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A summertime scene of fun

By Sheridan Lane, director, culinary program and operations, Lincoln Land Community College

As we usher in the summer season and what I hope are endless barbeques, cookouts, fish fries, and, most importantly, loads of fun, let’s do it in style because we need a season that just doesn’t quit! 

For our family that means enjoying a few cocktails alongside the sweet summer sunshine. Whether out on the boat, by the lake, in the side-by-side or in the pool, we live to be outside during the nice months of the year, and, having survived last summer, (pregnant, remodeling a house ourselves on the weekends, and well it was Covid), I am making a pledge to recapture some lost summer leisure. 

While I always volunteer myself to make whatever, I have already decided that I am not going to be the one to miss out on even a moment which includes not taking myself away from the festivities to mix up a batch of libations. Here is my solution. I ordered drink pouches from Amazon so that I can individually quick freeze (IQF) our favorite frozen swill so that I never miss a beat of whatever outdoor adventures we are enjoying that day. I made up several different batches of my favorite cocktails, filled the drink pouches about two-thirds of the way full, and put them flat on cookie sheets until they were frozen. After being frozen flat, they line up better in organized tubs (I like the clear shoe boxes from the dollar store) and are fast to grab on a moment’s notice. Top them with a splash of soda water, Sprite or tonic, and they are ready to enjoy.

Premixed cocktails in cans have certainly become popular in the adult beverage aisle, but freezing batches of whatever refreshers you choose edges out premade cocktails in a can any day. They are just that much better! Think fresh frozen slushies that drink like Capri Suns, so here’s to making the most of this summer without ever leaving the scene of merriment! 

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes and even one for the kids. 

Pina Colada Slush (batch)

  • 750ml bottle pina colada mix
  • 2, 12oz cans limeade
  • 32 fl. oz. Bacardi Silver
  • 46 fl. oz. pineapple juice
  • Mix and freeze. Top with cream soda.
  • Tequila Honey Lime
  • Equal parts tequila, honey and fresh squeezed lime juice. When ready to enjoy, top with a splash of soda water.
  • Ginger Grapefruit Smash
  • 16 fl. oz. Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 16 fl. oz. Maker’s Mark (also good with Jameson)
  • 52 fl. oz. Simply 100% Grapefruit Juice
  • Add a fresh mint leaf or two in each pouch before freezing, and when ready to serve, add a splash of Sprite or soda water.
  • Watermelon Lemonade Slush (NA)
  • 1 medium sized watermelon pureed (rind and seed removed before pureeing)
  • 2, 12 fl. oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 12 fl. oz. water

In a high-powered blender, blend watermelon pulp, lemonade concentrate and water. Fill pouches ½ way with concentrate.

When ready to serve, add water to fill line or about 6 fl. oz. of water to a 16 fl. oz. drink pouch.