wheel on top


Since it is so easy to make, let’s spend more effort by using nice vodka. I picked Beluga Vodka as it is made from Siberian winter wheat. The soft and mild vanilla, oatmeal on nose and palate, match well with the spicy ginger beer and sharp lime juice.

Whisky Sour

The basics of a cocktail are spirit, sugar, and acidity. Whisky Sour is made from whisky, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to create a smooth texture. Bartenders are likely to use American bourbon whiskey as it is spicy with a caramelized sweetness that goes well with the acidity in lemon juice.

60 ml               Bourbon whiskey
25 ml               fresh lemon juice
15 ml               simple syrup
15 ml               egg white

  • Add all the ingredients into a shaker and dry shake for 30 seconds (without ice) to make the egg white foamy
  • Add the ice and shake until chilled
  • Strain into a coupe glass. Use a finer strainer to keep the smooth texture


So, I am using Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Unlike most bourbon whiskey using corn and rye, Maker’s Mark is using 70% locally grown corn, 16% of red winter wheat and the rest is malt. Nice oak, caramel, vanilla and wheat, toasted nuts prevail both in the nose and on the palate. Besides being a cocktail ingredient, it is perfectly fine to enjoy the whiskey on the rocks.


A bit troublesome to use a shaker? All right let’s get something really easy.

Highball is just whisky topped with soda water. There is a story behind this simplicity. In the 1950s after World War II, people were unfamiliar with the high alcoholic level of whisky. Suntory in Japan promoted highball as a way of enjoying whisky by diluting with soda water. This made the drinks much affordable while looking hip to enjoy in such a way, and it became an instant hit.

60 ml               whisky
120 ml             soda water

  • Add whisky into a highball glass filled with ice cubes
  • Top with soda water, and stir gently


Highball is not sweet. It is perfect if you are concern about sugar intake. The diluted format allows anyone not used to the high alcoholic level of whisky to enjoy it. To make it more refreshing, I picked the Chita Single Grain Whisky. It is light bodied, refreshing with a soft note of pear, a perfect highball partner.

Watermelon Daiquiri

How could we miss fresh fruits? Daiquiri is a rum-based cocktail with lime juice and simple syrup. Bartenders then tweak it by adding various kinds of frozen fresh fruit daiquiri.

200 g               watermelon, cut into bite size and frozen
40 ml               white rum
10 ml               fresh lime juice
5 ml                 simple syrup

  • Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth


The best part of this cocktail is you do not need any ice at all. Watermelon is a juicy fruit so it can replace the ice cubes after being frozen. Even a small blender is good enough. For the rum, I recommend the non-aged Admiral Benbow White Rum. If you like some enhancement on the watermelon flavour, replace the simple syrup with the De Kuyper Watermelon Liqueur. It is 15% in abv so just a dash is good enough.

Indeed, Hong Kong has a lot of professional and award-winning mixologists. While we are making our cocktails at home, let’s not forget to enjoy and appreciate a sophisticated cocktail by these mixologists.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Promotion code is valid until 24 Aug 2021 23:59. 
  2. Any purchase of spirit upon HK$500 (calculate in discounted price) and enter promotion code "COCKTAILS" in shopping cart, you can get a TOVOLO GOLF BALL Ice Molds (Set of 3), free delivery and 2pcs HK$50 Jebsen Fine Wines e-cash coupon. e-Cash coupon will be sent to your registered email on the following day after order confirmation. Offer is available in single order.
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