While Minnesota’s long winters have us drinking hot toddies and whiskey for months out of the year, the warm summer sunshine deserves to be celebrated as well. The humidity and sometimes sweltering heat calls for refreshing cocktails that you can enjoy outside. Where winter drinks are heavy and meant to keep you warm, summer drinks are lighter, fresher and meant for relaxation outdoors, be it at the beach, on a patio, or in your own backyard. Ready to share a few summer cocktail recipes is bartender extraordinaire Dinah Abraham of The St. Paul Grill.
Dinah Abraham
The St. Paul Grill
350 Market St
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-7455

Having worked behind the bar for over 10 years, starting with the swanky Lafayette Club in Minnetonka before making her way to the Twin Cities, Dinah Abraham knows a thing or two about making a great cocktail. She has made drinks for in the finest Twin Cities’ bars, from the legendary Lexington (soon to reopen), to Tria, to Louis and now at the legendary St. Paul Grill at the illustrious St. Paul Hotel. No matter what the season, she has a cocktail for you. For these warm nights? These sippers are sure to keep you satisfied.

Cherry Cocktails

Fresh fruit is great for summer drinks. The sweetness is a great complement to lighter spirits. Stone fruits are common in Minnesota, and can be excellent in cocktails. Here are a couple of ideas using local cherries.

  • Muddle 6 pitted cherries (plums work nicely as well).
  • Add 1.5 oz gin
  • .25 oz honey
  • Shake and strain over ice
  • Top with soda if you’re looking to calm it down a little.

Here is another recipe that calls for cherries, that adds a refreshing citrus burst:

  • Muddle 6 pitted cherries with 1/8 of an orange
  • Add 1.5 oz vodka
  • .5 oz ginger simple syrup
  • .5 oz of lillet
  • Shake and strain. Can be done straight, or over rocks.

Pro tip: Don’t wear white when making drinks like these. The juice from the cherries is bound to leave a stain.

Related: Fruity Cocktails To Beat The Summer Heat

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Tom Collins

No summer is complete without enjoying at least one Tom Collins. A little sweet, a little sour, this drink is perfect after (or during) a hot day in the sun. No need to buy the pre-made Tom Collins mix, this simple recipe is all you need to get through the summer heat.

  • 1.5 oz gin
  • .5 oz lemon
  • .5 oz simple syrup
  • Top with soda over ice

Pro tip: If you’re new at making cocktails, start small. Make one drink to see how it goes. Take notes if you have to. And remember, everything can be fixed with a little extra lime and soda water.

Related: 5 Refreshing Drinks & Frozen Treats To Cool You Off This Summer

Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.